The Flying Circus was rail down and running hard towards the U.S. as the sun disappeared below the horizon. Another 24 hours should put them safely inside the U. S. intercostals waterway. Dave was at the helm when his dad came topside and checked their heading, but no words were spoken—none were needed. Besides the amazing sunrises and sunsets, Caribbean night sails can be scary, but they’re always enchanting. As the hull passed through the tropical sea, it stirred up phosphorous plankton and created a thousand points of light below that reflected a thousand points of light above. Soft, cushy, sailing experiences are soon forgotten, but the hard runs like this one are indelibly burned into the brain-they linger forever.

Less experienced and more cautious skippers pay 10,000 dollars to have their boats shipped on a Russian freighter, from the Caribbean to Miami, but cautious never fit this captain’s description, or his son—two peas in a pod. Time was of the essence because the start of the spring regattas were less than a month away and if the Flying Circus was to remain competitive she needed fresh bottom paint, new sails and other repairs that include a new diesel engine and, of course, not to forget the business of converting the pirate treasure to cash.

The captain and his son went quietly about their business until Dave broke the silence. Something was on his mind and he seized this opportunity to talk to his dad about it.

“Pop, Big Jesse said he knew why the Megalodon has turned into a man eater, but when I asked him why, he said, “‘You’re not ready to hear the truth–you couldn’t handle it.'”

“Why did he say that?” asked Dave.

“Son, sometimes the truth is ugly. It’s sort of like telling a kid there’s no Santa Clause. When you were little, you believed Santa Clause was real, you believed it because you heard it from the preacher, teacher, mother, older kids and grandparents, but the ugly truth is they lied. Nobody wants to believe the people they love and trust would lie to them-it’s more comfortable to believe an illusion? Sometimes people go from cradle to grave believing an illusion,” explained the captain.

“Jessie’s world is one of corporate managers, wealth and power. To him and his associates little people are stupid, no-class, moneyless schmucks. It’s sort of like P.T. Barnum who once said, “Never give a succor an even break or wizen up a chump.”

Senators, Congressmen, Wall Street executives and investment bankers recently stole trillions of dollars from the middle class America, but yet the people still wish to believe the illusion that they can trust their leaders to do what’s best for them. The corporations, government and other political leaders passed the North American Free Trade Agreement that sent their jobs out of the country and then passed the Patriot Act that eliminated most of their constitutional rights, but yet they still believe that Republicans and Democrats, the same people who shafted them, are going to make things right?

The American people believe the illusion that we live in a democracy even after they say the Pledge Of Allegiance to the Flag, “And to the ‘Republic’ for which it stands…” America is a Republic, ancient Rome was a Republic too, but people would rather believe the illusion that they live in a democracy? The ultra right-wingers, mega-sized corporations, special interests and foreign governments pay hundreds of millions of dollars to talk show hosts who confuse the people by using words like “capitalism” and “free enterprise” but the ugly truth is that America is a monopolistic society. Oil companies are a monopoly, pharmaceutical drug companies are a monopoly and any other special interest with enough money to buy off our congress is a monopoly too.

Congress passes laws that will enrich corporations and then they buy large blocks of stock in those same corporations while federal prosecutors’ lock up little people like Martha Stewart for insider trading.

“Pop,” interrupted Dave, “The government claimed that they didn’t lock Martha up for insider trading, but for lying?”

“That might be true son, but if they’re incarcerating people for lying, congress would be empty and so too would the top management offices of America’s corporations. Since when did any of the CEOs ever tell the truth. They lie to their hourly people and stockholders and then point their fingers at journalists and accuse them of lying. That’s like one butt sniffing dog looking down his nose at another butt sniffing dog and calling him a butt sniffer.”

“Yes,” said Dave, “but what does any of that have to do with the Megalodon eating people?”

“Well,” continued the captain, “even though we hear propaganda about how America wants democratic governments for the Caribbean Islands, Banana Republics, Central and South America, what they want is a military dictatorship—a corporate controlled military dictatorship. The State Department, and various intelligence services and the mafia work in unison with the corporations and if the people legitimately elect somebody who will look after their best interest, instead of the corporations, they are accused of being a leftist, or communist and they are soon gotten rid of. Especially, if the newly elected leader is in favor of getting more money for their coffee, fruit, nuts, or whatever.

