When You See A Shark Someplace Like This, There Is Only One Explanation: Sharknado

trail shark

Despite what Jimmy Buffett tells you, sharks cannot swim on land.

GateHouse — Little do you all know it, but two years ago I came across the very aftermath of a sharknado.

At the time, I considered it no great shakes. I live on a resort island in South Carolina, a sleepy, mild-mannered community filled with retired people, golfers and retired golfers, as well as a great deal of Darius Rucker fans, shrimp experts and people who I really do not need to ask about their thoughts on this Zimmerman thing.

So my sharknado episode came and went and I paid it little mind. Because, I figured, if a sharknado could happen here on this isolated, tucked-away spot filled with birdies and senior discounts and sort-of country music fans, it can’t be that novel, can it? If verified photographic evidence of a legit sharknado happening here on our shores was real, wouldn’t someone from the newspaper have at least tweeted me about it?

Today, of course, sharknadoes are big deals that everyone gets all worked up about, because of some basic cable movie starring, if I’m reading this correctly, a rehab clinic filled with actors who you would have heard of in 1995 if you only watched movies while drunk or trying to sleep on the floor at 5:30 a.m. It also occurs to me that I’m not sure if it should be “sharknados” or “sharknadoes,” so if someone could pitch in on the grammar for me I’d appreciate it.


Superior in all respects.

Now, before we go further, I HAVE NOT SEEN “SHARKNADO,” so if you guys could not spoil it for me, that’d be aces. I DVR all animal-nado movies for the plotlines — the ‘nados are really just secondary to those of us true aficionados — so let’s not have anyone running their mouth about whether the shark, or the tornado, dies at the end. I plan to watch it as soon as the baby gets to sleep tonight, or, failing that, until I can wait no longer and decide that it’s never too early for children to learn that the world is a dangerous place that will, occasionally, throw sharks at you from tornadoes. I wish someone had told me that earlier, I’ll tell you that much. I might still have that puppy.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering, if you’re still reading for some reason, about my sharknado experience, so let me not keep you in suspense any longer: It was two years ago, and I was out on a picturesque bike ride along some trails on the south end of the island, trails that, I must point out, aren’t anywhere near the ocean. Well, OK, I mean it’s an island so everything’s technically “near” the ocean, but in that context we weren’t that near-near the ocean. We were miles away, on an inland trail, my brother, my 7-year-old son and I, when our almost unbearably vacation-y ride was halted by the discovery of something quite unusual in the middle of the trail: A four-foot shark. Just sitting there, not gross or displeasing enough to have been there for a very long time, but long enough to be quite dead.

How it got there, we have no idea. We stopped for a long time, obviously, trying to wrap our heads around the inexplicable situation before us and invent a reasonable theory and explain to my melted-brain 7-year-old why everything he previously knew about sharks was apparently wrong. (Have you ever seen a 7-year-old try to process visual stimuli that make zero sense? Poor kid kept looking at his primary male role model like “NEXT YOU’RE GOING TO TELL ME CIRCLES ARE SQUARES AREN’T YOU?”)

Yet we came up with nothing. So how does a four-foot bonnethead shark get to a shaded bike trail a mile from the ocean? There can only truly be one answer; eliminate the impossible and whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. So we basically eliminated everything but a sharknado. Next time it happens I’m writing a screenplay about it.





About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

16 responses to “When You See A Shark Someplace Like This, There Is Only One Explanation: Sharknado

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