As promised here, I have unearthed the story of Trunk Shark.
June 1, 2004
I currently live in a small condominium with about 8 units for the whole building. It’s a very quiet place were everyone keeps to themselves and just goes about their daily business. Much to my dismay there are no actual children in this building, yet I substitute once in a while.
One day I came across a rather interesting find in my building’s garbage room. Over towards the concrete wall, lying across the lawn mower, was a stuffed toy shark. And I’m not talking about a small, cutesy shark. I’m talking about a 4-foot, real-to-life looking shark with snarling teeth, fins and a tail. My first thought was, “Who would throw away this perfectly good shark?” My second thought: “This shark needs a home.”
I put away my garbage, gingerly scooped up the shark into my arms so as not to incur its wrath, and returned to my suite, hoping that I wouldn’t meet any of my neighbours in the hall on the way up. I mean how do you explain a grown woman carrying a 4-foot long toy shark in her arms like it was a newborn. There’s just no explanation that would suffice. And the other scenario I was hoping to avoid, which would have been worse in my books, was to come across the previous owner of said shark and have an emotional scene where he realizes the error of his ways and wants the shark back. Uh-uh, this shark was mine. I made a quick dash up the stairs and fortunately, no one crossed our path.
Once arriving home with my new roommate, I laid him on the couch and thought about where he may have come from. There was someone in the building with a son who visited on weekends. Perhaps it was his and he’d “outgrown” the shark. How anyone could possibly “outgrow” this shark was beyond my understanding, but there it was. Regardless of how he came to be in the garbage room, the “finder, keepers” rule applied and I was glad to have him.
Later that day, my Mother came to visit. Now let me explain a few things about my mother. First of all, although she’s a very wonderful woman and I love her dearly, she doesn’t have much tolerance for what’s perceived as “silliness” which this whole shark thing would soon be categorized as. Secondly, she’s a bit germ-phobic. Growing up our house was always immaculately clean and it’s still that way. Not mausoleum clean but definitely hospital clean. And she’s the reason I, to this day, hate doing dishes, because according to her there was only one way to do them and any deviance would have been considered blasphemy. So, I wasn’t surprised at her reaction to my story about my newly acquired shark.
“You don’t know where that shark has been!” My mother exclaimed.
I immediately had flashes of my shark stumbling in the back alleys behind some London pub cavorting with shady octopi and questionable clownfish. I laughed at the image. My mother though was not amused. She went into a diatribe about germs and bacteria and dust mites and all such creatures of tiny proportions, hoping I’d return the shark to the garbage room where she felt he belonged. Of course, you know there was no way that was going to happen. The shark and I had bonded and that was that.
If my mother was ever going to visit me again though, I knew that the shark would have to be relocated. But where to? If I brought him to the office, the kids would adopt him and then I’d never get him back. (I may be an adult but there are some things that I don’t like to share—unique stuffed animals are included in this group.) And I didn’t have some posh summer home to set my shark up in. There was only one other option. He’d have to live in the trunk of my car.
So I cleared some space in my trunk for my 4-foot long aquatic friend and he’s been living there ever since. Fondly known as “Trunk Shark” he’s been on many journeys with me and occasionally he’s let out to attend parties, usually those with an “Under the Sea” theme. He is always a surprise to anyone who helps me pack my groceries in my trunk. I do warn them. “Mind the shark,” I say. But no one gets it until it’s too late. He’s a good shark though. No fatalities…yet.