The great shark vs. electrocution debate

This guy wants to be our president again, so he was demonstrating his perspicacity with a riveting speech at a rally.

My story begins in nineteen-dickety-two. We had to say dickety because the Kaiser had stolen our word twenty. I chased that rascal to get it back, but gave up after dickety-six miles. Then after World War Two, it got kinda quiet, ’til Superman challenged FDR to a race around the world. FDR beat him by a furlong, or so the comic books would have you believe. The truth lies somewhere in between. Three wars back we called Sauerkraut “liberty cabbage” and we called liberty cabbage “super slaw” and back then a suitcase was known as a “Swedish lunchbox.” We can’t bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell ’em stories that don’t go anywhere – like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you’d say. Ah, there’s an interesting story behind that nickel. In 1957, I remember it was, I got up in the morning and made myself a piece of toast. I set the toaster to three: medium brown.Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…

Whoops, wait, sorry. That’s Grandpa Simpson’s speech from the TV show. It’s pretty much the same thing, but in the interests of accuracy, here’s what the brain-damaged fascist actually said.

It must be because of MIT, my relationship with MIT, very smart, I say, what would happen if the boat sank from its weight, & you’re in the boat, & you have this tremendously powerful battery, and the battery’s now under water, & there’s a shark that’s approximately 10 yards over there—by the way, a lot of shark attacks lately, do you notice that?—I watched some guys justifying it today, ‘Well they weren’t really that angry, they bit off the young lady’s leg because of the fact that they weren’t hungry but they misunderstood who she was.’

Note: he had an uncle who taught at MIT. That’s the extent of the “relationship,” he did not graduate from MIT, he did not attend MIT, he did not have lunch from a food truck in the Kendall/MIT Open Space. He just launched into this rambling nonsense because he doesn’t like vehicles that don’t burn guzzoline.

This was at a rally in Nevada, which is land-locked, and where they don’t have many shark attacks. None, actually.

…These people are quick. He said, ‘there’s no problem with sharks, they just didn’t really understand a young woman swimming,” no really got decimated and other people too, a lot of shark attacks. So I said, ‘there’s a shark 10 yards away from the boat, 10 yards, or here. Do I get electrocuted if the boat is sinking, water goes over the battery, the boat is sinking? Do I stay on top of the boat and get electrocuted or do I jump over by the shark and not get electrocuted?

His mind wanders. This was a part of the speech that was supposed to be about electric vehicles, he’s somehow leapt the track and is babbling about sharks, and now he has invented a new moral dilemma about sharks and electrocution.

…Because I will tell you, he didn’t know the answer. He said, ‘You know, nobody’s ever asked me that question.’ I said, ‘I think it’s a good question. I think there’s a lot of electric current coming through that water.’ But you know what I’d do if there was a shark or you get electrocuted? I’ll take electrocution every single time. I’m not getting near the shark. So we’re going to end that, we’re going to end it for boats, we’re going to end it for trucks.

Please do take electrocution. Any time.

If you want an actual scientific opinion on the subject, Andrew Thaler has one.

I would just point out that in the cinema classic Jaws 2, the danger was resolved by having the big bad shark bite an underwater power cable, ending the shark menace until Jaws 3-D.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    Has anyone tried a horror film with an electric eel?

    Anyway, Trump shares a quality with the Russians, they love big smokey vehicles (and bare-chested dictators). The big parade a month ago even featured a shaftcam, a camera showing the power shaft in real time of one of the big missile-carrying vehicles.

    BTW the Swedish conservative newspaper SVD recently echoed the Merican press with an article about Biden’s apparent senior moments. Nothing about the attempted speeches by Trump.

  2. raven says

    The speech by Grandpa Simpson is more coherent by a lot.
    He at least speaks in grammatically correct complete sentences, and there is a tenuous connection between most of them.

    I liked the reference to “liberty cabbage”.
    We had something similar not so long ago.
    French fries were renamed freedom fries because the French did something we didn’t like.

    Wikipedia Freedom Fries:

    The political renaming occurred in context of France’s opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq. Although some restaurants around the nation adopted the renaming, the term became unpopular, in part due to decreasing popularity of the Iraq War.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    … Jaws 2, the danger was resolved by having the big bad shark bite an underwater power cable…

    Approximately the same resolution as in The Blob, or Goldfinger. Truly, there is nothing new under the Hollywood sun.

  4. Mobius says

    LOL. So Trump would rather be electrocuted, which is why he wants to end electric boats so you can’t get electrocuted.

    Makes perfect since…if you are Donald Trump.

  5. robro says

    “…Nevada, which is land-locked, and where they don’t have many shark attacks. None, actually.” Have you been to Reno or Las Vegas? Lots of sharks there. Lots of shark attacks there…every day, all day. You got card sharks, pool sharks, loan sharks, and a special form of shark sometimes called a “pimp”.

  6. says

    by the way, a lot of shark attacks lately, do you notice that?

    In the US:
    In 2023: 36
    In 2024: 7

    What constitutes a lot?

  7. birgerjohansson says

    I think there were some attacks outside the US. SSAT would not make a distinction.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    There was a woman eaten by a very big snake recently. Maybe that is what SSAT is thinking of?

  9. Larry says

    What is terrifying about this is there were MAGAts in the audience, sagely nodding their heads in awe, thinking how brilliant this man is with his expertise is boating, batteries, and marine wildlife and how he could coherently he could make his argument.