The corporate stooges and their agents have the military arrest the newly elected leader, or they assassinate him, he’s sent into exile, or the people in cahoots with corporate interests instigate a revolution. The corporation sponsored revolutionaries don’t have money to pay for the guns so they’re allowed to trade cocaine, marijuana and other illegal drugs for the guns and ammo, that are in turn smuggled into America and sold on the streets by organized crime families. After the revolution the same handlers, or agents buy back the guns for perhaps 50 dollars, a rifle, peace breaks out and the corporations have maintained the status quo—it’s a wonderful world, at least for the moneyed people. That is until the people hold another election and democratically elect a new leader and then the same process is repeated again–over and over again.”

“Yes,” exclaimed Dave, “but that still doesn’t explain why the Megalodons are eating people?”

“I’m getting to that,” said the captain. “But remember this is Jesse’s explanation not mine, I mind my own business and never speculate about such matters. According to him the military dictators tell the so-called leftists they are relocating them and after they’re loaded onto military transports they’re tossed out of the airplane over the ocean. He claimed that state department stooges like General Pinochet, the Columbian government, Nicaraguan government, and Salvadorian government and most recently the dictator in Guatemala have dumped hundreds of thousands of bodies in the ocean.” He laughed and said, “When the sharks see an airplane overhead-it’s like ringing a dinner bell.”

“I find that hard to believe,” said Dave.

“Me too,” said the captain. “I’d rather believe in Santa Clause, but I once heard some Columbians laughing about a cartoon one of them had drawn depicting an airplane with a string of stick figures coming out the back of it and there was a midget shark with one eye looking skyward shouting to a bigger shark, “de-plane boss, de plane eeze coming”…

“I don’t get it,” scoffed Dave

“I guess you had to be there,” said his dad.

“By the way, Pop, Jesse offered to buy me a harpoon with an explosive head, like the ones the Eskimo’s are using to kill whales, if I would kill that Megalodon. I said no, because, I wanted to think about it,” mused Dave.

“Good call son.” “We can always change a ‘no’ to a ‘yes,’ but it causes problems if we change a ‘yes’ to a no,” explained the captain. What bothers me about that sort of thing is that you’ve tagged and studied sharks your whole life and you probably know them better than anybody else, that’s why the West Indians named you Shark Boy and you’ve never killed a single one of them.”

“I know Dad, but this shark is different I’ve crossed paths with it three times and three times it has tried to kill me. Furthermore, it’s already eaten countless fishermen and boaters in our area. If I don’t kill him, he will kill again because his appetite for human flesh can never be satisfied-we could be next.”

“Emotions can skewer a person’s best judgment, it seems to me this is more of an emotional issue than one based on, science, logic and reason. No doubt the Megalodon is a big ugly killer. He’s nevertheless a rare specimen and if you kill it you cannot undo that and it might end your only chance study it. Not to mention that killing that rare shark could cause that species to become extinct and the people it’s eating are not on the endangered species list. So there we have it, one species is almost extinct while the other one is over-populated.”

“I see what you mean Dad,” said Dave. “Let me think about it.”

“Either way son, it’s your call to make and I’ll support you no matter what.

Sleep on it and let me have the helm—we can talk more later.”

“One more thing Pop, Santana said, “When our heart stops beating, we all have the same amount of money!”

“Yes indeed, son, I’ve never seen a Brinks truck in a funeral procession and if there was the relatives would have it picked clean before they reached the cemetery.”

To be continued….

John Stark

The author of the "Tales from the Caribbean" fictional column. He attended school at Waynedale Elementary, Maplewood, Elmhurst HS in the Waynedale area. John had 25 years of professional writing experience when he passed away in 2012.

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John Stark

The author of the "Tales from the Caribbean" fictional column. He attended school at Waynedale Elementary, Maplewood, Elmhurst HS in the Waynedale area. John had 25 years of professional writing experience when he passed away in 2012. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer