Tuesday, July 22, 2008


My single, absolute, unequalled, greatest fear in life, is to be savagely attacked and eaten by a shark.

Great White, Tiger, Bull, Mako it doesn't matter which species they all terrify me. As far as I know every shark on the planet is waiting patiently for this nice, juicy, sealion pup of a guy from the Prairies to show up for lunch.

Living here in Manitoba, the centre of Canada, my odds of a Great White Shark ending my days are virtually nil of course as you can see by these SHARK STATS .

Believe it or not I have still somehow managed to dip my toes, swim, snorkel and body surf in the RED TRIANGLE of California and Mexico.

Having watched one billion hours of shark documentaries I understand that statistically my chances of being summarily executed by a shark(s) are vastly outnumbered the odds of being killed by Bees, Lightning, Dogs and Horses...
especially if you don't swim in the ocean and happen to live on a lightning scorched horse and bee farm that is attacked nightly by wild feral dogs! Bloody Statistics!!

Several hundred years ago while vacationing in Cozumel, Mexico, I forced myself to go snorkeling in the 80 degree water.

On that fateful day of reckoning I began by practicing my Spanglish on the local kids who were joyfully jumping into the Caribbean Cauldron of CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP Tiburons..Sharks.

"Hola amigos. Miera es Tiburon?"

" Hee hee hee No Mr. Canada, giggle giggle we don't see many sharks here."

Good enough I thought and dived in.
I snorkeled along the shoreline and then headed out to dive around the giant sunken statue of Christ at the outer seaward edge of the Underwater Park.

I knew enough about Sharks not to tempt fate by wearing anything shiny, like a watch or necklace, and my bathing suit wasn't Yum Yum Yellow.
YYY is the orangy/yellow colour that lifejackets are dyed.
Rescuers and sharks both appreciate the extra visibility when searching for victims.

Statistically homo escapeons eat more sharks (shark fin soup) than the reverse each year. That is of little comfort when you're alone, helplessly bobbing about and out of your element. 

When it comes down to mano a sharko
it is no contesto!

Anyway having reached the statue I gulped down some humid air and dived down to shake hands with Jesus.
It was much 'deeper experience' than I had imagined(UGH!) and just as I looked into his eyes...

...out from behind Jesus swam a fish that looked atleast about five feet long.
It was a Barracuda.

Now having read about sea creatures throughout my entire life I knew that Barracudas are normally just curious and have only bitten humans while they were cleaning the hull of boats with shiny scrapers or stupid enough to provoke them.

When you are staring at a huge mouth filled with canine razor blades that is attached to the front of a four foot torpedo you switch over to the reptilian cortex and start pumping adrenalin. stay calm........find a happy DRY place!

As I slowly ascended and left the presence of Christ (how ironic eh?) I felt alone and naked in the universe.

My agnosticism started to taunt me "neener neener neener" now would be a good time for a foxhole conversion.  The grim reality of my individual struggle against nature. Right here, right now, I was completely on my own. Mano a Barracudo! Crappo!

As I looked down for solace (a little help here HELLO!)
I saw an unmoved guardian ignoring my plight.
I was wondering where the Barracuda was going to chomp on me?

My ankle..my ass...
please, please, please, NOT my willy!?

Mercifully, the barracuda (my metaphorical Satan) escorted (tested) me the entire way until I was out of it's territory.Whatever I did on the surface, zig left or zag right, the fish shadowed my every move. 

When I had finally reached the boys back on shore I gave them a glare and asked, 
"Miera es Barracuda?" 
They all started to laugh,"Si Mr. Canada..muchos barracuda!"
Ha Ha Ha little buggers..very funny.

Back at the hotel I immediately resumed my daily routine of consuming mass quantities of Rum Cubas and chil-laxed.

My lesson that day proves once again that if you want to get anywhere in life you have to ask the right f*cking questions
Ay CaRUMba!


  1. Anonymous10:39 p.m.

    Vaya Con Dios, My Darling.

    Brilliant post.

    I hope you've lost that hat by now.

    The Blogger Booger

  2. K La-Di-FRICKIN-Da1:41 p.m.

    If any of you out there think he's exaggerating about the one billion hours of shark week...he's not.
    P.S. I'm still alive

  3. So what you are really trying to say is that you drank rum, and saw 10 sharks when there was actually only one and it was a baby but things seem bigger with googles i mean goggles. Oh vay Tequila Joe says drink more, worry less, and live life to the fullest and remember what happens in Mexico stays in Mexico..

