A few days ago, I finally got to enjoy the first beach day of the summer with gal pal, Arielle. It was a gorgeous day–clear blue sky, warm but breezy, and sunny enough to get a jump start on our tans. It was a perfectly normal, perfectly wonderful, perfectly unexceptional day at the beach.
|She stretched her arms so wide, it was as if she was made of silly putty.|
Now, before you panic, there are 2 things you need to know about the South Carolina coast. Number one: the water isn’t crystal clear. In fact, it’s so silty you can’t see anything beneath its surface. That means that you’re swimming with the fishes without being able to see the fishes, which is both alarming and comforting at the same time. Number two: yes, sting rays can be pretty big. However, the children were playing in water that was about ankle deep. And in all the years I’ve been swimming in the Carolina oceans, I’ve never seen a sting ray. (Not to say that I’m a marine expert. I’m not. I’m sure there are a bazillion sting ray sightings in any given summer. I’m just saying I’ve never seen one.)
|Also, it should be said that rarely does a sting ray ever grow to the size of a school bus,
which is what pink bikini lady was leading us to believe.
Undeterred, but erring on the side of caution, Arielle and I walked several yards down from the sting ray sighting, and plunged into the waves. The water was deliciously chilly, and we spent the next half an hour floating, and laughing, and splashing.
|We ♥ the ocean.|
In the middle of a particularly funny story, a wave took me under and swept me away from Arielle. I wanted to hear the punch line, so I started walking toward her. And that’s when I stepped on something that was clearly NOT the sandy bottom. And how did I know that, you ask? Well, readers, it moved. And I reacted thusly:
|In case the picture isn’t self-explanatory…ahem….”AAAARRRRRRGGGGHHH.”|
Arielle was still several feet away from me and could not hear my distress howl over the sound of the waves. All I knew, in that split second, was that there were two major objectives that needed to be achieved, and quickly. One: get the hell out of dodge. And two: warn my friend of the impending doom beneath my feet. So I did the only logical thing.
|She was utterly confused.|
“What the…..?” she asked.