I am Giving Thanks this weekend with my wife and her family in Orlando. Today, we were in Sea World. (Oh, the hu-manitee!)
We had eaten breakfast at about 8:00 and didn't get around to eating lunch until 3:00 (it's all part of a program to minimize total time spent in line). We experienced an unearthly delay in receiving our chicken tenders and French fries, so, naturally, we were on edge. (I, for one, am not accustomed to 7 hours between meals. But that's just me.)
Frazzled after the 20 minute wait for chicken tenders, I proceeded to the condiment table for sauce and napkins and the like, when--BANG!!! A loud pop unlike any other I've heard before. In the course of 15 seconds (which felt like an eternity), I surveyed the situation, fearing the worst, looked down and saw what I thought meant the end was near. A huge red smear ran down my leg onto my sock and shoe.
Blood, I thought. I've been shot.
Funny, in this slow-motion terror, there was no sting. I chalked this up to the amazing capacity the human body has for ignoring pain in trauma.
I was about to hit the floor and yell for others to do the same to avoid further violent assault. On my way to ground, the truth of the situation became abundantly and embarrassingly clear.
The gunshot turned out not to be gunshot, but rather the piercing crack of a ketchup packet (carelessly tossed to the ground) exploding as I stepped on it. Indeed, the blood was not blood but ketchup, staining my sock. And, the absence of pain was likely not the remarkable response to stress but rather the lack of pain one typically experiences when a ketchup packet has exploded on one's leg.
I'm in my hotel room now without internet access, so you won't be hearing of this story until I'm safely back in Pittsburgh and able to access my blogsite. In any event, I am truly thankful to be alive.
If you visit Sea World any time soon, be sure to check out the sea lion show and avoid Mango Joe's. Above all, watch out for stray ketchup packets. Perhaps guard your footwear with condiment protection.
Originally Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2006
(Then) Curent Mood: thankful