I THINK it's agreed that sharks are beautiful things.
Until they bite you.
But generally they don't.
Experts assure us they prefer fish, which is a good thing.
Unless they mistake you for fish.
Which can happen if you're in the water.
Staying out of the water is one of the great preventative measures you can take for shark attack.
Another is avoiding playing cards during holiday season.
We all know Aunty Beryl is an apex predator when it comes to euchre.
Any confirmed sighting of a shark is inherently interesting.
Mainly because in the great scheme of things shark sightings are so rare.
That's because a) sharks generally keep to themselves, and b) for a nation that lives on the coast, we don't get out that much and we're easily alarmed.
The footage of the white pointer from Murrays Beach recently was indeed amazing. Not the normal Blair Witch Project, ink-blot approximation of the Loch Ness monster. But clearly a reasonably big shark doing its thing close to shore.
And it obviously responded to the mad man in the bicycle helmet on the jetty slapping the water.
This element of moronism pushed it into the grade A class for social media and predictably it went gangbusters, outranking nearly every video the Herald has ever run on its website (bar the footage of local meth addicts discussing stairwell sexual etiquette).
This in turn roused debate in some quarters about what constitutes news.
News? Or crackpot mad moments with the potential to go viral?
Any online editor will tell you the answer to that.
Others saw it as yet another nail in the coffin of the professional photographer, arguing that these days any camera klutz can take a Pulitzer-winning pic.
Those pushing this argument are typically media organisation execs seeking synergies as they battle industry headwinds.
It's true, the same rules of great photography apply whether you're Neil Davis or Neil Nobody.
You have to be there to bear witness.
And it doesn't matter if the mobile phone is held upside down, just so long as you don't have your finger over the lens.
Any embarrassing noises recorded can later be written off as the honesty of the moment.
Warren Sternbeck, who with brother-in-law Colin Rodgers got footage of the great white breaching in Lake Macquarie on their mobile phone, know this only too well. Their amazing footage off Pulbah Island confirms what David Attenborough and every hack angler throughout the world knows; sometimes you can jag a big one.
The fact they sincerely feared the shark was going to jump in their boat just makes their effort more endearing.
Due to the exposure, it's been suggested this shark be removed from the lake to the sea. Unfortunately, as any fish will tell you, the lake is connected to the sea. So removing one shark, when there are probably thousands in the lake, is only ever going to be at best, a pointless temporary measure.
Tagging the shark is a much better idea. Maybe then we could learn something.
The tagging program that CSIRO ran a couple of years ago is a point in question. It suggests Stockton Bite is a great white nursery. And that an incredible number of them congregate off Hawks Nest - where we holiday.
This really puts a different slant on surfing up there.
Yes, I've always believed in not thinking about sharks when I surf. But it's hard not to when you see all those chart points plotting a veritable sharknami off Bennetts Beach.
Like the lake, I guess they've always been there, and you have to respect that. It's their surfin' turf.
As the ad might say, the one that gets you will be the one you don't see; should've gone to SpecSavers.
Such a calming thought.
Lucky I'm so short-sighted.
I can't even see what I can't see.
I prefer to to write it off as a dolphin or a stick and stay mentally strong (in the foetal position).
Some argue that the shark in Lake Macquarie is maybe lost. Like a toolie on the Gold Coast. It just needs encouragement to get on its way.
Maybe a letter drop would help. "F" perhaps, followed by "off".
Lake Macquarie council has been talking about erecting sculptures in the lake to measure sea-level rise. Perhaps we could add a shark directive too.
We'd have to put it two feet above the water to take into account water levels in 50 years' time. That would only be logical to an illogical scenario.
Most level-headed people say do nothing.
And that's got universal appeal.
But again, not to Lake Macquarie council.
Now they're talking about only doing a fortnightly garbage pick-up.
The shark will scare off visitors, it's been suggested, so there will be less mess to clean up.
If heaven forbid a shark does attack, it could score a huge PR win if it took out a jet ski.
Not the people on it. Just the noisy machine. So annoying.
The absurdity of that idea hopefully reminds us that when it comes to shark hysteria, try not to bite.