Shark: Honestly, I think it was kind of bullshit. Every week should be Shark Week. We were here first, you know?
LM: That is unfair. Speaking of which, how do you feel about being one of the oldest vertebrate species on the planet?
S: I prefer “most classic“ species. We’re like the Chanel suit of cartilaginous fishes.
LM: Aah, Chanel! I take it you like fashion.
S: I mean, I like it, there’s just not a lot of time to think about it, between the hunting, and the killing, and the cruising. It’s not like “oh, what row of teeth am I going to wear today?” or anything.
LM: What is your major beauty concern, then?
S: Body image. There are definitely times when I think, god, I look like such a whale shark today. For the most part, though, I just eat a lot of lean meat, stay on top of my exercise. It helps when you have to keep swimming or else die.
LM: I’m sure! Maybe you can market that.
S: Yeah, the Shark Diet! Sharks Don’t Get Fat. Skinny … Shark? I don’t know.
LM: Is there any pressure on you to measure up to shark role models?
S: Definitely the megalodon. Everyone’s all, “it had such massive jaws, it was fifty feet long, blah blah blah.” You start to feel bad about yourself. It’s a “my bite force is so pathetic, why am I even alive?” kind of a thing.
LM: How do you cope with that?
S: Usually, I eat too many seals and then swim near some surfers until I start to feel scary again.
LM: Sounds therapeutic.
S: Oh, it really is. I love the sound of “Aahhh! Fuck! Get out of the water!” It’s like you guys with Enya or whatever.
LM: What about dating? What’s that like?
S: Parallel swimming, fin biting, nothing too complicated. Male sharks aren’t big on romance. But they do have two dicks, so there’s that.
LM: Really? Weird. Okay, let’s finish with an easy one. What’s your favorite movie? I bet it’s Jaws. It’s Jaws, right?
S: Ugh, everyone always thinks that. Actually, it’s Pride and Prejudice.
LM: Good to know! Thank you, shark, and hopefully we’ll see you next year.
S: Not if I see you first! Like, in the water. Aaahh!
Molly Kottemann is a scientist who lives and writes in Brooklyn. She knows that shark dicks are actually called “claspers”.