A favorite family story involves my much-loved (and only) baby brother and the classic malapropism he uttered while describing the time our cousin fell into the canal behind our grandparents’ Florida home. The story is based on an incident that occurred that one Christmas when much of the extended family had rallied at my grandparents’ house for the holiday. (You know the one I’m talking about…we’ve all had them.)
Our cousin Brent was stepping from the dock onto granddad’s boat (or from the boat onto the dock, I’m not sure which) when he slipped and managed to fall into the water in between them. I thought this was hilarious at the time because, well, I was at that age when someone falling into the canal would have struck me as funny no matter what the circumstances. (And the fact that he had been talking to me on the walkie-talkies we had gotten for Christmas when he went into the drink made it even funnier…I’m actually still laughing as I type this!)
Now my grandfather had warned us numerous times to be careful getting on and off the boat, and he had further warned us (over and OVER again) that if we ever did fall into the canal, we needed to watch out for the barnacles growing on the piles under the dock because they were razor sharp and could cause infection if we cut ourselves on them.
Naturally this highly-publicized danger added extra drama to the operation involved in fishing Brent out of the canal. My brother was all of five-years-old when this happened and it obviously left a very big impression on him. So much so that a couple years later, while riding in the car with one of our sisters and some family friends, he told the story of Brent’s rescue and how we had all been very worried that our cousin “might have been cut on the testicles.”
Now my brother had no idea what he had said, but my sister reported that the family friend NEARLY DROVE OFF THE ROAD trying to keep from laughing at the sincere little guy’s harrowing tale.
I was reminded of the “testicle story” today at the kallbadhus when I grabbed the wrong part of the wooden staircase leading out of the water (for less than a second!) and managed to slice up three of the fingers on my right hand. I don’t think infection is going to be a problem since I was able to wash the wounds immediately after it happened, but I’m still feeling a bit handicapped at the moment. (Washing dishes tonight was a real pain.)
I would be SO much better off right now if those barnacles had actually been testicles.
Love you, Davy!!!