Of Mice, Men and Sharks
Every once in awhile my favourite newspaper comes out with some news that makes me sit-up and wonder. Recently there was this story about how men are so similar to sharks. This similarity can apparently be traced back some 300 million years.
Being a simpleton in these matters, I tried to visualise any similarities. Sharks have fins, we don’t. We have feet, they don’t. They have tails, we don’t. They live in water, we live on land. We sleep once every 24 hours but sharks, like Satan, never sleep.
So I went to see my friend who is a marine biologist at G.U. and works part-time at the N.I.O. I showed him the article which he read. He pushed back his chair and started filling his pipe with tobacco. It’s as if he were suggesting, ‘put that in your pipe and smoke it’.
He said, “This is not my speciality so I will take you to Dr. Physical Anthropologist who will be able to compare all the fine points of similarity.” So to another office where I confronted another Ph.D. who was busy polishing her finger and toe nails. She read the article and said, “I can assure you there is no physical similarity between a shark and men.” However, she took me to the H.O.D. of psychology who is doing post-doctoral work on the animalistic behaviour of men.
As the H.O.D. put finishing touches to her make-up, she told me she had read the article. Apparently the similarity exists only in the brain as she said, “You must not look for physical similarities. It is the mental state that I find similar.” She continued, “Both sharks and men are predators – ask any woman. So you have loan-sharks, gambling-sharks, mining sharks and builder-sharks. Look at the political sharks in our parliament and legislative assemblies.”
“There is a minority that does not fall into this category. These are the 10% or so of men who have evolved to the point where their brains are slightly bigger than that of sharks. These are the mice in the I.P.H.B.”