We all have them…those moments when we’re so tired we think we’re seeing pink elephants with lemon yellow zebra stripes – and fluorescent green polka dots. When all we want to do is finish whatever it is we’re doing so we can go to bed. Or at least take a nap. For three days.
And almost always, somewhere in the middle of it all, the memories start playing in our minds like a movie.
For me, they’re almost always the funny things I’ve seen (and been a part of). And the more I try to concentrate on what I should be doing, the more I think about those things, which usually means I’m sitting at my desk…laughing like a lunatic…for no obvious reason.
Today I’ve been thinking about the vacations my family took when I was a kid.
We often went to one lake or another, renting three or four cabins for our family, my mother’s siblings and their families…and our grandparents. Basically about thirty adults and children on one small beach for an entire week. Those were some of the best times in my life.
There was the summer when I slipped on the raft and stepped on someone’s face mask…slicing my heel open. It wasn’t easy trying to swim back to shore with one arm, using my other hand to hold my foot out of the water (like that worked…not).
And the summer I took the rowboat out all by myself (not more than thirty feet from the dock) and finally, finally caught my first fish. My grandpa, fisherman extraordinaire, made me throw it back. I didn’t want to because I was really proud of myself, but he said it wasn’t much bigger than a minnow…and he was right. It wasn’t.
Did I say my ‘first’ fish? Yeah. It was also my last fish. It’s true. I’ve only caught one fish in my entire life…unless you count that fact that I go fishing regularly – in the frozen food department at the grocery store.
And then there was the vacation I’ll never forget. I don’t remember how old I was. Probably eleven or twelve. Back when I was stupid, and didn’t realize that ‘clams’ were actually living things.
I hadn’t even known you could find them in fresh water lakes, but I had a blast stomping on them (hey…I said I was a stupid kid). At one point I grabbed one out of the water and took off to find someone to show how cool it was.
That’s when I ran into my slightly younger cousin, Skip. I’m sure he wishes it had been any one of the numerous other relatives on the trip that year, but nope. It had to be him.
“Hey, Skip! Watch this!” I said, setting the clam in the dirt.
To this day I’m not really sure how it happened. Instead of squashing out on the ground like the others had done, this time when I brought my heel down on it, the stuff inside squirted out and up – covering my cousin with splatters of goo. From head-to-toe…
I don’t know which one of us was more stunned (okay, probably him), but he was definitely not impressed with my new clam-stomping skill. He didn’t say a word, just walked away with a look of pure disgust on his face.
Skip, I know it’s a little late but…I’m sorry. I had no idea you were going to get a clam-guts shower that day. Honest, I didn’t. I’m also sorry that, as I sat here typing this, tears were streaming down my face because I was laughing so hard.
Maybe now is a good time for me to go and play catch up for all the sleep I’ve been missing out on lately. 🙂
I tried to find a cool water video, but I don’t see a whole lot of humor in accidents where it looks like bones had to have been broken. This one is a little long, but I find Jeanne Robertson to be a riot.