  4. Sharks, crocodiles, eastern brown snakes, tequila, minus 53 degrees, stingers...Barry Manilow.

    The list is endless.

    What can I say, you faced it, you survived...arrhh, barracuda!


  5. Wet t-shirt alert!

  6. "Oh, the huge manatee!"


  7. Is that a kelp in your hands or are you just happy to see me?


    *slaps thighs*

  8. Anonymous11:42 a.m.

    Look out, MJ's on a roll!!! ACK!!!

    Hey, you need to watch SHARK WEEK on the Discovery Channel.


  9. Nice overalls with that kelp, Donnnnnn.... how 70's - I had some too (being the same age as you and all...!)

    Saw some freakin' huge barracudas while scuba diving about 10 miles off Key West, Florida. THAT was cool - didn't scare me a bit - they followed us all over for about 45 minutes - no sharks though -

    Pretty senseless fear cuz Prairie Sharks are extremely rare and tend to like old Hutterite farmers anyway, so I think you're pretty safe.

  10. Basking sharks are - thanks to global warming - moving further north every year. They're huge, but - we're told - harmless. I don't believe it. Who'd want to suck on plankton when you could chew a rubber-coated surfer?

  11. Oh yah, Babe. My biggest fear in the universe is getting eaten by something in sea or lake water. I don't swim in anything but a swimming pool, and it's because I know sharks and scary lake fishy can't live in the chlorine.

    I'm glad you survived!!

  12. There's a place down south here called Safety Bay. They renamed it from Shark Bay.

  13. LOL great post! i also fear sharks, but i have to admit that i fear lions more...

  14. SO YOU Drink?????

    Hmmm .....we need to meet!

  15. i hate sharks and it always pays to ask the right question~~alsp in be careful what you wish for...

  16. Interesting you should start off by mentioning your greatest fear - and there's the SLO-MO ESCAPEONS thing flashing at us from the left hand side of the screen, reassuring us that life is fine and dandy when Homey's around.

    I hadn't properly considered the death by shark thing until I read this. Now it's up there with waking up to find yourself the main character in Kafka's Trial or Metamorphosis.

    Alternatively, there's Old Gregg to consider.

  17. FYI this is Summer Rerun from June 06 that nobody had read so whatEVER...

    Thank You Withered..here cleverly disguised in one of your previous incarnations and NO I am never getting rid of my hat it is just starting to look good.

    Thank you dearest daughter..the one and only time that you have dared to see what dear old dad was up to on the Interwebs...and it is true isn't it?

    Yes what happens in Mayheeko stays there along with the organic material that I left in my swimming trunks when that Cuda came around the corner!

    It certainly doesn't measure up to living in Australia where there are more things that'll kill you than you can shake a stick at.

    I watched Quigley Down Under again and it has a great line about God creating Australia last because he got tired of making everything the same...and Sirens where the newspaper headlines report of a citizen being killed by a different creature every day..hilarious.

    Kelp KELP!!!
    Yes that is kelp my Dear..taken on the beach in San Diego in 1977. The surfboard guys and I had a long talk about critters..they thought that I was crazy for camping in a tent in Grizzly country and I thought they were nuts for swimming in White territory...I win...and yes I am always happy to see you.

    I have been a consumer of Shark Week since it's inception and I can recite from memory hundreds of facts and statistics about Sharks...the tone has chamged over the years now that the Jaws effect has dissipated. Now there is a more cerebral matter-of-fact attitude about them being ordinary fish and not sinister demonic entities..although most people would rather have all of those monster killing machine type programs. Starts next week btw...

    I have this phobic sense about them because they are not part of my environment...people who live and play in the ocean get used to the idea..sort of.

    I was told that the reef sharks were swimnming around me just out of range becuase they love all of the yummy garbage that humans throw in the ocean...
    old hugmetites HA!

    The second largest Shark in the world is a big wussy plankton nibbler but unlike the Whale Shark which is full of pretty spots, the Basking looks like a giant frickin SHARK! They're more likely to bump your boat as they cruise along with that huge, gaping, maw wide open. I would pee my pants if I saw one but it's too bloody cold to be swimming in your neck of the woods anyway..isn't it?

