I have a friend and together we solicit danger.
When I say danger, I mean fire ants. And ill-advised exposure to sun.
It’s funny, though, how the element of pain is erased by the power of a good memory.
When I think of our 24-hour trip to the coast, I remember Scuttlebutts, and not the second-degree sunburns I sustained on my face. Or the first-degree burns on 40 percent (total guess) of my body.
When I think of last Thursday night, I remember the delicious margarita and our roaming conversation on her back porch.
I don’t remember the fire ants so much, except that it’s really a great story that I’m about to tell you.
After a lengthy conversation about their dogs and one’s propensity to running away and never returning, I opened the front door to leave and the dog who likes to run away and never return, ran between my legs. And down the street.
Out popped one of their other dogs, who I managed to grab by the collar while we watched Molly juke back and forth and then trot away. I think I was probably yelling.
And then in the middle of the whole foray, my friend starts screaming about fire ants. In a matter of seconds, the following ensued:
1) I didn’t believe her
2) Her husband grabbed the dog I was holding and ran after Molly
3) I looked down
4) At the same instant I saw them, I felt fire spreading across my sandaled feet
5) I started screaming
6) I ran in the house
7) My friend didn’t want me in the house, I was bringing them in with me
8) I refused to go back outside
9) My friend accepted my decision
10) We slammed the door
11) We furtively started smashing the small insects
12) I threw my shoes off
13) We kept killing them
14) Our lower extremities were burning and starting to itch
15) I popped a Benadryl
16) My friend kept moaning that the bugs were crawling in under the door
17) She grabbed what she thought was cinnamon and poured it along the door frame. It was cumin.
18) She got the vacuum.
19) I got the actual cinnamon.
20) Her husband returned with Molly and the other dog.
21) He wondered why we had cinnamon out. And cumin.
22) We were still burning and itching.
Swallowing more often then usual to make sure my throat didn’t swell shut, I left in a hurry and popped another Benadryl. I stayed up till midnight to write a story due the next day just in case I had to further medicate myself and sleep off the side effects. I didn’t.
When the burning and itching finally subsided two days later, I was left with great memories.
Excellent margaritas. Rewarding conversation. A lot of dead fire ants.