Most of us have something ridiculous that we are afraid of. I’m afraid of sharks. It is an unreasonable fear and I am very unlikely to come across one unless the shark can drive an hour and a half inland. If I seek one out and then get eaten, well, I was just asking for it.
When I hear about somone being attacked by a shark on the news I always think that if they were splashing around in the sharks big wet dinner plate they have to expect to get eaten. It is the sharks home after all. If I went out to put the washing on the line and found a shark in my backyard it wouldn’t be going home to its family.
The scariest thing I ever did was when my youngest sister was quite small. At the beach one day our parents went to get us an icecream and I was left looking after her. Her little shovel floated away and under the pier. It was only metres from us but the water was dark and deep. Looking at her sad little face I had to go after it but I was fully expecting to be eaten. I was in the water for such a short space of time that even if a shark was waiting there with a knife and fork it wouldn’t have had a chance to get me and I think it took about a week for my heart to return to its normal rhythm.
One time we were rockpooling at the beach and I tripped and cut my hand. I looked around for a shallow pool to rinse the blood off and my partner pointed at the water and said just do it here. I told him I couldn’t as I was sure there is a shark with my name on it somewhere in the world and if I put my bloodied hand in the water I was just asking for trouble. He laughed at me because he knew I was only partly joking.
When you have an unreasonable phobia it is nice to find someone that has the same one. A friend once admitted he had the same fear. He agreed with me, stay away from them and you don’t have to worry about it. Then I made the mistake of mentioning the fact that there are six types of freshwater sharks, a fact previously unknown to him.
I’m not sure he will ever go in the water again.
That’s ok though. Because if the sharks don’t get you the crocodiles will.