Shark Baiting


“Oh, thank goodness you’re alright,” my mum said as she gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. “I didn’t want to say anything, but you had me really worried.”

We were standing in the customer area at the branch where I work. I took a moment to take in what she’d just said and the genuinely relieved look on her face.

“What are you talking about?” I asked her.

“The shark thing. It’s done now,” she said. “I don’t know why you would ever want to get into the water with those horrible fish. But it’s over and I’m glad.”

“Umm…I’m not due to step into the shark tank until next Monday, Mum.”

I’ve been pondering the stupidity of what I’ve agreed to do. Seriously, I watch documentaries where divers are sharing a reef with sharks and I think, ‘idiots’.

So why is a guy who can’t take a fish off a hook because of some fish touching phobia he doesn’t even know the name of swimming with sharks? I am wondering myself. Near as I can figure it’s because I’m cheap and the Red Balloon people offered it to me for free.

Since agreeing to do it I’ve been trying to mentally prepare myself for the experience. I woke up recently and thought, ‘Let’s imagine today is the day. This is it. I’m going to get up and drive down the Coast and change into a wet suit and step into a tank where there are sharks…’

I stopped imagining at this point because I reckon I could feel my blood pressure rising. I was clammy and my heart was thumping against the inside of my rib cage.

And I knew I was only pretending!!

Tracey, of course, has been a fantastic support.

“Hey, Sharkbait!” she’s been eagerly calling out at every opportunity, “you’re looking a little pale around the gills.”

“I’m not worried,” I keep telling her. “They prefer seals to humans, and apparently they can tell the difference.”

“Except in a wet suit you’ll look more like a walrus.”

“These aren’t sharks swimming around an ocean trying to catch their dinner,” I told her. “They’re really well fed sharks.”

“They will be after you go swimming.”

She’s really putting my mind at ease.

But as worried as I am, it does seem there’s one person who’s even more worried than me.

“Next Monday,” sighed Mum. Then she whacked me on the chest. “Don’t you like your life? What is it with you kids doing these stupid things! Well, I’ll come back and check you’re still alive next week!”

And then she marched out of the branch.

So I guess she’ll be in again next Tuesday to check on her No. 1 Son and make sure he isn’t legless at work. I’d love to see her face after she walks in though – I’m on holidays next week so I won’t be there 🙂

Tracey isn’t the only one who can have fun with this 😉 I just hope I’m still laughing come next Tuesday.


Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his Big Family Little Income Facebook Page

 ”Raising a family on little more than laughs.”

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