Just when you think you’ve heard it all, you hear one more thing. Last week, a story surfaced about a shark being found with a couple of pounds of cocaine in it. My first reaction was anxiety. As someone who generally has a black cloud hovering just above my head, I fully expected that some day, I would be attacked by this shark. See, it wouldn’t be bad enough to endure a normal shark attack, surmounting the incredible odds that one must overcome just to be part of that event, but I would be the guy who got attacked by a shark ripped on “coke”. How unlucky do you have to be to encounter a shark that was grinding his teeth ten minutes before he got to your torso? Imagine the humiliation of being eaten by a shark that won’t shut up. Think Gary Busey with a Dorsal fin.
Then, as the story developed, it turns out that it was a frozen shark. Actually, a lot of frozen sharks, intercepted during their “shipment” to the frozen shark processing facility. I’m not sure if this is better, or worse, than the thought of live sharks being used as drug mules. It is still unclear, at this writing, whether or not the sharks were fished and killed expressly for use as cocaine containers, or they were a usual shipment, providing a double purpose on this particular trip. If you find yourself a little extra chatty and unable to sleep after your next shark filet, then we’ll figure this is an ongoing operation.
And if sharks are indeed being used as drug mules, does this serve as an evolutionary bookmark where mules will become violent, unpredictable man-eaters? Whereas up to this point, tried patience is usually the only hazard when dealing with mules, we could be in for a whole new breed of donkey.
Imagine the re-write for “Jaws”. Roy Scheider talking to the Mayor of Amityville. “Sir, you know this beach is not safe…” The Mayor, sleazy little man that he was, replies, ” all we need is for one person out here to yell ‘ Get out of the water, Mule!’, and our entire tourist season goes up in smoke”. The haunting “Jaws” theme begins to play, slowly at first, then quickening in pace, until you hear that dreadful “hee-haw” and you see the young swimmer go under.
More seriously, the fact that our demand for drugs continues to make every conceivable kind of shipment necessary, is the sad reality. Depressing, that we have to add dead fish and animals to the already disturbing list of shipment methods. It is one of many usually unremarkable footnotes to the trail of debris left on the journey to sate every American appetite.
It struck me, during the endless arguments about closing Guantanamo, that one of the premier arguments was that it was a stain on America’s record. That may be true, but it was a small coffee stain on a t-shirt compared to the oil spill that so many other cultural foibles represent. Our rampant drug consumption is one of the bigger stains, both illegal and prescription. We hear very little about that anymore. If only that one could be fixed by simply closing down a few buildings.
How about the still uncurtailed sexual exploitation of our children on the internet and otherwise? That’s not a stain on America? Our unbridled exploitation of women, young and old…not a black mark on our report card? Maybe the political and moral division of our population, which may soon lead to a scene not unlike that unfolding in Iran right now, maybe that, too, is a stain, or at least a pesky smudge.
You know, in the end, man-eating mules may be a merciful end for us. We don’t bat an eye at much of anything anymore. We’ll spend a week hashing out a late-night comedian making a disgraceful comment, but it is minutiae in the large scheme of things. Look, I just got done making fun of a bunch of dead sharks, but make no mistake, I am keenly aware that they may very well have had the last laugh, and he who laughs last, laughs loudest.