Anybody that has spent any time with me knows that I am not a fan of nature. Not the views and such, I can sit and take in the beauty of nature all day long . . . from a patio. When you stick me in nature, sans patio, I become the whiny camper. Okay, in Colorado I was known as the whiny camper, here in LA I’ve been called outdoorsy. That’s because I am fine with the outdoors as long as all conditions are perfect, and my exposure is limited. As long as I’m not too cold or too hot, as long as I don’t see a snake or get something gross on me, as long as my food doesn’t wind up with a bunch of dirt/sand in it, and I don’t get blisters on my feet . . . you get the idea. I’m the whiny camper.
Therefore, I tend to stay out of the wild and all involved are happy. This attitude toward nature strikes many as strange, since I grew up in the wilderness. In school we learned how to make snow caves and what to do should you run into a bear or a mountain lion. I wore bright orange while playing outside during hunting season. Tick checks were an almost daily occurrence during the summer. I was inundated with nature. So you would think I would be a bit more comfortable in it. The thing is, I know quite a bit about nature, therefore, I also know what lives in nature.
As a human being, I enjoy my placement at the top of the food chain. It’s comfy up there, I like the view. The cows and chickens and carrots are all below me and I can find them nicely packaged for me at the grocery store. Life is good. It makes sense. But the second that I go out into nature, I am no longer at the top. Bears, lions, alligators, sharks, etc are all most definitely above me in the food chain should they wish it to be so. I am not really cool with that. I have nothing against them, per se, and believe that they should be allowed to live and let live. However, as animals don’t always agree with me on the “let live” part of the equation, I choose to stay out of their habitat. After events earlier this week, I feel even more justified in my decision.
Like most of the world, I have become obsessed with watching the footage of that Australian surfer, Mick Fanning, being attacked by the great white shark. It is beyond amazing that he was able to escape completely unscathed, and it is beyond brave that fellow surfer Julian Wilson swam toward the attack to help, instead of heading to shore like Fanning was screaming for him to do. If I had been Wilson I probably would have turned into a cartoon character and run so fast that I ran across the top of the water with my legs rotating like pinwheels. (I tend to instantly levitate onto whatever is nearest me when I see a snake, so I feel that this is totally possible.) Despite the bravery, heroics and fast action by the water rescue folks, I am left with one lingering feeling every time I watch that footage: THAT IS WHY YOU STAY OUT OF THE WATER!!!
Seriously! Stay out of the water, there are things in there that will eat you! I know the odds are incredibly low. I’ve seen all of the statistics and I even follow Mary Lee the Great White on Twitter. I know that sharks rarely hunt humans on purpose, but I’m sorry, have you seen this graphic?
Forget the shark, if I take my glasses off, I can’t tell the difference between those three! Therefore, if you need me, I will be sitting on a patio, sipping a fruity cocktail and feeling completely justified in being the whiny camper.