Punch Drunk 

Beach-Themed Drink Expert Jack Lauterback Presents: Your Summertime Shark Attack FAQ


At the time of this writing, four people have been attacked by sharks off the coast of North Carolina. By the time this column hits the streets a few days hence, that number is expected to balloon to 86.

But why? What’s causing this brutal amphibious invasion?

The supermarket tabloid National Geographic has some theories. And while some people (and most scientists) would agree with its conspiracies, I feel it my duty as a self-proclaimed expert on everything (when I’m drinking) to clear the air. Let’s explore.

Why are so many recent attacks happening in North Carolina?

NatGeo says it’s something to do with weather and currents. An abundance of human-populated coastline also has something to do with it. I’m sure that all comes into play, but mostly I believe it’s the smugness of people who can afford to rent a house in the Outer Banks for a week that’s provoking the sharks. Don’t see many New Jersey beachgoers getting bit, do you? Of course not, because the sharks pity them.

Why are shark attacks rising?

They say a steadily rising human population is the reason. Basically, more humans need eatin’. This actually isn’t too far off. Sharks have an inherent understanding of the dangers of population growth and the ensuing calamity that it brings. That’s when their natural selection instincts take over and they get chompy.

Is climate change to blame?

NatGeo says maybe. I say, climate change, schlimate-change. Suuure, the Earth is getting hotter. OK. The ice caps are melting! Let’s get real here, Santa Claus. Science has proven none of the proven science behind global warming. The sharks aren’t just munching on delicious, slightly sinewy but deliciously fat-marbled calf muscles because the ocean is getting warmer. That’s liberal kooky talk. Just ask my pastor.

Are children more at risk of shark attacks?

NatGeo says no, I say yes. Children are slower and weaker, but that’s not why they’re more at risk because grandparents are slow too, but they seem to be getting spared the tooth. Clearly the question we need to be asking is — are children simply more delicious? The signs point to yes.

How do I make my child less tasty?

I don’t have that answer.

What kinds of sharks attack humans?

They say tiger, bull, great white, mako, nurse, black tip, white tip, lemon and spinner sharks. I say, the ones that came from a broken home. Dad-shark wasn’t around. Mom-shark was there, but she was out night after night cruising the piers for chum. Child-shark was left to fend for himself. Got caught up in a bad crowd (or school, if you must.) Basically, it’s a vicious cycle that ends with Lil’ Jack missing a hand.

Why do sharks attack people?

They say most unprovoked attacks are when sharks confuse people with normal prey. I think most attacks are sharks looking to get famous. Maim a few innocent vacationers, all of sudden you got a front page spread in WaPo. Can’t say I blame ’em.

What should I do if a shark starts attacking me?

National Geographic suggest hitting it in the nose. I suggest choosing the largest one and becoming its bitch. He or she will protect you in exchange for your servitude. And seriously, punching a shark? Who are you, Bear Grylls?

How do I reduce the odds of an attack?

They say avoid swimming in known shark nursery areas. Also avoid swimming with open wounds or shiny objects, and don’t go too far from shore or out alone. Well, if I get shot while I’m wearing my gold chains, I’ll try not to stumble into a Shark La Petite, but meanwhile, here in the real world, the best thing you can do is stop swimming in the ocean. Give up. It’s over. They win. We tried our hardest to overfish and pollute the crap out of it, but in the end, the ocean remains in the hands of sharks — if they had hands, of course. S

Jack Lauterback also is co-host of “Mornings with Melissa and Jack” on 103.7 Play weekdays from 6-9. Connect with him at letters@styleweekly.com, or on Twitter at @jackgoesforth.




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