    Unless you live in Florida and some Gator or giant frickin Snapping Turtle decided to hang out in your pool! Always look at the bottom before you jump in.
    Snapping Turtles prolly scare me more because we actually have them up here and I have something that looks like a fat juicy worm..I mean Snake!

    I don't know if 'snappers' like 'anaconda'? According to Cosmo size does matter.

    Shark Bay isn't exactly the greatest Tourist Friendly name in the world now is it? If you look at the Int Shark File link you'll notice that statistically attacks occur where the most humans play in the water and as for great whites who like colder water where there are lots of fat, little, seal lions, there is a perfect storm situation for California, South Africa and Australia...all purely coincidental.

  19. SWEETS
    Lions eh? Have you ever seen the movie Ghosts In The Darkness about the TRUE story of the maneaters in Tsavo, Africa?
    Those two sonofabitches are actually stuffed in some museum.
    Being killed by terrestrial giants would be brutal..
    how about a Komodo Dragon..
    or a Polar Bear..
    which I discovered is a fancy schmancy evolutionary form of Grizz that adapted to living in an enviwrongment that has little food..which makes it grumpy and that's why they eat anything that moves..or stopped moving.

    Was there ever any doubt? Besides as Captain Quint said in JAWS..
    "Rum ain't drinkin..
    it's surviving!"

    Someday I will sit in one of those cages attached to the boat and watch Great Whites swim around...if there are any left...but then again have you ever seen the YouTube clip of a White getting tangled inside one of those cages ! The two gentlemen inside escaped by going right past it's mouth!

    I wonder if they got their money back?

    Kafkaesque is and always will be one of my favorite expressions..used sparingly, but almost always appropriately when describing my encounters with pencil pushing bureaucrats and red tape addicts.

    I hope that I don't dissuade you from enjoying a splash in the ocean..btw have you seen the stats on Great White attacks in the Mediterranean...most people don't think that they would like it there but the tourists are extra yummy because they are soaked in Olive Oil..

  20. I'm know why that barracuda didn't eat you (lol, good idea to shake friends with the Jesus guy! he has some influences at the bottom of the sea, hahaha).

    Nice Spanglish, and cool post, it made me laugh (still laughing loudly!)

  21. A re-run of summer 2006. Nice.

  22. You, my friend, are adorable.

  23. don, you are too kind~~but i love the compliments~~moldavite is a meteorite, thanks for mentioning meteorites, i forgot to put that in the post~~i have several rocks that have holes in them from water and lots of rocks that has erosion~~one of the miracles of the world if you ask me~~the buffalo river is full of rocks with water and wind marks~~not that i would ever remove a rock*making sure rock police are not around* i am so happy that you came to my site and look forward to reading more of your posts

  24. FINALLY......you posted!

    Funny, but I had a very similiar experience in St Thomas. I clambored up the pier with my borrowed scuba tanks, sat down on the edge with my legs dangling as to release the thousand odd pounds of air tanks off my back when down below me, RIGHT WHERE I PREVIOUSLY HAD BEEN SWIMMING, glided by a SCHOOL of five foot long barra-thank-you-so-very-fucking-much-CUDAs........which had probably been stalking me silently all along, and I never saw them, which was probably due to the fact I wore glasses and couldn't see anything at a distance anyway wearing a non-prescription face mask. All I could do, rather than panic after the fact, was wave and say "thanks, dudes, for not eating me!" to which they might have replied "No problem, you little idiot!"

    We are forgiven so many sins............

  25. heh, the first shark I ever saw 'in the wild' was while I was scuba diving in St. Thomas. Thank goodness the water is so clear there that you can see them coming for miles.

    So donn, I'm sure you've seen the Disc channel's "Anatomy of a Shark Bite". The shark specialist is doing all these recreations because the show starts by showing him standing in water just above his knees while these masses of bull sharks swim around and he's going on and on to the reporter how 'friendly' these bull sharks are and then one chomps off the back of his calf. They show the dangling skin at the end of the show. Yikes! Friendly shark hahaha! riiiiight.

  26. Hey, Shark Boy, that's quite the toothy grin you've got there! Kinda makes you look like a Ferengi! Just need really REALLY big ears.... And of course, all your women are nekkid all the time.... so you choose - shark boy or Ferengi extraordinaire! HA!

  27. Yes, that line forms on the right, babe

    Now that Macky’s back in town …

    Look out … old Macky is

  28. hahha that was funny. am glad you're still writing. but that cuda did something to your teeth in your next post.

