Because my friends are, as mentioned, caring individuals, they look out for me. They tell me when it's Shark Week on Discovery Channel, knowing the flailing and hammering of my heart that will occur if I see a commercial for it. Jenn, being extra vigilant, even warned me off the Snickers commercial which prominently features ECFs. (Though I confess a shudder when I catch a frame or two as I'm forwarding my DVR... yeargh!)
My friend Shabby even went so far as to make me my own special copy of Finding Nemo sans Bruce. He set up two VCRs and whenever Bruce appeared, he pulled out the video cable so I could hear and keep up with the story, but wouldn't have to see an all-too-realistic cartoon shark; the great white variety bothers me most of all.
I cannot state this strongly enough—while I've worked to get
And before you get all helpful and Wiki-y on me, internets, I know the odds of a shark attack. Did you see the bit where I called it a phobia? That means it's developed well beyond "reasonable fear of a dangerous predator," careening around the corner of "they freak me out a little," landing me squarely in the county of "JeebusOMGthey'recomingtoKILLALLOFME" (a county where, clearly, I have voting rights if not outright residence privileges).
So... yeah. It's kind of a problem, and has been for all of my life.
Nope, I wasn't scarred by a screening of Jaws at a tender age (though that certainly couldn't have helped). I've just always been unduly terrified. I grew up in Michigan—the Sunrise Side, to be specific—and our house was just on the other side of U.S. 23 from Lake Huron. The beaches there are beautiful—sugar sand like in the Caribbean, with clear, cool waters. I don't remember ever not knowing how to swim. I'm surprised I don't have permanently pruny skin from all the time I spent in the water... and you can bet your bippy (if I even knew what a "bippy" was) that when the sun went behind the clouds, I hopped on my floatie and pulled all my limbs in... because you can't trust 'em, those ECFs. They might sneak up when I couldn't see them coming and *WHAM!* I'm shark bait (HOO! HaHa! Sorry—can't resist an opportunity to quote Finding Nemo).
I can't explain the Why of it; I just know that it Is and always has been in my world. I even tried to get over it. I couldn't have been more than 7 or 8 years old and I remember forcing myself to watch the shark parts of National Geographic to desensitize myself. (What kind of kid does that, internets?!?)
Later in life, I even tried video game therapy. In Animal Crossing, you have to catch fish to earn money/XP and imagine my surprise when in my little bay in my hamlet of Eeeville (yes, that's what I named my town!) I saw dreaded fins!
But no worries, internets. I stayed calm. I conquered those pixelated bastards.
My Mii even put them in a tank and TURNED HER BACK ON THEM. I felt mighty and empowered that I allowed that without losing my mind/lunch/contents of my bladder.
So... even with unfortunate candy commercials and movie trailers, I can keep my world as shark-free as I need it to be in order to function.
See, there's this exhibit in Dallas called Planet Shark and it's trying to murderize me. (Why else would they place billboards all over the D/FW Metroplex featuring the gaping maw of an ECF? Clearly, it's to make me have a stroke and wreck my car; there is precedent set for such chicanery in the animal kingdom, as my friend LE Bean can attest.)
No one warned me, either, internet. I don't know if I've seemed extra sane and together lately or what—STOP LAUGHING!—or folks just didn't have a cell phone handy—seriously, it's NOT FUNNY!—or what, but I wasn't given any warning, and it came a little too close to creating dire circumstances.
I wouldn't be surprised if the ECFs set it up. I mean, they're starting to hybridize now so who knows WHAT they'll get up to next?!
Quick—someone bring me a Snickers to distract me.