'Swimming with Sharks" is a 1994 film about a young movie executive who kidnaps his abusive boss.
"Swimming with Sharks" is also what many of us do in the ocean.
That briny reality was reconfirmed Wednesday when a shark bit a 10-year-old boogie boarder at Folly Beach.
Though the lad needed stitches, he's OK.
And seafaring Post and Courier colleague Bo Petersen reassuringly reported on Thursday's front page: "Sharks are abundant on the Lowcountry coast. But few people ever get nipped."
Then again, lots of us have seen lots more sharks in these parts over the last few years - and not just at the beach. My sightings include a five-footer lurking near the Pitt Street Bridge in Mount Pleasant at high tide several seeks ago.
That was just several weeks after my sighting of two manatees cavorting in the marsh at the same site.
And as telegenic Post and Courier colleague Warren Peper wrote in his "I'm Just Sayin' " column in Friday's People section, "I don't remember ever seeing so many dead armadillos on the side of the road as I have this year."
Plus, many of us don't remember seeing so many wild things coming around, and even getting inside, local houses (see tomorrow's Home & Real Estate front page for more on that invasive menace).
Meanwhile, news-hound colleague Prentiss Findlay reported Wednesday that Midnite, a "community cat" in a Mount pleasant neighborhood, was apparently killed by a coyote, judging from gruesome evidence.
That sad story sparked a traumatic flashback of my own neighborhood encounter with a coyote in April - around midnight.
Nature strikes back
How to explain such seemingly unnatural - or is that natural? - phenomena?
Ponder this TV journalist's report about a storm roaring from sea toward shore: "Global warming is the reason for this unprecedented event."
OK, so that wasn't a real storm. It was the mega-hurricane that rains sea creatures down on Los Angeles in "Sharknado," a TV movie sensation released last year on the Sci-Fi Channel.
OK, so most folks dismiss that thrill ride from director Anthony C. Ferrante, and his even better "Sharknado 2," which premiered on Sci-Fi last week, as far-fetched.
Hey, that snake in my dining room last month was far-fetched, too.
Back to "Sharknado 2," which will be shown on Aug. 21 at the Regal Charles Towne Square Stadium 18 theater:
Former surfing champ Fin Shepard (played by Ian Ziering, charming rogue Steve Sanders on "Beverly Hills 90210") is again fighting tornado-strewn sharks on not-always-dry land. New York has replaced the original's Los Angeles setting in this man-vs.-fierce-fish sequel.
Thus, Fin must go against the tide to obtain a firearms and chainsaws arsenal: The Big Apple severely restricts legal possession of the former and has a low marketplace demand for the latter.
If you haven't seen either film, you might think chainsaws should be limited to starring-weapon roles in movies about human-on-human carnage.
Yet without one, Fin would never have seen - make that sawed - his way out of the great white that swallowed him in "Sharknado."
Celebrity cameos provide comic relief from the gore-gushing "Sharknado 2" suspense: Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan and Subway pitchman Jared Fogle appear as their TV personality selves. Judd Hirsch (Alex Rieger on the 1978-83 TV series "Taxi") is also typecast as a cab driver.
Chumming for revenge
Yet as the sharks, bullets and chainsaws fly, profound puzzles surface about our proper place on this planet.
After all, we're animals, too. So our evolving conflicts with beasts of the field, denizens of the deep and each other trigger elemental - even existential - concerns.
And with "Sharknado 2" casualties on both sides soaring, New York City's mayor (Robert Klein) gives Fin a huge chainsaw and tells him: "Thought you could use one of these - and we didn't have to go to Jersey to get it."
Fin then takes Manhattanites into a fired-up frenzy by shouting:
"I know you're scared. I'm scared, too. They're sharks, they're scary. No one wants to get eaten. But I've been eaten, and I'm here to tell ya, it takes a lot more than that to bring a good man down, and a lot more than that to bring a New Yorker down."
Then: "Let's go show them what it means to be a hero. Let's go show them what it means to be a New Yorker. Let's go kill some sharks!"
That last line is just what a bunch of us right here in Charleston said right after seeing "Jaws" in 1975.
Some of us even followed through on that bloodthirsty impulse induced by Steven Spielberg's first blockbuster.
But at least we didn't use chainsaws.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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