Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Timeo danaos et dona ferentes

Jacques Cousteau’s grandson, Fabien, is following in his illustrious forebear’s flippers by building a shark-shaped submarine. By means of this ingenious device he will get closer to his toothy subjects than ever before, without altering their natural behaviour in such circumstances: ie, to immediately rip him limb from limb and swallow the still twitching chunks whole.

We await with interest the first time he uses the thing during mating season, whereupon death might suddenly lose its sting.

His interviewers are too polite to ask whether he has tested his shark sub on unsuspecting swimmers. This would present an almost irresistable temptation for any normal human, but marine scientists are obviously made of sterner and more disciplined stuff. Also M. Cousteau is French, and so a bit lacking re sense of humour.

Instead he is wholly devoted to far worthier aims. Through close and dispassionate study, he hopes to dispel the popular image of Great Whites as “bloodthirsty serial killers”. “Fewer than 12 people a year are killed by whites. We shouldn't demonise them so much” he opines. Will he then discard his submarine subterfuge to frolic openly with these gentle denizens of the deep? No.

The dozen people killed and eaten by Great Whites in the last twelve months were not available for comment.


Young Cousteau and his remarkable disguise yesterday. Proof if it were needed that the only way to avoid ending up inside a shark is to already be in one.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jeune Cousteau fils can stand to learn from other people who used to labour under similarly misguided notions:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/142982_bearattack08.html

Too bad they didn't live to tell us how urbane and soft-spoken grizzly bears really are, thus curing us all of obscurantist prejudices lacking all foundation.

--Desargues

Gorilla Bananas said...

Well, he's not the first human to be irresistably drawn to danger, and what he's doing is a lot more interesting for the spectator than climbing mountains or ascending in hot-air balloons. My immediate thought on hearing of such adventures is always: Is there a woman he is trying to impress?

Ivan the Terrible said...

Hi Des - interesting link, thanks. Might make something of it in a day or two. It certainly does seem to be a widespread phenomenon, but we really shouldn't be surprised when we look at some of the psychos people vote for. We should be grateful that sharks and bears can't run for office...

Hi GB - I sincerely hope there's a female involved. The idea that he might be floating around in the middle of a pack of remorseless killing machines out of mere intellectual curiosity is far more disturbing, if you ask me.

Aunty Marianne said...

Don't be scared, Ivan. He IS French, not Greek, and just because he's presenting his Shark Suit it doesn't mean it's a present.

Doesn't look that solid to me. Be a bit sad if Old Man Cousteau lost both sons to the sea.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Hi Aunty - it's not a present, but it is vaguely trojan horsey. A fairly high perfidity quotient can be said to apply, anyway.

And no, it's not terribly robust-looking, is it? And sharks are prone to attacking each other as well as potential meals, on account of their being, well, you know, vicious and remorseless killing machines. Some people just won't take a hint from Mother Nature...

PI said...

Rather than trying to impress a woman I would guess he's trying to emulate or out-do his father. Boys!

Anonymous said...

I am one of his women friends and he has other things that are far more impressive let me tell ya. And yes he can laugh at himself.

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