If You Quit Sniffing Fear You Might Actually Smell The Salt Air

There isn't a buyer that I work with that doesn't eventually ask about gators, sharks, hurricanes or floods.  I've noticed it lately more than any time in the past.  I can't help but wonder if it is due to all of the negative everything on the news.  It just seems like people have been conditioned to be fearful.  They've allowed themselves to be trained by the sensational, dramatic evening news.

Read also:  Do Not Feed The Alligators in Bonita Springs

It's not that I mind that they ask.  It is a valid question to ask.  What troubles me is the laundry list of creatures they're secretly scared of.  Most of which they'll never likely see.  They'll literally go down the list as though they'll uncover some sort of city wide secret about gators sneaking up on children at bus stops or sharks that run in schools tipping over boats and eating the occupants.   Don't you wonder if everyone was as scared of sharks before Jaws, the movie?

I do wonder if some of the buyers I've worked with ever put together the math that I've lived in SW Florida for almost 25 years, managed to raise a few children, managed to operate a business or two and I've never had a limb lost by a gator or a shark.  Even my kids managed to escape the clutches of our creatures not because they're especially wiry but because they don't put themselves in harms way.

For whatever reason, it's been built up in the minds of folks from outside of the area that we're crawling with deadly animals.  The sidewalks and stores should be peppered with residents with prosthetic limbs and eye patches.  That's how you tell the locals from the tourists, right?  The locals all have bite mark scars.

Read also: More Armadillos, New Sod & Tango Delta Niner

We've all heard the news blips, read the Google news alerts and been sucked in by a good tale of gore or mayhem.  They say that sex sells but so does the carnage of a limb missing from someone stupid enough to swim in a lake in south Florida.  The only thing that would make this move any dumber would be to tie a pork chop around your neck first.

A little common sense goes a long way in any natural environment.  I think if a person is dense enough to dangle their feet off a dock and splash the water they should expect to get their foot bitten by something that likes the way flesh tastes.  Survival of the fittest?  Thinning of the herd?

Out of curiosity I actually Googled the shark attack stats and found it quite spectacular that for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide spending hundreds of millions of hours in the water there was only one fatality last year.  That death was actually in the South Pacific.  That's not around here if you were wondering.

Further, there were only about 70 shark bites world wide.  Divide that by the billions of people on our lovely planet and I think you stand better odds of winning the lottery than getting chomped on by a big fish.

The same goes for gators.  With only about a dozen bites per year divided by the eighteen million people living in Florida the odds are in your favor unless, of course, you're the one wearing the pork chop necklace.  Unfortunately there are no statistics that show blood alcohol levels or IQ tests of some of these victims.  I can't help but think there could be a correlation in some instances.  Why the heck else would someone be swimming in an algae filled lake at 8:00 p.m?

So buyers this is the big secret I have to share about gator and shark attacks.  Yes, you CAN get bitten by a shark or gator.  It is highly unlikely, however, that you will.  Oh, you also CAN get hit by a dump truck or even just a car.  You probably should have been less worried about things that go splash in the night and more worried about a couple of tons of steel on four wheels.

You've really got some crappy odds crossing that street by the way.  Over 8,100 pedestrians were injured last year and over 500 are now looking at the brown side of the grass.  You're probably not going to hear about that on the evening news.  Getting tagged by a Buick doesn't sell as many commercials as seeing someone lying in a hospital bed with their leg gnawed off.  Puppies on a webcam just don't sell ShamWOW commercials.

So go ahead and feel safe about moving to Bonita Springs, Florida, the odds are in your favor that you won't be savagely attacked by wild beasts or fishes.  I would highly recommend, however, that you look both ways more than once before you cross the street to get your mail.