Sharks Can Bite Me

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Don't let that friendly grin fool you; trust me, this motherfucker wants to eat you.
Don’t let that friendly grin fool you; trust me, this motherfucker wants to eat you.

I am scared of sharks.

I know, I know, a person has a better chance of having their body cavities probed by aliens than being eaten by a shark. Fear is a powerful thing, though, especially when it forms during one’s impressionable years. The first time I saw the movie Jaws was the last time I entered the water without fear. And the drain in the deep end of the neighborhood pool…well, let’s just say that I knew long before my peers that the urine-revealing chemical that was allegedly added to pool water in those days was nothing but an urban myth, because that sharky looking drain scared the piss out of me more than once.

You know how lifeguards would blow their whistle at you if you didn’t exit the deep end fast enough after jumping off the diving board? Yeah, that shit never happened to me. I got out of the water so fast that my swimsuit was dry before my foot touched the top rung of the ladder.

“I have a totally unhealthy and unrealistic fear of being eaten by a great white shark. This is because I belong to a very specific demographic called American Child Whose Parents Made the Ill-Advised Decision To Allow Her To Watch the Movie Jaws At a Sleepover During Her Formative Years.” -Alice Faye Dahl in Alice in Wonderland (a Romantic Comedy)

Then there were my dad’s weekend water-skiing trips to the lake. Yes, it was fresh water, not the ocean; yes, those were snapping turtles, not sharks. But being stalked by any kind of species from the deep tends to kick your “fight or flight” response into high gear. Unfortunately, whipping out one’s mad ninja skills is a bit of a challenge when you’re in a life jacket in the open water, legs tucked into a set of water skis, your ass-cheeks bobbing around like a shark treat. Once I successfully stood up from a deep-water start, I transformed into the Youth Water-Skiing Champion of the Universe, bravely withstanding choppy waters, fallen skiers, and the telltale ripples of man-eating snapping turtle-sharks in order to thwart my dad’s sadistic attempts to turn me into chum.

“I grimace, thinking someone should come up with a new phrase for ‘I left the ocean without a kiwi-sized chunk of my lower-left butt cheek’ to replace the rather nebulous term ‘exploratory bite.'” -Alice Faye Dahl in Alice in Wonderland (a Romantic Comedy)

Sure, self-preservation is a powerful thing, but after a while the constant terror tends to chip away at your psyche. Which is why I like to write fictional characters, like Alice Faye Dahl in Alice in Wonderland, who are brave enough to do what I won’t—namely, stride boldly into the ocean until the water’s up to her waist—and then mercilessly mock her for 300+ pages after the shark bites her in the ass.

Centaur
Thank you, Congress.

As a grownup, I learned that an irrational fear of sharks has a fancy name, “galeophobia,” which is derived from the Greek words “galeos” (i.e. “shark with markings resembling those on a weasel”) and “phobos” (i.e. “scared shitless of sharks”). Later, I learned that galeophobia is also used as an alternate term to describe someone who is afraid of cats. On the face of it, this makes absolutely no sense, but remember that ancient Greeks sat around all day sipping crack-laced ambrosia and hallucinating all sorts of unnatural animal hybrids. But don’t worry; in 2005, Congress passed S659, preemptively thwarting any future attempts to unleash animal-human hybrids on an unsuspecting American public.

But I avoid cats now, too. You know, just to be extra-sure.

Because cat-sharks, bitches.

Shark Cat


Alice in Wonderland (a Romantic Comedy) by Elle LothlorienRead Chapters 1-3 of Alice in Wonderland (a Romantic Comedy).
Available on Amazon.

Amazon

5 Comments

  • Channon Coats Reply

    I, too, fear death by shark for the exact same reason (I KNEW there was some reason you were a kindred spirit!) and have greatly enjoyed all your books. I’m anxiously awaiting Rapunzel, and keep checking in on you. Now stop having fun just having fun and get busy having fun writing! Your loyal and crazy cat-shark owning (6) fans await impatiently AND hungrily and we don’t eat seals. . .if you catch my drift.

    • Elle Lothlorien Reply

      Yikes! Thanks for the motivational pep-talk. Now I’m more frightened of you than death by shark. :) So, if you’re not on Facebook, you probably missed the exclusive post I wrote about upcoming releases, explanations, etc. which includes sample chapters. If you’d like to email me at elle@ellelothlorien.com, I’d be happy to send you that link. For the “latest and greatest” updates, though, you might want to go to Facebook and either like my Author Page or send me a friend request on my “personal-ish” page.

      • Channon Reply

        Don’t fear me more than a great white. They just nuzzle too hard!! I don’t want a taste of Rapunzel. I know how clever you are to seduce and tempt, you Lilithian Lothorien, you!! I’ll wait, I’ll abide. I’ll make you feel guilty, like your agent, as is appropriate for a devoted fan. Go forth and multiply your delightful, fun, enchanting words.

        • Elle Lothlorien Reply

          Very well, I’ll let you tough it out. :) You know, you really should join Frog Nation on my “personal” page on Facebook. (P.S. “Frog Nation” is how fans refer to themselves.) You’re hilarious and snarky–just the kind of person to join the crazy. But I guess that’s why we call it the Mad Tea Party. Hope I see you there!
          https://www.facebook.com/?_rdr=p

          • Channon

            You are fiendishly clever, thus my pun on “Lilith lothlorien” bcs your mind has reached and been freed by that next artistic level which allows you to lift us up wi your strongly graceful ideas into new, fun, funny flights of genuine fantasy which can change our hearts, teach our minds, and most importantly of all, touch our souls. Little light, perhaps you do not yet see it, but you stir the soul – a most delicate and wondrous thing. Maybe you did not so aspire, maybe you thought you were below that arena, but you are not. Thank you. That is a delicate path to find through the path of fairy tales which teaches us to fly. Thank you, Elle. Tonight I needed just s little, to fly. Thus, tomorrow I’ll go back to being your obedient snark; but just for today, I remain your semi-enchanted low-flying soul friend with nothing but superlatives to decorate your ego. Regards, Channon

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