2016…what a time! Unfortunately enough, I believe society is currently at a juncture that instills far more fear than faith in people. Plain and simple, its a scary, scary world out there. By the time the year comes to an end, Donald Trump could become president. The Zika virus could boast pandemic numbers. ISIS will be claiming responsibility for biweekly attacks and apparently our own police force has now joined the line up when it comes to The Usual Suspects. Yes, all of these things are real and pose immanent threats on life as we know. Fortunately, many of these new threats are novel, in that they are new enough where the mystery behind them accounts for most of the fear that people seem to be hung up on. There are other things in this world however that have been scaring people since the dawn of time…
In 1975, Steven Speilberg released ‘Jaws,’ a flick that would forever change the way society viewed sharks, making them an inherent phobia in most people world wide. The movie gave the Great White a bad rep, casting them as a cold blooded serial killer rather than the calculated predatory fish they truly are. Yes, the top of the food chain is inherently scarier, but their reputation still is somewhat unwarranted, as deers and dogs cause far more deaths annually than all shark species combined. Fortunately for pipe-line surfers and the sun bathing elderly, sharks do have a soft spot….not necessarily a weakness…but moreover a secret to them that when triggered, renders the animal immobile. Unless you are dealing with a shark that has been fasting for Ramadan, who’s appetite is so insatiable that not even your campus’s dining hall stir fry will stop them from their feeding, their is an ancient technique called Tonic Immobility that just might save your ass.
Excuse my nerdiness for a second, but Shark Week is one of the holy grails of public television, in the ranks of the Winter Olympics and March Madness College Basketball. For a full week, scientists on the discovery channel tackle all things sharks, including one of the only known ways to stop the creature cold in its tracks. Rumor has it, that the savvy shark diver can pinpoint a pressure point on a sharks snout, that when caressed will send a shark into a tonic state, catapulting them into full relaxation and serenity. Essentially, stroking a sharks snout is the equivalent of giving them a bottle of Chianti and a xanax, making them as harmless as a Pomeranian. While I am sure that few and far people are willing to try this technique, its still a nice little factoid that makes me feel cool to know at the end of the day, so just let me have this one please.
As you know with my writing style, my opening notes are hardly what my posts are written to describe. Sharks are so fucking cool…like the coolest animal ever honestly, but I’m not a free-lance National Geographic writer. Nay, I am a hopeless romantic, finding meaning and parallels between things that may be too farfetched to beckon my readers to finish any of my posts. But come on! Thats amazing! The only way to stop a shark from taking your arm off is to rub its fucking nose nice and gingerly? Unreal.
(Segway Alert!) EVERY LIVING THING LOVES TO GET ITS BACK SCRATCHED! Perhaps as cryptic as tonic immobility is as universal as that statement is. EVERY LIVING THING LOVES TO GET ITS BACK SCRATCHED! Whether you’re a shark or a dog, a human being or a bald eagle, every single living thing will show you its belly and render itself vulnerable if you will appease them with a quick scratch behind the ear.
Normally, I find prophetic value in human nature, but this post goes beyond mankind…its much much more primal than that. You see, my mother is one of the most nurturing people I will ever meet. My siblings and I literally set up a faux NBA draft just to get the prime time back scratching time slot, somewhere between showering and the midnight snack. Its not just a Bergman trait, nor a human taste, EVERY LIVING THING LOVES TO GET ITS BACK SCRATCHED. There are so few things that I see to be as universally true. Even if you’re not a touchy person per say, I know that when a girl comes over after a French manicure…she can simply scratch the back of your head to make you forget all about giving you dome.
So heres the bottom line on this one…everything likes to be comforted. Consoling another is so sincere and natural, that even a shark will allow you to give it a nice scratch. Living things are never meant to live stagnantly, nor is there truly any one man wolf pack. The human condition is romantic…its a never ending tale of finding someone to make you feel full and whole. At the end of the day, everyone is on facebook, swiping right on bumble, and liking your Instagram posts simply in search of good company. The best company is someone who rubs you the right way. So to all my past and future girl friends out there…I’m a sucker for the back of my head. While I am no shark, if you ever want me to put my teeth away, you now know what to do!