Anyway, this time there were three of them, talking about where they had gone scuba-diving. Must be nice. I'm not sure if they were exaggerating, but let's just assume for now they are telling the truth, they really do dive in the Bahamas, Florida Keys, Cancun, and Australia's Great Barrier Reef. I had to stand there and listen to them one-up each other about their diving expeditions while my food cooked. I had to keep from laughing, because while they did seem to be telling believable tales, they made them sound so dramatic.
Guy1: There I was, sharks all around me!
Guy2: I had that too, while feeding some fish in St. Thomas. Scary!
Guy3: I once dove in one of those cages with a great white. Wow. It must have been 40 feet long!
[Anal fact point, they usually are 13-17 feet long, unless you found a long-lost Megalodon, but I can totally understand being in the water with such a large Great white, you might easily think 40 feet when you combine fear, the refraction of light from the water to diving mask, and just general memory issues of the exciting experience]
Then they started talking about sharks attacking helicopters. No, really. Based on this legend, I am assuming. I thought for a while saying, "Dude ... that was a hoax," but one of his boofoo buddies had already asked if it was, and he swore he knew that it was real. Third guy confirmed he also heard it was real, and then they started saying stuff about sharks getting more aggressive now that their food was diminishing due to overfishing. So they're attacking surfers, helicopters, and the sharks are being so cunning, they are also attacking fishing boats and low-lying bridges. I swear to God, that's what they said. I guess those sharks are putting 350 million years of experience being a predator to good use.
It was real hard to stay quiet. But I figured if I started correcting them, it might get unfriendly, so I said nothing. But I had to look away when they made some strange claim that was loosely based on a fact (say, "Sharks eat surfers because they sort of look like seals from below...") and then they took it in a rather obtuse direction (" ... so now they're requiring surfers to wear air horns and pepper spray to scare the shark packs away..."), because I really didn't want to giggle in front of them. When my lunch was done, I quickly left.
BTW, I tried to picture how such a "requirement" would be enforced, and how effective gas canister based tools work when used in salt water. But I guess you can always tell where the shark you caught came from, because they might be deaf and smell like pepper.
[Update: I found out who they were. They're vendors who are here for a few weeks to go over some problems we're having with their equipment on our site.]
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000463.html