This straightforward demand comes from Veronica-Pooh Nash Poleate in a Facebook video entitled “Summer Safety Tips!” in the wake of a string of shark attacks along the North Carolina coast.
In recent weeks, the southern state’s coast—particularly the Outer Banks—has in many ways become a modern-day Amity Island, land of “Jaws.” As in 1975, when the film that invented the summer blockbuster was released, people are afraid to go in the water. In less than one month, North Carolina has seen eight shark attacks, most of which occurred in shallow water. Though none have been fatal, several of the attacks resulted in lost limbs.
According to the Associated Press, the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File shows North Carolina’s summer 2015 attacks as the highest number ever recorded for the state—a fact that bothered Poleate.
“My spirit was troubled this morning,” she told viewers from the driver’s seat of her car, on her way to church last Sunday morning. “I had the news on, they was talkin’ ‘bout somebody else done got ate up by a shark.”
With that, Poleate, who according to her Facebook page is a school counselor in Hamilton County, Tenn., shared her best advice for avoiding the great fish while on vacation: “You’re goin’ to the beach? Do that—go to the beach. Don’t go to the ocean. OK? The ocean is the shark’s house. OK?”
She continued, “I’m not goin’ to the ocean, because that’s the shark’s house, OK? The shark has the right to eat you up when you in his house. When chickens come in my house, guess what? They get ate. When pigs come in my house, they on the plate. So, when you go in the shark’s house, you goin’ get ate up … Let’s use some common sense.”
Poleate posted the video to Facebook the morning of Sunday, June 28. Just over a week later, around noon on Monday, it had been viewed 9,398,697 times, shared 289,128 times and “liked” 58,407 times. It has also received 636 comments.
America has also got sharks on the brain in the entertainment industry, as well. Discovery Channel’s Shark Week began on Sunday, and the third installment in Syfy’s “Sharknado” series, “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” premieres July 22. In that vein, the U.S. president in the film is none other than billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Mark Cuban.
Given that the summer is still young, the possibility of further attacks looms in the back of beachgoers’ minds, who may just wind up following Poleate’s advice.
But Poleate has safety tips for more than just the ocean. Later in the same video she said, “And stay out the woods, too. Don’t go foolin’ around with the bears either. The bears will eat you up. That’s what they supposed to do ‘cause you in they house.”
Oh, and stay away from the bayou, too.
In a separate video on her Facebook page, Poleate warns, “The ocean is the shark’s house, and the bayou is the alligator’s house … leave these animals alone … please stay out the bayous and the oceans.”