... and some days you're the fire hydrant. This relatively well known phrase is one of the many that my wife has put her own spin on. Her penchant for creating malapropisms is one of the innumerable things I love about Kayla. One day, she was trying to remember the dog / hydrant phrase, and she said, "Some days you're doing okay, and some days you get pooped on by an animal." During my first trip to the beach in three years, my wife's phrase applied to me in the most literal sense.
The nine other people in my party and I had just gotten settled: sun screen, towels, sun glasses, and cold beverages. While my son dug in the sand near the water, I stepped into chilly Lake Michigan and reminded him that this was the first time I'd been able to do this since he was three years old. I didn't go all the way in the water for a variety of reasons, among them the temperature of the lake and my inability to swim. But even if I were an Atlantean, I wouldn't have submerged myself, since my doctors have told me it's still too soon post-transplant to be taking a dip in anything other than filtered and chlorinated pools. No matter- I went to relax on my towel next to where Kayla was sitting, along with my in-laws and nieces. I had been on the beach a grand total of five minutes, and then it happened...
We are still asking each other, what are the odds? The vast majority of groups who go to the beach leave without anyone getting pooped on by a seagull. And of the ten people in our party, it had to be me: the immunosuppressed person who has been ordered by his doctors to avoid aviaries and lizard exhibits at zoos. I never asked why exactly, but I know it involves their droppings, and that was enough for me. Maybe if I were an ornithophile this limitation would have been upsetting, but "avoid bird poop" seemed pretty easy to accomplish.
I sat there frozen after I felt a "plop" on the top-left side of my head. Before I could utter a word, I felt another, this time on my lower back near my hip. It must have been quite an angle of release, since I was sitting down. For a split second I thought (wished) that someone had tossed dirt in the air, but I knew the grim truth. I called out to my family in a panicked tone, "I got pooped on by a bird and I need help because I'm not even supposed to be around birds!" My good natured mother-in-law asked, "Just now?"
"No, four months ago, but I just realized it..."
Maybe I become a little mean after I've been defecated on by a seagull.
The collective scurry to grab paper towels has peppered with astonishment and laughter. I helplessly sat there while Kayla wiped the poop from that wretched winged freshwater rat off of my head, shoulder, back and hip. She then used all of the hand sanitizer in the little bottle I had brought and rubbed it into my hair and everywhere else that had been hit. Soon enough, the poop was gone, but I knew I wouldn't feel "clean" until after I'd taken a shower.
The rest of our time at the beach was without incident, though we remained incredulous at what had taken place and were still laughing about it at various intervals. Because it is not in my nature to let small things like getting crapped on by a seagull sour my mood for too long, I was the embodiment of a slightly tweaked version of my wife's quote: "Some days you're doing okay despite getting pooped on by an animal."