The always awesome Jaybird reminded me to tell my 'jellyfish story', that I had mentioned in her comment section during the A to Z Challenge. So, here it is a quick flashback...in all it's cheesy glory....
I must have been about seven…maybe eight…years old and we were living on the Naval Base in Pensacola, Florida. As we often did on the weekends, we took a trip to the beach. I can still remember the white sands and blue-green waters of the Gulf…it was a great beach.
On this particular day, though, as we made our way to find a spot to lay out our towels and umbrella, I noticed a lot of people up by the lifeguard stands. Many were rubbing ointment or some such on their legs and arms. I even saw a couple of grown men crying.
The reason, we found out , was due to an unusually large jellyfish infestation that had moved in and the guards were cautioning everyone who was going into the water to be careful. While I was a bit worried, I still decided to risk it and head into the water. My mom, of course, tried to make me sit on the beach, but my dad (the Navy man) wasn't worried.... “Ah, let the boy go in the water…he’ll be o.k…”. So that’s what I did.
The ocean was clear, so I figured I could see any crafty jellyfish trying to sneak up on me and I was pretty vigilant. The more the time went past, the more I figured I was safe and things were going to be o.k….no jellyfish were coming for me this day….so I began to run and swim around a bit more.
I forget, exactly, what I was doing, but as I stood in the water…about knee high…I felt something slowly wrap around my leg. I looked down and, sure enough, saw a clear jellyfish wrapping itself around my leg. Of course, the first thing I did was scream bloody murder and take off towards the beach. I kid you not when I say I was almost running on top of the water. Whatever happened I did NOT want to get stung, so I had to get this thing off of me!
Like a shot, I took off and got to the beach….still screaming “Get it off me, get it off me!!”…all the while remembering those grown men crying from the sting that I knew was coming. I ran towards my parents while my mom was running towards me. I then noticed my dad start to laugh.
Here I was, about to get the worst sting of my life. A sting that brought grown men to their knees…..and he’s standing there laughing!
It was about then that I looked down and noticed it wasn't a jellyfish at all, but a plastic bag that had been floating in the water and found it's way to my leg.
Of course, I laugh about it now….but, back then, it was no laughing matter. I was madder than a hornet, but thankful it wasn't a real jellyfish all the same.
My parents still think this is a pretty funny “Mark” story (and they have quite a few of them), second only to the “Mark, the Puppy, and the Leash” tale that I’ll save for another day. :)
Have a great weekend!