This weekend I took my family to the beach. I sometimes forget that you can go to the beach in England. It is only an hour and a half away. This is a ridiculous distance when you’ve grown up in San Diego, but I’ve also lived in Missouri– where a drive to the beach would take about two days.
But, on the beach I try to show the kids how cool I am. I grew up in southern California. I grew up where surfers surfed every day and the beach culture was everywhere. Well, I never really was much of a beach person and was an awkward kid. But, I think that because I’m living in England and grew up in California, I should have some sort of special powers that would make me cool on the beach.
Anyway, I went way out into the water. The depth was so gradual that you had to walk a quarter mile until it even gets up to your neck. I was playing around and trying to get my kids to come deeper when I stepped on something sharp. At first, I thought it was a sharp rock or something. But the pain didn’t go away. I could swear I was bleeding underwater (I am prone to exaggeration when it comes to injury) but when I got to shallow water and hopped on one foot to take a look, there was no blood.
I mumbled something to my kids and hopped back to the blanket. The pain got worse and worse. Eventually, I went to see the lifeguard (which a manly man like me should not need to do) and told them my foot hurt. They looked at each other and smirked. Apparently, they get people with this injury all day long.
I had stepped on a Weever Fish. This is a nasty little fish which put venom into my foot and caused me to writhe around on our blanket like a big baby. A very nice life guard named Phillip had me soak my foot in boiling water for about 20 minutes while we chatted about the time he used to live in San Diego too. Then, my foot was fine except for a dull pain.
But I did not go back in the water again.
The moral of the story is to watch out for these stupid little fish. Don’t be too macho to see the lifeguard. And, if you do get stung, soak in hot water.