Pet Peeves


Bad Taste

By Mark Crantz
By Mark Crantz

I have to tell you after reading the Indy’s “More Sharks Offshore, But Don’t Panic,” I panicked. I got into my car and drove straight east. My wife talked me out of my panic attack around Barstow. Of course, Barstow’s ambience assisted. I came back to my senses and returned to Laguna.  It was a relief to see the village entrance, again.

White shark numbers are rising because in 1994 California residents voted to recognize and put them at the top of the food chain. Consequently, there are bans on commercial, sport and net fishing.  Sharks flourished and thanked California voters by eating them.

But don’t panic says marine life experts, who share their findings never further west than the Lumberyard restaurant. “We’re not afraid to go another couple blocks to the beach. Sharks aren’t hunting us. We’re not on their menu,” a marine expert pointed out with his missing appendage. “Sorry. I still think my pointer finger is there.  But please understand a shark didn’t do it.  My brother did.  I don’t blame him.  It was the Great Depression.  There was little food.  He was hungry.”

Since 2000 there have been 103 documented shark attacks.  The undocumented attacks are sent back to Mexico, where there has been poor record keeping.  “Has anyone seen Pedro?” asked the captitan de la policia.  Silence.  “Well, keep looking.   Before his swim to America, he said I had his vote.   We’ll count it.”

Experts advise,  “Don’t panic, but take precautions.  Never swim alone.  Use the buddy system.“  That’s where you find a friend, who is really not a friend and is a slower swimmer than you. Safety first. You can Facebook de-friend later to keep up appearances.   Also, be sure to provide cheap and shiny jewelry for your buddy swimmer.  Sharks like cheap and shiny jewelry and guarantees a short relationship with your pretend buddy.  Always do buddy break ups in open waters so your buddy can be seen and documented by eyewitnesses and not sent back to Mexico.

“Great white sharks are not cold blooded killers,” explained a marine life expert. I decided to get a second opinion.  I asked a Folsom death row inmate convicted of murder.  He said, “Takes one to know one.  Come closer and I’ll show you.” Of course, I didn’t.  But instead, I made a hasty retreat into the communal bosom of lower Park Plaza. Now safely ensconced beside exempt parking meters, I take a reflective moment to wonder does it really matter if great whites are warm blooded and ingesting you is just a crime of passion.  Dead is dead, right?

Well…village reader buddies when polled and asked if anyone had heard from Crantz after his swim said, “A great white shark ate him, spit him out for bad taste and refused to read his column again.

Now that’s cold blooded.


Unfortunately for readers, Crantz managed to wash up at the Lumberyard asking management if his costume jewelry had been found and returned.



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