Here’s A Must-Miss For Me:

I’m fascinated by sharks.

From the largest:

Whale sharks grow 40 feet long – and longer.

To the smallest:

Dwarf lantern shark.

To my personal pick as the weirdest:

Hammerhead shark.

Though this guy is a close second:

Goblin shark.

So awhile back, when I learned about the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week on TV, I was intrigued. 

Here’s my recollection of the first episode I watched:

First, it’s an hour-long show.

Second, subtract 12 minutes for commercials, so now it’s a 48-minute show.

The first 47 minutes are spent as follows:

Four guys in a boat somewhere on some ocean, looking for sharks:

Guy #1:  I see one!  A shark!  Over there – see?

Guy #2:  I see it, too!  I –

Guy #2:  Oh, wait a minute.  That’s just a floating pile of garbage.

Guy #1:  Oh.  Darn it!

(Some time passes.)

Guy #3:  There’s one – see the fin?  It’s a great white!

Guy #4:  Get closer, you guys!  It’s a great white, for sure!  It’s a…

Guy #4:  It’s a sunfish.

Guy #3:  Oh.  Darn it!

(More time passes.)

Guy #1:  Why don’t we throw some chum into the water?

(Voiceover explains that “chum” is chopped fish, fish fluids, and other material thrown overboard as bait.)

Guy #2:  I’ll do the chum, you guys keep your eyes open.

(More time passes – 47 of those 48 minutes.  And then…)

All Four Guys:  WOW!  DID YOU SEE THAT? 

The End.

I thought – or I should say, I hoped – that this episode was a one-off, and the next show would reveal more sharks.

Instead, what I watched during Shark Week consistently seemed to be people on boats spending much more time looking for sharks than ever actually encountering sharks.

Shark Week and I parted company.

This year, when Shark Week rolled around again on July 11, I rolled my eyes. 

What’s the big attraction? I wondered.

I started doing some research, and learned that Shark Week has been around since 1988 – proof that even if I don’t get it, plenty of people do. 

I learned that a respected institution – NOAA, the National Oceanside and Atmospheric Administration – associates itself with Shark Week:

And that respected publications, like this one, do stories about Shark Week:

I learned that respected (and otherwise) celebrities get involved in Shark Week, this year including Dr. Pimple Popper, Brad Paisley, Josh Gates, and Tiffany Haddish:

And that merchandisers are involved in Shark Week all year round:

The Discovery Channel’s online store offers 11 pages of merchandise, including Shark Socks, Shark Face Masks, and Bobblehead Hammerhead Sharks:

That last item, alas, is sold out.

And I learned the Shark Week 2021 schedule:

Well.

Considering the participation of the very august NOAA, Newsweek, and Dr. Pimple Popper…

Surely I could find a show that interests me?

I’ve still got tonight and tomorrow.  Let’s look at the schedule…OK, this sounds promising:

Monster Sharks of Andros Island:  A team of shark researchers travel to Andros, the largest island in the Bahamas, to determine if it’s a new Great Hammerhead hotspot, and they’re using reports of a half-octopus, half-shark creature known as the Lusca to help them locate massive sharks for their study.

Guy #1:  What is it again, that thing we’re out here looking for?

Guy #2:  A Lusca.  There’ve been Lusca sightings around Andros for decades, but no one has filmed or photographed one.

Guy #3:  It’s a half-shark/half octopus and can grow up to 75 feet long.  Here – I’ve got an artist’s image on my phone:

Guy #4:  Is that what it’s called?  I’ve seen that thing a million times. 

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