This post is brought to you through the inspiration of Oh Noa. Noa was talking about laughing in public at completely inappropriate things and then asked us all, “What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen in public?”.
I took that to mean, “What’s the last thing you couldn’t stop laughing about?”. Well, I’ll tell you.
Picture this: 1988 – off the coast of Haiti. One entire family went on a Caribbean vacation. The adults had vacationed before, but for us kids, this was the first stop on a long, long, LONG vacation.
Snorkeling! Yes! Give me a mask, a snorkel and a life vest, I’m in it to win it!
We set off from the beach and swam out to the large rocks to seek pretty fishies. The first thing I learned about snorkeling is that it’s very solitary. Even if you are with a bunch of people, it’s easy to get lost and disoriented. I met up with my aunt halfway around the first rock.
We silently signaled to each other and she started pointing out the different fishes to me. Now at ease, I began to explore a bit on my own. Before I knew it, Aunt Sue was next to me again.
This time she poked my arm and pointed to my cousin Keith, her son, in front of us. His yellow swim trunks were just up ahead. Always the jokester, she began to make silent, funny pantomimes of pinching his butt. Her hand mimicked a lobster claw and I began to see how hilarious this joke would be! I smiled, trying not to take water into my snorkel and enthusiastically nodded my head yes.
She kicked her flippers with an extra oomph and swam up to him, reached out and gave him a good pinch on his butt.
The next few seconds still flash back to me as a watery blur. He whipped his head around, clearly frightened that something had bitten him.
The frightened, tunneled scream that came from that boy’s snorkel told me all I had to know.
That wasn’t my cousin! That wasn’t my aunt’s son! That was a 13 year old stranger in a yellow bathing suit!
When I realized in my murky view what had actually happened, I laughed uncontrollably. Salt water filled my snorkel and I lifted my head above the surface and sputtered. Aunt Sue popped up to the surface at the same time and screamed her high pitch laugh. Now I was coughing and laughing and choking all at the same time. We created such a scene!
My parents swam over to see if I was going to drown. They tried to ask us what happened, but I couldn’t exactly talk at that moment. All I can remember is my head titled as far to the sky as my life vest would let me, trying to breathe air, and laughing as hard as I have ever laughed in my life.
We finally made it to shore and let the others in on what just happened. The parents of the victim were strangely standoffish.
We snorkeled four more times on this vacation. I broke out in giggles the minute my face hit the water. Have you ever tried controlling the giggles through a snorkel? Ya, not so easy.
Well, I’d like to tell you that the moral to my story is that my aunt doesn’t go around pinching bottoms anymore, but that would be a bold faced lie.
She hasn’t learned her lesson. And that’s why I love her.