Willy Volk

In a few months you may see a Kmart commercial featuring an animatronic hippo, and you may say to yourself, “Wow, I would have been so much more likely to run out to Kmart for a plastic measuring cup or a leafblower or a pair of $400 cubic zirconia Sofia Vergara earrings if only that ad had featured a real live shark!” Well rest assured Kmart wanted to use a real live shark in this ad too, a five-foot-long white-tipped shark specifically, but it died. Not only did it die, it died after being transported from New York to Los Angeles and then waiting around for its big shark 15 minutes in an above-ground swimming pool in Van Nuys. Now it’s never a good time to die, but when your time comes I’m going to guess that you’d rather it be elsewhere than an above-ground swimming pool in fucking Van fucking Nuys.

The ailing shark was treated with adrenaline and taken to a specialist but died anyway, on the afternoon of March 6, according to a letter sent to the American Humane Association. Naturally lots of people are pissed about this massively cruel and moronic — not to mention super unspiritual — error. PETA, naturally, is among them. It released a statement which I will not quote but what it basically says is “hey you jackasses putting a shark in a swimming pool was stupid and mean and you are both.” Adding insult to injury is the fact that Kmart only used the animatronic hippo after rather blithely trying to procure a second shark, which, thank God,  seemingly no one in the shark procurement business was on board with.

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So. Heads up. An animatronic hippo is going to try to sell you some towels and cases of Dasani water and a waffle iron and the real sheets Martha Stewart actually might use in her home (in the event of a global apocalypse i.e. if they were the last sheets on earth). Take the money you might spend there and send it to your favorite shark charity.

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