Dah dah, dah dah, dah dah (Jaws theme)
By Bart Vogelzang

Long a dream of ours, my best friend and I had finally completed our trip to the Gulf Coast of Texas. It was late September, and for us, from the Great White North, it seemed like the peak of summer. We were puzzled by the lack of people enjoying the wonderful warm sunshine and lukewarm waters which were shimmering in the sun, but thought that maybe, for locals, this wonderful day might actually seem cold.

After changing into our swimming trunks, which highlighted our bleached northern skins quite remarkably, we ventured into the murky waters while unnerving each other by chatting about shark attacks. Maybe there is a shark warning out, we supposed, and that’s why there was nobody there. We both remembered clearly though, from documentaries, that sharks will first bump you with their skin, which have taste receptors, and if you taste like a meal, they’ll circle back to eat you. We were both anxious, yet cautiously excited at the same time. This was to be our first time to enter tropical waters, with all its attendant dangers.

Panic! I was bumped gently, on the thigh, and OMG, another bump on my back. In the meantime, my buddy was heading back to shore as fast as he could, yelling that he was being attacked. In no time at all, we were back on the beach, safe from sharks, and unharmed. The thrilled relief at being alive when we had both just thought we were about to die was the high point of our trip.

Sadly, the low point was also reached, as we soon discovered we had been bumped by submerged heavy oil sludge, and were both mottled by black oozy gooie tarry pertroleum crud, from chests down. The fun we had cleaning it off, and the words we used, doesn’t bear thinking about, much less writing down.

© by Bart Vogelzang 2008, All Rights Reserved