The original, 3-page short story version of


Copyright © 1980 by Roger M. Wilcox. All rights reserved.
(writing on this story began 5-December-1980)

The original draft was written on a mechanical typewriter, with no right margin. It was inspired by a particularly ridiculous scene in the movie Jaws 2, in which the titular shark jumps some 20 feet out of the water to bite a helicopter. All spellings, punctuation, capitalizations, etc. are as in the original.

You have been warned.

"Welcome to TMA airlines. We are flying at an altitude of approximately 75,425.33452 feet, at twice the speed of sound in this Boring SST. Now, we're flying over shark-infested waters in the North Pacific, but at this altitude and speed, I think you'll be safe."

Aha, but little did the stewardess know that swimming right below that definitely Boring SST was a fifty-foot long shark, would you believe it, a fifty-foot shark!? Well ... uh ... would you believe a forty-foot shark? Well, then, how about a school of angry trout???!? Well, it was a 50-foot shark, and it was eyeing the plane.

Suddenly, with the accompanyment of loud "*JAWS*" music, the big fish lept out of the Specific ocean straight into the air. It climbed higher and higher, ascending thousands of feet above the stratosphere. Suddenly, its "*JAWS*" latched onto the tail end of the SST, ripped it off, and sent the SST plunging toward the water at over twice the speed of sound. And loud sound, at that!

The SST just happened to hit the water in such a way that it split in half. The shark immediately swimmed over to the crash, and began consuming the SST's passengers. Even though nobody wanted to be et, only one person managed to escape the fury of the shark's "*JAWS*" — David Bowlegged.

Now it just so happened that David had a flare gun (he called it american xpress because he never left home without it) with five charges. He fired frantically as the shark was closing on him, but for the first few times no one noticed the flares. Finally, when he was down to his last flare, he fired it, and it was noticed. By the seventh fleet! Either he was incredibly lucky, or the idiot writer of this dumb story had to think of some stupid idea to get him out of there!!

The seventh fleet arrived at the scene faster than you could say "Oizehsglbg", and David Bowlegged was taken aboard one of their aircraft carriers. Afterwhich, the seventh fleet fleeted away as fast as they had come (in other words, not fast at all).

Unfortunately, the shark would not leave them in peace. It tailed them (to coin an expression) at a speed even faster than theirs (ie. over ten miles per hour). And once it caught up with them, it began to destroy their ships, row by row.

No matter how many times they fired at it, the shots either missed or had no effect, and before they had a chance to reload, their ship was eaten. Before long, every ship had been consumed, except the ship which contained David Bowlegged. This was fortunate, because not only did he have an empty flare gun, but also a briefcase containing "the plans" for the Shark Killer Laser. This was an ordinary gas laser, but instead of using helium or argon, it used shark repellent as its gaseous excitement substance.

Well, the ship finally made it to the California coast, and David hitchhiked inland. Little did he know that the shark wouldn't stop at the coastline; it zipped up onto the beach, and began eating everything in sight: the ship, the people, a few beach houses, sand, and the Malibu cliffs. He was eating his way inland!

When David Bowlegged discovered this, he was wowed (the plot quickens!!). It seemed that the shark was eating its way through California to the San Andreas fault, dragging the Specific ocean behind it. And if it ever hit the fault (unh!), all of North America would sink! (da-da-da-DAAAAAH). And I don't know of that many people who would like living in salt water (mixed in with a good amount of garbage).

David started constructing the Shark Killer Laser immediately. Since David was a professional clod, he broke about five gas tubes and seven exciting excitor flash tubes before he began to get them in place. The individual panels for the laser's sides cost him a monstrous 2 dollars and 35¼ cents a piece, but it was worth it.

Finally, it was ready to be plugged in. As was expected, the idiot had designed it for DC, and plugged it into an AC outlet. Naturally, it exploded, and David Bowlegged had to start all over again.

He had to move fast, and make as few mistakes as possible, so this time he only broke four gas tubes and six excitor flash tubes whilst in construction (it only needed one of each!). This time however, he designed the thing for AC like a good little clod.

Finally, the last nuts, bolts, panels, handles, firing buttons, and surgeon general's warnings were in place, and the laser was ready to be tested on a deadly sand shark. The results were good — the ten-inch long fish was dead. The only problem was that the laser had to be used in small, one-second charges, or it would melt.

Now it was time for his master plan to go into action. He'd fly over the shark in an SR-71, at three times the speed of sound (again, loud sound) and one hundred thousand feet altitude. When the shark made a flying jump for him, he'd fire at it, and hopefully score a direct hit (which is worth a free game). He hadn't much time to waste; it was less than an hour before the shark would hit the San Andreas fawlt.

David flew above the path of destruction in an SR-71, breathing nice clean 100,000 ft. altitude air with the cockpit open. Suddenly, he spotted the shark when it tried to "jump" him, and bite off the tail with its "*JAWS*". David aimed the laser, and fired. A hot shaft of bright blue light streaked out of the laser and hit the ground, travelling at the speed of light (of course). He had missed, but so had the shark to their tail.

Suddenly, the shark lept again. This time, David would have time for only one more shot. He aimed, and shouted, "Smile, you son of a biiilge!!!", afterwhich he fired.

The beam streaked toward it, right on course, and ...

IN "Shark II"

Author's notes from 2013:
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