Back in November, my daughter and her boyfriend attended a movie All Nighter together. Despite large quantities of sugary snacks and power napping through the mystery film, Spinal Tap, they were not able to stay awake for the iconic shark movie, Jaws. By way of compensation (and because it is one of my favourite films of all time) I suggested we have a family Jaws night during the Christmas holidays.
I had planned on making some shark fin biscuits and themed cupcakes but it was so difficult finding a time when we were all available to do it, that we settled for a spur of the moment 'let's do it tonight' attitude that didn't allow much in the way of preparation time. I did, however, have one little surprise that I thought would elevate a 'stay in and watch an old movie' night into something much more memorable.
During the time that my friend Kirk came to visit before Christmas, we had a shopping trip. Kirk has an uncanny knack of finding the weird and the wonderful lurking in unfamiliar places on familiar shelves. But it was me this time that spotted the Giant Inflatable Remote Controlled Shark at the bargain price of less than a fiver. All you had to do, according to the box, was inflate with helium for your very own 'Airquarium'. It had to be done. I knew we had a canister of helium at home and it seemed like a perfect prop for our Jaws night.
There was an awful lot going on over the few days that Kirk was with us so we did not get the chance to breathe the noble gas life into our aquatic inflatable and experience the 'ultimate reality 3D' watching our movie. When the opportunity did present itself, I was ready.
The box had described the shark as 'Giant' but I was surprised by just how enormous it was. I began to doubt that our helium canister would be up to the task but I kept the faith and put the batteries in the remote control. There was a complicated kit containing antennae, a receiver, fins and various other bits and pieces that the instructions failed to clarify the purpose of.
The audience was ready and waiting, the DVD was on standby. I was starting to panic.
As it turned out, the instructions and the complicated kit were rendered obsolete by a pathetically inadequate volume of helium. We emptied the whole canister into the greedy Great White and barely managed to make an impression. It lazily lifted its pointed head vaguely skyward to reveal a gaping mouthful of sharp triangular teeth.
My initial disappointment that I would not be able to remotely steer the magnificent predator into a living room of people eagerly awaiting shark entertainment was offset by the fact that we had inadvertently recreated the Jaws movie poster.
I had to admit defeat and manually reveal my rather limp offering (to my rendition of the duh, duh...duh, duh theme music).
We did all have a good laugh along with speculating how much it would cost for the quantity of helium that would be required to actually fully inflate the beast.
We enjoyed Jaws so much that we later bought and watched possibly the worst shark movie ever made - Sand Sharks. That could be a whole other blog post!