Look, puny humans, I get that you think you’re pretty special, what with your THUMBS and your OXYGEN and your NETFLIX and all. And I understand that you have this competition you call “the Olympics,” where the more athletically minded of your lot race against each other in cute little games. We sharks find the one you call “synchronized swimming” especially entertaining. To us, it looks like an all-you-can-eat buffet .
But face it, your wimpy Olympians are nothing compared to we great white sharks. That’s why I was quick to be the shark who volunteered to race Michael Phelps in the upcoming Discovery Channel Shark Week program, “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs Great White.” (Airs 8 p.m. ET, July 23, in case you want to tune in and cheer me on.)
Here’s the description from the channel: “They are one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet: Sharks. He is our greatest champion to ever get in the water: Michael Phelps. 39 world records. 23 Olympic golds. But he has one competition left to win. An event so monumental no one has ever attempted it before. The world’s most decorated athlete takes on the ocean’s most efficient predator: Phelps Vs Shark – The race is on!”
Oh, nice of them to try and butter me up, but really, buy a thesaurus. You called me “fastest” once and “efficient” twice. Efficient? What am I, some Six Sigma management consultant you brought in to help marketing achieve maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort? I’m a shark, dammit! Here’s a bunch of better adjectives for me: Deadly. Murderous. Pitiless. Unforgiving. Dangerous. Kickass. Kick-fin. I’ll show you “efficient.”
Even the show’s title is kind of insulting, frankly. Mister “39 World Records” gets his name right there in the title, but I’m just called “Shark.” (It’s “Bruce,” by the way. Named after my dad, whom you might know from a certain Steven Spielberg movie.) My agent’s going to have a word with the Discovery Channel’s lawyers about that — and they better pay up, because he’s a real shark.
It’s real cute, too, how they don’t go into a lot of detail about how this race was set up. I mean, are they setting us both down at a starting block and putting chum and Cheetos at the finish line? Is Phelps in the lane next to me, or in some pool elsewhere while they just time us both? Is he racing me from a mobile cage? How do they plan to get me to go all-out? Hint: Make a game of it. I call it, “swallow the leader.”
Phelps seems pretty proud of himself, recently sharing an Instagram photo captioned: “I was able to do something that I had always wanted to do. Be in a cage and dive with great white sharks, #bucketlist.” Yeah, “bucketlist,” as in “you’re gonna end up in a bucket, buddy.” Um, sorry, I got ahead of myself.
I’m sure your Phelps thinks he can beat me. He thinks water is his ally. But he merely adopted the water. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the land until — well, I’m not sure I’ve ever really seen the land, because how would I get around on it? This metaphor is kind of falling apart, sorry.
But you get the point: Phelps is simply a land shark, and he’s gonna need a bigger boat.
Just keep swimming,
Bruce the Shark
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