Equally scary and rude.
The beaches are closed, the world cancelled, surf breaks policed, Ministry of Health gestapo jackbooting through parks, public squares, shopping center common areas swinging six-foot long billy clubs and smirking. Those not smacked in the head are severely vibed by neighbors in full protective gear for daring, daring to asymptomatically shower the world with their likely Coronavirus infection.
But where is a man supposed to take his pregnant fiancée for a little space? A little fresh air and responsible social distance?
If that man and his pregnant fiancée live in Western Australia, near the famed Margaret River etc. then out fishing on a ski. Far from others. Catching a dinner that has not been coughed upon at the grocery store.
And that is where we find Simon Tien, forty, a paramedic at a mining site in north-west WA, five hundred clicks inland from Exmouth, and his pregnant fiancée. Simon does one week on, one week off, although in the apocalypse it’s now two weeks on two weeks off. Nightshift worker, deals with medical emergences etc.
They’ve been doing a lot of fishing lately because the surf has been so crowded.
So, they’re fishing off the back of the ski and caught a big two-foot King George Whiting. “Unhead of down here,” Simon says and a queen snapper. Just before sunset his girl hooks a big jewfish.
A Prize sorta fish.
She’s fighting the thing until exhaustion at which point Simon takes over, eventually pulls it in and…
…just a head.
A menacing calm fills the air. Silent. Even the various Coronaviruses hovering about are still. Frightened.
Then the shark appears as if a sick joke. A violent prank.
Initially, Simon doesn’t know if it’s a juvenile White or a big Mako. It’s eight feet long, has the white belly etc.
“Same markings. But it was stealth,” Simon says.
It swings back around and tries to bite Simon on the foot, which is resting in the ski’s gunwale, then has a go at biting the transom of the ski. Really digging in with all its vicious, exceptionally depraved might.
At which point Simon hammers the throttle and makes a run toward the shore.
“It was an adrenaline rush with a pregnant fiancee,” Simon says. “It had big eyes and it came straight out of the water. I thought, fucken hell, is this thing going to get us? One of those crazy situations.”
Classic Australians. The sort you’d be lucky to share the apocalypse with.
“We both though it was pretty fucken good.”
Simon says he’ll use a sled off the back of the ski to put a bit of distance between him and the next shark.