Dear Discovery Channel,
I am afraid of sharks. Okay, that’s an understatement. I am deathly afraid of sharks, so much so that if my children are swimming in the ocean I simply cannot look. I cannot go further into the salty water than a few inches. I have not been in more than six inches of ocean water in over 10 years, and when I did it then I nearly died of a panic attack, which I had to squelch so I didn’t freak out my young children. Plus, I was in a bathing suit. The ocean and me in a bathing suit: a recipe for disaster if I ever heard one.
Am I aware these are irrational fears and that I’m more likely to get hit by lightning than bitten by a shark? Yes. Yes I am aware. But the last time I checked, facts don’t do much to dispel phobias.
So when I tuned in to Shark Week’s opening show last night, I was trying to get over some of my fear. Let me hear some facts about the big guys and perhaps come to some bit of appreciation for how God made them. But what do you chose to air? A mockumentary that does absolutely nothing to help people like me come to an understanding, much less an appreciation, of the hunters of the deep.
What is wrong with you people? I thought the purpose of Shark Week was to expose people to sharks and help dismiss the crazy ideas people like me have about the creatures. A fake documentary about a 60 foot shark that very possibly sank a fishing boat off the coast of South Africa last April and is still lurking below the surface, striking at whales and waiting for the next opportunity to attack is supposed to help how?
So, thanks a lot, Discovery Channel. Thanks for giving people like me one more thing to worry about in the ocean. Yes, I know it’s fake. But people with severe shark phobias don’t need you giving us fake ideas to worry about; we come up with that kind of stuff on our own. Like the fact that I couldn’t swim in the deep end of my grandparents’ pool that sat right off Tampa Bay because what if a shark swam up the drain…
We don’t need any help coming up with crazy shark stuff.
So please, Discovery Channel, just the facts from now on. Those are hard enough for the shark-scared to deal with.