  10. KG says

    [Shark attacks] In the US:
    In 2023: 36
    In 2024: 7 – drksky@9

    I find the decrease in shark attacks this year very suspicious. Clearly, sharks are part of the deep state, and are trying to get Biden re-elected by not attacking people!

  11. Tethys says

    I note that Nevada is a landlocked desert, which is entirely shark free in addition to lacking the basic requirements for boating.

    Why he thinks electrocution via marine battery is a danger is beyond reason, but perhaps he is preoccupied with his upcoming criminal felony sentencing?

    He prefers electrocution to being thrown to the sharks.
    I prefer that he gets 40 months in a nice cell in solitary at Rikers.

  12. robro says

    Tethys @ #14 — What he is making a case for is banning EVs, particularly EV semis. They have batteries. Of course, gas engine cars have batteries too which he might not be aware. He’s stupid. One of his platforms is to stop the move to EV…I think it’s even in the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025, the game plan for Trump 2.0. He’s owned by oil industry oligarchs, including the Saudis, along with other big money interests. He’s stupidly just spewing anything he thinks might stick with his audience. Some of it does, most of it doesn’t, but what doesn’t stick doesn’t matter. Tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.

    BTW, Nevada has two relatively major bodies of water: Lake Tahoe with eastern shore access, and Lake Mead. No sharks of the fish sort in either, of course, just the various types of human sharks roaming the streets and casinos.

  13. unclestinky says

    Looking through my collection of Trump blithering, I see he made the same choice between shark and electrocution in October 2023 – “So I have a choice of electrocution or shark. You know what I’m going to take? Electrocution. I will take electrocution every single time.”
    Stormy Daniels also noticed his weird shark fear during their encounter-
    “The strangest thing about that night — this was the best thing ever. You could see the television from the little dining room table and he was watching Shark Week and he was watching a special about the U.S.S. something and it sank and it was like the worst shark attack in history. He is obsessed with sharks. Terrified of sharks. He was like, “I donate to all these charities and I would never donate to any charity that helps sharks. I hope all the sharks die.” He was like riveted. He was like obsessed. It’s so strange, I know …”

  14. Roy says

    If your boat battery pumps electricity into an attacking great white, does that mean you’ve “jumped the shark”?

  15. Matt G says

    He’s probably talking about sharks with laser beams attached to their heads.

  16. numerobis says

    Nevada of course is where the Panasonic-operated Tesla Gigafactory for EV batteries is located. A hell of a lot more people work there than work the coal mines in Pennsylvania.

  17. cheerfulcharlie says

    William S. Burroughs – The Last Words Of Dutch Schultz – This Is Insane

  18. Tethys says


    What he is making a case for is banning EVs, particularly EV semis.

    Obviously when you are a blithering idiot who wants to ban EVs, you should blabber on about the non-existent danger of getting electrocuted by a boat battery. AFAIK, most boats run on gasoline or diesel, and have electric ignitions powered via a battery. If your boat is sinking, drowning is the obvious danger.

    Bonus dementia, then go off on a tangent about the poor girl in the opening sequence of Jaws.

    No wonder so much of the audience left mid-speech.

  19. says

    You don’t hear Biden talking about the menace of immigrant electro-sharks.


  20. epawtows says

    Best headcannon theory as to why Putin spends so much time with his shirt off:
    He was actually an experimental subject of a Russian Super Solder program. But unlike Captain America, instead of superhuman strength and toughness, he got a Super Ego, with side effects of a severe vitamin D deficiency. May explain why he wants Crimea so badly, it’s sunny enough for him.

  21. Ridana says

    @15 Robro wrote:

    What he is making a case for is banning EVs, particularly EV semis.

    In that speech he also made the claim that gas or diesel semis (he kept having to correct himself on which fuel they use) can make the run from NYC to LA without stopping. Which raises the question of what all the truckstops across the country are for, and if he thinks it’s an overnight haul rather than 3-4 days at best. Also, apparently truckers never have to stop in at weigh stations during that run.

    I get the impression that he’s never been outside a city. He flies from city to city for his campaign blatherings, and is chauffered around within those cities, and it’s been that way his whole life. Like Bush and grocery scanners, or his own belief that you need ID to buy groceries, he has no clue what the logistics of ordinary people’s ordinary days are like. None.

  22. robro says

    Ridana @ #25 — All the truck stops are because the evil US Department of Transportation makes the truckers stop every so often to rest and sleep. Per one site that I just scraped up, a semi can start with 300 gallons, gets about 6 miles per gallon (geez that’s awful) and so can go 1,500 miles per fuel stop assuming flat terrain. That means every 15 to 20 hours they have to stop for fuel. However, the various transportation governing bodies require them to stop more often, and they have to check in at various points to make sure they are doing that. So get rid of that damn government interference with commerce, and the truckers may only stop once to go cross-country. Of course, they may kill more people when the fall asleep at the wheel…but hey, it’s the cost of doing the business of making the rich richer.

  23. StevoR says

    @ ^ nomdeplume : That’s unfair – to Grandpa Simpson. Old Abe Simpson was an actual WWII soldier and did show courage, love for others not just himself and decency at times. Trump, not so much.

    Sure I recall Colbert having a good monologue on Trump’s Sharks vs Electrocution speech ages ago but struggling to find it right now..

  24. nomdeplume says

    @28 Fair cop. I should have said “every Trump speech is a Grandpas Simpson speech”.

  25. says

    Trump is nuts. Simple as that. He is nuts in so many ways that it is impossible to sum him up other than to just say: he is nuts.

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