  29. Man you definitely need to see the dentist! What happened to your beautiful perfect teeth? What a change! LOL-

    Or is it that you suffered a metamorphosis process, from so much shark-thinking? :))

    PS.- Blogger is such a f*ck*ing idiot, it blew up my 2-hour work in one post. And you can send a complaint form!!!

  30. LOL. Mr. Canada.

    Yeah, those things look scary as hell.

    Whenever I've gone to the beach, my biggest concern is seaweed touching my foot.

  31. wuts wrong with ya Donn u freaked me out with ur shark dentures! LOL!


  32. My mind is totally zapped. Why else woul I ome and comment here? I loved that sharky photo of yours, Donnnnnnnnnnnn???????

  33. LENI
    It was a harmonic SUBMERGENCE of sorts and I am glad to still have all of my little piggies..
    and especially my you-know-what!

    Why not, the TV networks do it?

    No wonder even the kids in Meh-heeko laugh at us Gringos. They must wonder how we manage to live like Kings when we don't know our ass from a hole in the ground.
    I completely understand their frustration, resentment and schadenfreude.

    The ROCK Police? Is there a Mineral Rights group like PETA who protest cruelty to rocks? I am in trouble because I love standing on the shore and skipping flat stones...now I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for spys from PETR!

    Ignorance IS bliss. I'm certain that a lot more critters were eyeballing me down there and had I known about it would have prolly freaked out.

    Since we came from the Sea we still retain some residual weird attraction with it but we are so out of our element now. Maybe that's why we are so enamored with Dolphins and Whales..they had enough sense to go back and make a go of it in a three dimensional world with a constant temperature...
    meh..on second thought, I like having hands.

    I saw that program and I believe it or not he is back at it with the Bull Sharks...which can travel into and live in fresh water and they do in the Ganges, Zambezi and Mississippi rivers, even Lake Nicaragua..and some experts believe that it was a Bull shark, and NOT a Great White (although one was caught and found to have human remains inside) that swam up the Matawan Creek in New Jersey in 1916 that attacked and ate swimmers...
    the incident spawned the idea of a rogue predator terrorizing a town which Benchley wrote and titled 'JAWS'.

    I think that pound for pound, Carcharhinus leucas is the most dangerous Shark in the world...and I had better shut up because I could talk about this for hours...

    Nekkid all the time I am so there!
    I'll have to get a major brow enhancement too...I said brow!

    HAHA! I have definitely stumbled onto something the sum of which is greater that it's parts.
    Who knew?

    I will never forget that experience because all of my imaginary memories from reading about the Sea when I was a lad instantly 'surface' the minute I go under the waves. In my mind every creature for miles comes running because they know that I am going to taste great.

    Complain to who? Some IT guy who is busy playing Zelda. I know why so many folks throw their hands in the air and skip over to Wordpress but Blogger still has more options...or do they? I still have my old WP address if it keeps getting worse...UGH!

    I think everybody hates having slimy seaweed wrap around their legs EEEWWW and just the thought of something touching you that you can't see AAARRGGHH!!

    That's why we like clear warm water..out at the Lake I always used to imagine Snapping Turtles shuffling towards my little chubby wormlike toes and even more terrifying my poor little willy!!
    We even had a 4 foot Muskie under the dock that would just stare at you while you were swimming..but I think that it was too high from all of the gas leaking from the boats..but it was still creepy.

    Have you ever seen that programmer from San Diego who is being transformed into a Tiger..HELLO..he's had a ton of tats and then had his lips split and had his teeth filed into fangs..HELLO..here he is..


    So if he can do it, and not be locked up in a psych ward, then I figure that I can easily get away with being the Sharkman!

    You should try blog-surfing for a while. When I feel blogged out I wander around the links (like golf)and it reminds me that this forum is a two way street and that there are so many amazing interesting people out here.
    Quit pushing and just relax and dilate for a while...breathe!

  36. Donnnnn, don't forget the ear enhancement too.... Ferengis are extremely sensitive/sensual on their ears - and if that's all you need.... ;-) (although you keep mentioning your 'little willy'....)

  37. grumblefish1:42 p.m.

