So I just got back from a week's vacation with my family in the Poconos. In the basement of the place we rented, stacked between copies of the sort of pulpy pop-fiction appropriate for most vacationers, there was a copy of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. Hot damn, actual literature!* Honestly, I would have settled for some campy mystery novel.

*The difference between pulpy garbage and literature is that nobody remembers when literature was published.

After reading it, I decided to look up some of Hemingway's bio, since I didn't know too much about him. Turns out that a good part of the story was influenced by his real-life experiences; Hemingway used to vacation in the Bahamas where he went fishing for tuna and marlin in the Gulf Stream. Whenever he got close to reeling one in, it would tire out and become easy prey for nearby sharks, which would tear the fish to pieces long before he could get it into the boat. The solution Hemingway came up with? Blow the sharks away with a sub-machine gun.

Hemingway relaxes

I was always under the impression that fishing was supposed to be a leisurely form of recreation; I can only assume that Hemingway golfed with hand grenades.