Forget Shark Week. There should be a series called Jellyfish Week. Shudder. These creepy, slimy, creatures are the many-tentacled mini-monsters of the deep! Try saying that 10 times fast.
OK, let me back up and tell you a story. It's the story of a girl and her dad who took a trip to beautiful, sunny Pensacola, Florida. The girl had never been to Pensacola before, but had heard stories of the famous white sand beaches and the beautiful turquoise colored water and was super excited to go. She and her dad of course had to make a visit to the beach. It was breathtakingly beautiful. The sand dunes, the water, the sunshine. Absolutely beautiful.
The girl and her trusty pool noodle (What? Don't you bring a pool noodle to the ocean??) were floating along, minding their own business, just enjoying the sights and sounds and chatting with her dad. She had floated a little farther out than was probably wise, but she wanted to be out of the waves and float in the calm water and bask in the sun.
Her dad became a little concerned at how far out she had floated and asked her to come back closer to shore. She and Mr. Pool Noodle began their long, slow float back.
And then it happened.
Her left arm began to tingle. And then it felt like there was a colony of fire ants swarming her arm, but of course there aren't fire ants in the ocean and fire ants don't have tentacles. Her arm began to feel like it was on fire. She thrashed her arm around trying to dislodge whatever creepy, slimy thing was attacking it. Her dad noticed her distress and began to swim out to rescue her, thinking the worst, that it was perhaps a shark.
In sheer panic, she was swimming against the current and became increasingly exhausted. Her dad pulled her along until they finally made it shore and then they went back to their beach towel and collapsed, just utterly drained. They sat for a few minutes, most likely just in shock, while the girl inspected her arm and noticed bright reddish-purple welts all over that burned and ached and itched all at once. They quickly packed up their things and the girl threw a worried look back over her shoulder as they were leaving - secretly and irrationally worried that somehow the jellyfish would follow them.
There were signs posted on the beach that recommended, if you were stung by a jellyfish, rubbing vinegar on the affected area. So they stopped at the convenience store and the clerk didn't even bat an eye when her dad ran in and bought a single bottle of vinegar. Clearly, these ruthless monsters attacked quite frequently.
The girl didn't wait and soaked her towel with the vinegar and began to rub it on her arm in the car. It was the most foul-smelling, amazingly wonderful relief she had ever felt.
The girl and Mr. Pool Noodle called it quits immediately thereafter and she has been forever cured of swimming past the waves in the ocean. In fact, putting her toes in the water might be living just a little too dangerously in her book.
I hope you enjoyed this cautionary tale of when jellyfish attack. If you guessed that the girl was me, well then, pin a rose on your nose. The end.