Since I was knee high to a grasshopper, I’ve loved little more than roaming Grand Strand beaches and finding sharks’ teeth. A lot of sharks’ teeth. And nothing thrills me more than stumbling upon a nice great white shark tooth. Well, almost nothing.
Finding a big or perfect specimen here is nearly as rare as
unethical practices among influential chamber of commerce members, city hall staying mum regarding the empty Myrtle Square Mall property, catching a round flounder.
If someone were to ask me what my favorite shark is, I’d waver between answering either great whites or makos. They’re both awe-inspiring apex predators and marauders of the big pond. Beautiful creatures, really. For purposes of this piece. I’ll give a slight nod to great whites.
“Mr. Vaughn, what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It’s really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks…,” Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) said to Mayor Vaughn in JAWS.
That about sums it up. One of the characteristics I like most about great white sharks’ fangs are the serrations down the sides. Perfect for tearing into seals or dead whales. Those serrations remind me of the cutting edge of a steak knife. To this day it amazes me that you can still see them on fossil finds even though the teeth have been buried beneath Poseidon’s realm for millions of years.
Having collected many more fossilized great white sharks’ teeth than mako teeth on the sands of time, I’d surmise that makos haven’t marauded in these parts as much as great whites have over the last tens of millions of years.
Garnering a nice great white tooth is about being in the right place at the right time. I can’t help it if I’m
lucky out on the beach a lot. Otherwise, I’d be harrassing food mart clerks or ruining my liver. I’d get so bored I’d be praying that Mormons stop by the bungalow to pedal fiction.
“Good morning,” they said with bothersome grins, “we’re on a mission from God and we thought we’d stop by in matching white shirts and Blues Brothers ties to convince you that our religion’s founder was sane.” “No thanks, fellas,” I answered. “I just ordered my sneakers from heavensgate.com and I’m waiting for the next comet. I’m just too busy right now. The Rev. Jim Jones’ kin are stopping in later to sell me some Kool-Aid.”
Lord, help me. And no. I’m not going outside the next time there are storm clouds in the area. Death-by-lightning isn’t my cup of tea.
I have, however, pushed the limit in that regard more than a few times. It’s difficult dragging my carcass off the beach when the shell beds are thick — thunder boomers overhead or not.
The photos here depict some of the best teeth in my collection. More can be found in “On Display” under the Dharma Beach Bum banner.
(Bum raps: When I satirically wrote of Mormonism, I was alluding to Joseph Smith. Smith was kicked out of most states to which he meandered and he was murdered by a mob while imprisoned in Illinois. I don’t dig religious persecution, but I disdain people coming to my door pushing anything. Time to change my tune. Flounder are flat, stealthy fish that attack prey from the bed of the sea. The Myrtle Square Mall was demolished in 2006 and its huge parking lot along Highway 17 Business in Myrtle Beach has since been sitting empty. The land on which the mall sat is owned by Burroughs $ Chapin (B$C). B$C opened a new mall, Coastal Grand, in March 2004. Pavin’ paradise and leavin’ parking lots.)