Funny: What If the Shark From “Jaws” Kept a Diary?

Don't go in the water. It's mostly just his tears.

shark illustration
Steve Wacksman for Reader’s Digest

April 7: So this is the journal I’m supposed to be writing, as prescribed by my latest therapist. I hope it helps, but I have to be honest, I doubt it will. I WANT TO STOP EATING EVERYONE! That’s it! That’s all I want! I’ve been through, what, five therapists? And I’ve eaten three of them. I can’t form any meaningful relationships with anyone, because sooner or later, CHOMP. It’s got to stop. I’m nervous because summer is coming up. Maybe this summer will be different.

May 2: This summer will be different. THIS SUMMER MUST BE DIFFERENT!

May 12: How could the summer be different? I’m a SHARK. A GREAT WHITE SHARK. A nonstop killing machine! NO! No. I am in control here. Biology is not destiny. I have to think positively. I can be any nonstop machine I want to be. A nonstop caring machine. A nonstop nurturing machine.

May 31: Tourists are showing up. I ate kelp and seaweed today. I’ve read, like, three books this week just to keep my mind off things. Jacqueline Susann. Better than I expected.

June 14: OK. Deep breath. I’m ashamed to even be writing this. But I fell off the wagon BIG TIME. It was night, and I was swimming around (I don’t sleep), and I thought everything would be fine because what human would be out in the ocean at night? Then this lady shows up swimming around. Naked! I see that, and I’m thinking, No nylon swimsuits, no goggles to deal with, just dinner. I was so disgusted with myself that I couldn’t even eat all of her.

June 23: Guilt does funny things to a shark. When I feel guilty about something (like, oh, EATING A WOMAN!), I start to hate myself. When I start to hate myself, I engage in self-destructive behavior.

June 26: There’s no doubt about it: I’m spiraling. Almost sank a boat today. Ate the captain. Most of him, anyway. Started innocently enough. I saw the boat out there on the water, and I remembered what I’d read in a self-help book: “Use your tongue instead of your teeth.” I figured I could swim up and talk to the guy about my issues. Then, before I know it, he’s whapping me on the nose, which is NOT COOL, and one thing led to another … I need to remember that it’s not enough to want to reach people. I have to understand how I’m coming across to them as well.

July 4: Ate another dude. Maybe I was still mad at the boat captain. Or mad at my mother who birthed me and then just swam away. Or mad at myself.

July 7: They’re coming for me. I see their boat. Looks like there’s an old sea captain, a sort of wild-eyed young researcher, and Roy Scheider on it. I’m going to them. One way or another, we’re going to end this thing.

(Journal ends)

Read more pop-culture correspondences in John Moe’s book, Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth.

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John Moe
John Moe is a writer, a reporter, and the host of American Public Media's Wits.