Life imitates art: Shark Attack! edition

Maybe this article from the Martha’s Vineyard Times Online won’t strike you as funny as it strikes me,

Edgartown prohibits swimming following shark sighting
Published: July 10, 2008 : 5:40 pm

Edgartown beach officials said a large shark identified as a great white was spotted off South Beach in Edgartown today. Edgartown park commissioners acted on the report and closed South Beach to swimming.

But then again, you probably don’t live on Martha’s Vineyard like I do, and you probably haven’t seen Jaws 45,356 times, like I have.

Earlier today my wife had told me that there were rumors that a Great White had been spotted in Vineyard Sound. Now it turns out that two of them have been spotted, and they’re 65 I mean 39 I mean 17 feet long!! No kidding!

As I was riding my bike around the island today I wondered where everybody was. It’s the height the summer, for Lord’s sake, and there were open parking spaces on Circuit Ave in OB and on Main Street in VH. That’s like a blizzard in August. But speaking of rumors, these closing paragraphs from the Times story are priceless:

Marilyn Wortman, Edgartown parks and recreation administrator, said Edgartown Harbormaster Charlie Blair saw a shark off Bend in the Road Beach. Reached by The Times Mr. Blair said he saw no sharks anywhere.

Mr. Arnold said one of his lifeguards received a call from a Tisbury lifeguard that a large shark and two smaller sharks entered the channel to Tashmoo Pond from Vineyard Sound.

Fred LaPiana, Tisbury department of public works director, closed Tashmoo Beach to swimming, based on a report from harbormaster Jay Wilbur. Mr. LaPiana said he knew nothing about a lifeguard seeing a shark and had it happened he would know about it.

(I won’t try to describe Fred & Marilyn to you. Just imagine what central casting would send over if they were casting “Jaws 2008”)

I expect it’s going to be one fuck of a summer here on MV for people who depend on the tourist trade. On July 4th, Main Street VH nearly burned to the ground. And now this.

For added spice, next week all the yahoos and yobos from the always controversial monster shark week will be clogging up the harbor in OB. My younger daughter had been working as a hostess at the Sand Bar, which is kind of Martha’s Vineyard’s version of a Tiki Bar right on the harbor. Last week she put in her notice. When you’re a good looking 20 year old woman working as a hostess at that kind of place, you get used to having guys (old, drunk, obnoxious, choose however many fit) hit on you. But she drew the line at working during Monster Shark Week. It was going to be bad enough already, but when rumors started popping up of a Great White she didn’t need no weather man to see which way the wind was blowing.

I suppose it’s sad that some people are seeing their vacations ruined by closed beaches, while others are seeing their livelihoods threatened. Heck, it’s sad that sharks are going to die next week.

But damn, it’s funny. It’s like these sharks read Benchley’s book and decided, “hey, we can do that!”

All we need now is a latter-day John Belushi and a land shark.

One Comment

  1. You’re right, I don’t live on Martha’s Vineyard.

    But it would be all kinds of Awesome if a great white were spotted in the Ohio river. Even awesomer than Kentucky’s drive to get a nuclear submarine for its coast guard.

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