As a boy, I loved to be outside. I’d wander around in my backyard, or in the woods when I went up north.
I loved animals. I’d spend most of my day reading about them. I was fascinated by my local fauna, watching squirrels and birds, and the the occasional stray cat. My biological discoveries would expand in the northern woods, watching rabbits and deer, hawks and coyotes.
When I was wasn’t outside, I could be found watching nature documentaries on television. PBS often had them, but my favorites were on the Discovery Channel, before the channel devolved into nothing but reality television.
The pinnacle of this was the first week in August, colloquially known as Shark Week. It was a week of nothing but shows and documentaries on these undersea beasts. It was one of my favorite weeks of the year, and really as child the only reason to look forward to August, as usually the month is a harbinger of the school year to come.
The only catch was that I didn’t have cable.
For a week, my mom would drop me of at my grandparents. Her and my grandma would go shopping and me and my grandpa would sit and watch shark shows for hours. The good ones. This was back when it was underwater footage and a dulcet tones of some British narrator. It was not the silly branded version they’ve done recently.
It was pretty great.
And it’s about as close to a shark as I want to get.