No one expects to be attacked by a shark. The chances of it happening are slimmer than the chances of getting struck by lightning. You also probably never expected that the principal of your high school would offer you a deal that he would allow you to graduate on time despite your poor grades IF and only IF you were somehow able to rise up the social ranks and be voted Prom King by your peers. I certainly didn’t expect either of those things, but I have lived through both of them.

One of them is completely possible if you understand the mindset of one of the ocean’s top predators, but the other is simply impossible and stupid because if you’re not on the football team, no one is going to vote for you for Prom King. And it’s not fair anyway since it’s really political instead of being about who most embodies the spirit of Prom King, which I absolutely did.

Here are five tips for what to do in the event of a shark attack.

1. Do Your Taxes

When a shark attacks, you’re going to have a LOT of things to worry about. The last thing you want is the IRS breathing down your neck on top of all that.

If you're a citizen of the United States or Puerto Rico, you are required to fill out a federal income tax return. If you miss the April 15th deadline, you’ll receive a failure-to-file penalty (which starts at 5% of however much you owe).

A big shark is scary, but you know what’s scarier? Uncle Sam when you get on his bad side.

2. Mirror the Shark’s Movements So It Thinks It's Looking into a Mirror, and Then the Second It Gets Suspicious, Bonk It on the Head and Swim Away

Make direct eye contact and follow every movement as best you can. The quicker your reflexes are, the better this is going to work.

However, at a certain point, the shark is going to put two and two together and realize, “Hey wait a minute. This ain’t no mirror… this is lunch.” At this point, bonk him on the head with your fist and swim away.

With any luck, the shark will be disoriented and give you enough time to get to safety.

3. Punch and Kick Really Hard

The ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research advises against using your bare hands and feet if you can help it to defend yourself against a shark….

But you’re not a fucking baby, are you?

Those nerds in lab coats don’t understand the sheer power of The Grinch and Max, aka your left and right fist. You may not be able to use a microscope to study the bone density of shark teeth like those eggheads, but you can send a shark crying home to momma after a well-placed punch.

4. Pretend to Be on the Phone with a Really Good Fisherman

If you have your phone, great, use it as a prop. If not, just pretend and hold anything up to your ear. Say things like, “Oh, you’re in the mood to catch a big shark and beat it up with your huge muscles? Well, I’ll let you know if I see any,” or “Boy, I would be scared of you if I were a shark. And you said you’ll be here in two minutes?”

Make sure to speak loud and clearly enough for the shark to hear so that it will be too scared to mess with you.

5. Become the Prom King

This is it. Life has awarded you a second chance at the very thing you failed at all those years ago. Take a moment to collect your thoughts because you’re going to need some serious dance moves to win over a crowd of ravenous sharks. You’ll realize that in a lot of ways, high school is like being in shark-infested waters: it’s scary and unenjoyable, but mostly, you just want to fit in and not be eaten.

At this point, you’re going to want to play Dancing Queen by ABBA. If you don’t have access to underwater speakers, hum the tune. Even sharks can’t resist this toe tapper. Dancing in a cool enough way will allow you to successfully become the life of the party and you won’t only avoid being eaten by sharks; you’ll get closure on the thing that haunted you for all these years.

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