Scientists from all over the world are flocking to the Suncoast to examine what is apparently a new species of ocean predator/bird--and what could become the next threat to residents living here.
What appears to be a cross between a shark and a seagull has been reported in various neighborhoods all around the Sarasota/Bradenton area, with the notable exception of Prestancia at Palmer Ranch. It is theorized that these creatures are in that area, as well, but, since all Prestancia residents are summering in either the Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard, the Cape or aboard their yachts, there is just no one left there to report any sightings.
This new species, tentatively known as Jawsicus airbornicus, has scientists worried about the potential effect it will have on native species, such as squirrels and rabbits. The Sarasota Convention and Visitor's Bureau is concerned about the possible chilling effect on tourism on the Suncoast. Said one anonymous staffer, "Can you imagine some family from Ohio visiting our town, spending just oodles of money, then, while at one of our beautiful white-sandy beaches, little Muffy feeds the last part of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich to the gulls only to have her tiny arm ripped off and carried away by this winged menace? What do you think they'll tell their friends back in Ohio when they ask about a Sarasota vacation?"
The Sarasota County Commissioners called an emergency meeting to address this crisis, where Jon Thaxton told the packed auditorium, "I'm just not sure we should rush into any half-cocked idea here to attempt a wholesale eradication of these creatures. We need to consider any ecological repercussions. Now, if there is a 'green' solution to this problem--like importing some bigger, stronger, faster predator to take care of these sharkbirds--then I'm all for it."
Rich Swier, local blowhard and raving advocate for drilling for oil off our beaches, offered this opinion: "Perfect timing. We drill, we spill, we coat those little bastard sharkbirds in some 10W30, they die a slow and agonizing death--I'd call that a win-win situation for everyone!"
Meg Lowman, noted environmental activist, had a more reasoned and scientific assessment of the sharkbird situation. "Who knows how many of these flying death machines are out there. There could be thousands, MILLIONS even. And even if we get rid of the sharkbirds, it's only a matter of time before we're overrun by pythons, Monitor lizards, iguanas. And after all these years of treating Mother Earth like a sewer, who knows what else is climbing out of the primordial ooze somewhere, even as we speak. Giant mutated ants, fire-breathing, Japanese sea monsters, giant bald men with one eye--we're doomed, I tell you. DOOMED!"
A spokesperson for Ms. Lowman, Amazonian bushman, Ulmaitwqr Bljwwak, later said that her medication was being adjusted and she would have nothing further to say to the media until she had a nice steaming cup of spotless coralroot orchid tea. Ahhhhhhhh.....