January 16, 2006

Don't Be a Bleeding Mammal: How to Avoid Shark Attacks

Last year I was vacationing in San Diego with my brother when we got into a big argument about whether we should take a dip in the lovely ocean after breakfast. Well, that was the surface content of the argument.

The subtext was much more primal and "family of origin" and sibling conflict type stuff. Plus, I was feeling whiney and uncooperative.

Fine, maybe I was a little hungover or lazy (if I can't remember which, was it probably both?), but I kept coming up with all of these elaborate reasons to stay dry. "I had a bagel for breakfast," I said. "The moon is in the seventh house." "They spotted sharks just off the coast yesterday morning."

And then I hit on the bullseye. "I'm on my period," I said. (Was I? I don't really remember.) "So what?" He said. "So that makes me a bleeding mammal in the water, that's what. They'll think I'm a hurt baby seal and come in for the kill." "You're out of your mind."

Don't swim with open cuts -- even a small amount of blood in the water can attract sharks from miles away. Some experts recommend that menstruating women also avoid swimming in the ocean.
Little sister ONE, big brother ZERO. (Oh, and also, shark ZERO.)

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