    Here's a handy travel tip, if your itinerary includes remote beaches
    like Foodhole Bay, or maybe, "Look Ma, No la Lengua" Inlet:

    Remember to remove the ceremonial
    Pork Chop pendant each visitor receives (upon arrival at Besame Rump Roast Aeropuerta), before entering the water.

  38. you know what- my darling damien woulda been in seventh heaven!

  39. My stomach is still cramping from laughing so hard at your Donnnnnnnnn as Jaws pic...

    You're such a frickin' wussie...of course I've heard your barracuda story more times than I care to remember...

    But that pic of you with the shark teeth tops it all off...

  40. your avatar is sexy hot.

    that is all.

  41. ZIGGI
    You GNAWty girl!

    Are you trying to start a controversy? It is a term of endearment which is the only thing that I would need enhanced were I to become a Ferengi..
    an endEARment!

    HAHA Foodhole Bay is NOT the place to be splashing around with a Pork Chop pendant..HAHAHA!

    Yes as a budding Marine Biologist it is a marvelous experience to visit with our scaly ancestors in their element...as a middle aged touristo? Not so much!

    I am delighted that you found some comic relief from my affliction..although I will save a ton of money on Steak Knives.

    I know that some women are turned on by a rugged man with a nice smile but a nice man with a rugged smile has his work cut out for him.

    Frenching or Tonsil Hockey as we call it, would be done like Porcupines making love..
    very carefully..
    although I read that female porcupines are only interested in sex for about 8 hours a year...
    is that a segue or what?

  42. si senor canada, we have sharks, manatees, dugongs, baracudas, sharacudas, everything in da sea, si senor?

    i mean...sigh...those guys dont have enough food already? if a pack of shark attack and kill a whale, they could eat it for weeks. its all proper planning and execution. they mst get together and hunt in packs. like those velociraptors.


    glad ur safe donn, i dont know where else im gonna find intelligent blogs like this ur barracuda chow.

  43. Crikey:

    In 16 days I am going to be scuba diving my way south to north and south again, on the Great Barrier Reef

    You look a little scary with all those teeth

    I'm sure you'll be fine when it gets to the time....

    Of slipping into the Coral Sea..

    Remember, you survive minus 50!

    You are the legendary H.E!

    Little itty bitty Great White Pointers...

    Mean nuthin' to hairy Canadians

    Our fishies love 'em waxed. :-)

    Shocking poetry that was, apologies mate, but I reckon you'll be right, what shark would chomp a hairy guy like you?

    Man, that's asking for trouble.

    All those teeth and picking little hairs out, would drive you nuts!

    Luvya mate, am only takin' the proverbial piss!



  44. GHOS-TAY
    You need to watch Shark Week on the Discovery Channel to see how crazy shark 'nuts' can get. I've seen photographers actually climb on to the floating corpse of a whale to get shots of Great Whites ripping off 30 pound chunks of blubber..
    a researcher with mystical totems that he worships before diving into open water with Whites armed with nothing but a mirror to ward them off...
    and a guy standing waist deep in Bull Sharks who had his calf removed from his leg as he explains how safe he is?


    Where did you get the impression that I was part Sasquatch which is our version of your Yowie. HA! Actually I am a fastidious Metrosexual and an ardent advocate of Depilation like Becks..I would try Epilation but I am quite allergic to pain!

    As for being an appetizer on a shark's menu, White Pointers usually release surfer's legs when they find out how scrawny and un-seal like they are, but Tiger Sharks have had everything from License plates to rocking chairs found in their stomachs so they aren't as fussy.

    Thank You for the lovely poem. I will recite it as my head slips down the throat of my devourer.

    I'm sure that you'll be fine just don't jump in alone or wearing jewelry or bright Yum Yum Yellow swimwear, don't splash around near the surface, especially around a seal rookery or fishing boat, avoid swimming at dusk or dawn..never ever go at night, or while you're menstruating....

    other than that remember that more people are killed by falling coconuts every year so have a wonderful time!

  45. Anonymous6:51 p.m.

    Maybe that picture was just too scary for Blogger.

  46. Late to the party...but what a fun post...

    Reminded me of two things-

    One was a scuba diving friend who never eats shark. 'Cuz as she says "me and the sharks have an agreement: I don't eat you... you don't eat me."

    Then I remember times in the Caribean...watching all the 'cudas at night coming up to the docks. We were very respectful and in awe of them. Very. You be one brave fella.

  47. haha ur crazy Donn and I love ya cos of that HUGS!



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