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Oct 31

Expecting another email from Mom

As soon as I heard that a surfer had been killed by a great white shark in Lompoc last week, I said, “Well, I guess I’ll be hearing from my mom soon.”

Because she does follow the news. And even when there isn’t news of a shark-induced fatality 40-50 miles away, she tells me I shouldn’t be surfing. And, sure enough, the day after the attack, I got an email from my mom, saying she’d read the news.

“I wish you could find another sport,” she wrote.

Well, I do play basketball, I told her. And I could just as easily keel over and croak of a heart attack while playing hoops. (I realize, of course, that this blog entry will be wickedly ironic if I get mauled by a shark or I drop dead while playing basketball.)

But now there’s been a second shark attack off the coast of California in two weeks — and I’m starting to think my odds are better at basketball.

This one occurred in Northern California, generally viewed as a pretty sharky place. And, again, a great white was the culprit. And yet again a surfer was the victim.

Fortunately, this surfer lived, which is hard to believe when you see the photo of his board, which looks even worse than the board (pictured above) ridden by Francisco Javier Solorio Jr., 39, of Orcutt, last week. (See video of Solorio’s memorial paddle-out here.)

But the fact that the Northern California surfer survived probably won’t be enough to dissuade my mother — or to make me feel any better about being in the water with giant predators.

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