Eulogy For The Subway Shark

The saddest thing about the New York subway on the Internet yesterday was not, as you may choose to believe, this insipid conceptual missed connection ad on Craigslist. In fact, it wasn’t even the dumb comments about that thing by readers who took it literally. The saddest thing, let’s admit, was the discovery in the wee hours of the morning of a dead little shark on the Queens-bound N train.

The unexplained corpse of the adorable shark, who deserved a dignified death at sea and not in the foul fluorescence of a subway car, was instantly the butt of jokes about Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” the quickest route to the Coney Island Aquarium, etc. And the MTA, when confronted with photos of the shark posed with a cigarette, can of Red Bull, and MetroCard, said they had “better things to do” than figure out who was responsible. We can only hope the guy gets a skin disease normally found only in sharks.
 
Really, people of New York—are you so cold as to turn this into a Weekend at Bernie’s gag? That shark had parents, and probably a whole big shark family, and could have been due back for some big, delicious, home-killed meal when he suddenly expired. I don’t seem to recall everyone laughing when that dolphin died in the Gowanus Canal, do you? Oh, that’s different, you’ll say. That was a mammal, an intelligent mammal. Is that so? Then what was he doing in Brooklyn?
 
It didn’t have to be like this for the Subway Shark. In another universe, he’s still wriggling about in the sands of Breezy Point. Or cruising around the enormous saltwater fishtank of a successful cocaine dealer. Or was prepared with arugula and mango salsa at an overpriced restaurant, and thoroughly enjoyed by the beautiful couple out celebrating their 14th anniversary—the shark anniversary.
 
Godspeed, you cunning bottom-feeder. As a martyr for your species, you will no doubt ascend to Shark Heaven, where the water is endlessly clear and blue, the seals fat and slow. A place where, if you feel like it, you can stop moving every once in a while—though I have a feeling you’ll want to do some exploring. Up in Shark Heaven, there are no obnoxious surfers, and no one’s even heard of Roy Schieder. Even the blood smells better there. Enjoy, buddy. You’ve earned it.

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