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Even with preparation sometimes things just don’t go as planned. Like when a chipmunk bites your cousin.

July 29, 2010

At the age of 13 I found myself in a situation that I knew I could handle. My grandparents and uncle trusted me to watch my cousin, who was 10, for 30 minutes as they ran to the store. Piece of cake, I thought. Grandma had a pool, we were good swimmers, and 30 minutes would go by fast. Until we journeyed out back to find a little chipmunk nearly submerged breaststroking across the deep end.

So, I quickly grabbed the net, flung him out onto the concrete and heeded a warning to leave Alvin alone to his own destiny. It looked like TV was my Plan B. With my back turned I headed towards the porch. It was then I heard what sounded like a war cry, then a shriek, and then the equivalent of what it would sound like if an elephant rode a roller coaster.

As I snapped my head around, I saw my cousin doing a poor excuse for the river dance then the Curley shuffle while a furry four-ounce fit of horror was attached to his hand right between the thumb and pointer finger. In his attempt to be Marty Stouffer on Wild America, he forgot the golden rule; it is still a wild animal.

He then snapped his right hand as if throwing a football and the little half-drowned and bowlegged rodent flew off into a bush. Looking at the sheer terror in his eyes, I had to take action. It was hard to calm him down. One of mans’ greatest fears is to be eaten alive. I mean even he lives, I wondered, would the mental strain be too much?

I then found an inner calm to take care of the situation. We went inside to wash it off. It was apparent he needed stitches. 30 minutes was going to seem like forever now. I asked how it felt; he said it burned… it burned real bad. So I went to my grandparent’s medicine cabinet and found a white tube for burning. I applied the ointment on like I was painting the kitchen. He said it felt better.

When everyone returned, I valiantly told my story of how this ghastly creature emerged from the deep in Godzilla like fashion, donned its razor sharp teeth and attacked my cousin like he was the world’s last acorn. I then showed them the bite marks and the tube of salve used to lessen the burn. To my uncle’s angst and I bet later the tale of all bite wounds at the ER, I had actually used hemorrhoid cream to soothe the burning wound.

Turns out luck is not when preparation meets opportunity, rather luck can be when Preparation H meets a chipmunk bite.

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2 comments

  1. Funny! You are a great storyteller, Ike.



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