Monday, March 23, 2015

The Ocean Can Go Fuck Itself

Don't misunderstand me. I hope everything comes out OK for the world's oceans in the end. I really do. Lord knows they need all the help they can get, and I want nothing more than for the ocean to be clean, healthy, and pristine for countless generations to come.

But that doesn't mean the ocean doesn't scare the living shit out of me. So at least as far as my personal involvement with the ocean is concerned, the ocean can take a long walk off a short pier, go pound sand, jump off a bridge, and otherwise generally go fuck itself.

Today a friend dropped me off at the airport and she's going on a big scuba diving trip in a few weeks. In addition to knowing that I am unlikely ever to see her alive again, I also cannot imagine a punishment worse than being trapped on a bobbing, live-aboard dive boat in the middle of The Great Barrier Reef for four days, alternately vomiting from sea sicknesses and swimming for my life from aggressive sharks, highly venomous Australian box jelly fish (a.k.a. "sea wasps." Fucking SEA WASPS!!), barracudas, rip tides, propellers from other boats, razor sharp coral, rogue waves, electric eels, unforgiving tropical sun, and the countless other potentially fatal dangers that await human beings in the ocean.

See, when it comes right down to it, the ocean is no place for primates and therefore it's no place for people. Think about it. When is the last time you saw a chimpanzee in the ocean? Answer: NEVER. And chimps share 99% of our DNA. Is the missing 1% the part that makes people do stupid shit like jump in the ocean? Chimps have been around a lot longer than people (I think) and they are definitely on to something with never going in the ocean. So the ocean is no place for people, or at the very least, it is no place for neurotic people like me.

No, the ocean is no place for a neurotic person to stick their face into a tube or a regulator or whatever the hell it's called and hyperventilate into it for a couple of hours while relying on an unreliable source of oxygen.

It's no place to absorb the beauty, magic, and majesty of an underwater kingdom you could just as easily enjoy from the relative comfort and safety of, oh, I don't know, let's see, a FUCKING AQUARIUM, maybe, without having to risk a nitrogen bubble in your bloodstream that will travel to your lungs and kill you within ten seconds of surfacing.

Nor is the ocean a place for a neurotic person to stand up on a piece of wood or fiberglass and paddle into an oncoming wave the size of a house that will churn you around like a pair of jeans in a washing machine and pound your body into a bloody pulp--and that's only if a shark doesn't mistake you for a stellar sea lion first.

No thanks. I prefer my ocean viewed from the beach, a window, or better yet, a postcard. And if I do set foot in the ocean, it is only in the shallowest and calmest of clear waters where I can easily see what might be biting or stinging me and can quickly yelp and run away from it, back to my towel and Jodi Picoult novel before I am swept away forever into the gaping maw of some enormous prehistoric vertebrate stalking the shores.

And that, my friends, is why the ocean can go fuck itself.

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