Today marks the fortieth anniversary of Peter Buckwad's bestselling novel, Vampire Shark! In truth, the novel might not be remembered today if not for the blockbuster movie adaptation, but we're celebrating the book anyway. The movie's popularity was the cause of the anti-shark hysteria that gripped the world in the mid-seventies and eventually led to the complete extinction of all shark life on this planet. Buckwad attempted to atone for this error by writing a children's book, The Nice Little Shark That Didn't Want to Eat Anybody, but it was too late. Buckwad drowned himself in Lake Nantucket just days after the premiere of his National Geographic TV special You Can Stop Killing All Those Sharks Now, They're Really Not All That Bad.
Without further ado, we present this excerpt:
On the stern of the ship, Hopper and Sheriff Buddy were having another argument. "You know what you can do with all your fancy biology, Hopper?" the lawman asked. "You can shove it up your ass! That's right, I said shove it!"
"All your mundane arguments won't deter me. If I can save just one porpoise from extinction today, then I've done my job."
"Porpoises, hell! Who cares about a silly little porpoise? Shove your porpoises up your ass!"
Captain Macho returned. "When you two college pansies get done with your lovers' quarrel, we need to cut up some more chum to use as shark bait. Don't forget, we're here to catch sharks."
A look of seriousness fell over Hopper's face. "He's right, you know. We've got to stop the vampire shark before it's too late."
"What's the big deal about this vampire shark?" Buddy asked. "What makes it so much different from other sharks?"
"Other sharks eat their victims. But the vampire shark is different. He merely bites his victims. If his aim is good, he only has to do it once. One single bite right on the jugular vein. His victims, once they return to land, become zombies."
"So what? Zombies, big deal. We'll blow thir heads off with a shotgun."
"I don't think you appreciate the mathematical possibilites here. Once a zombie comes on land, he bites one other person. This person, in turn bites another. The statistics are staggering. In only three years we could be facing the extinction of all life on this planet."
"All of it?"
"All but one thing. The vampire shark, of course."
A hushed silence fell upon the three men as Buddy considered the scientist's grim words. Suddenly, the captain spoke up. "Aye, he's right. I seen me one of these vampire sharks one time. In the Mediterranean, in the midst of the Spanish Civil War. Shoved a stake in his heart, we did. Took four men to do it, and he squirmed the whole time, makin' an awful dyin' sound. I've drunk many a quart of gin tryin' to forget that sound, yet sometimes I wake in the night with it ringin' in me ears."
"My God," the sheriff said, "I could really use a beer." In the distance, the eerie howl of whales could be heard.