Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Must-tell stories

More on vacationing at the beach:

When five Ohio-born women get together in the Deep South, there's bound to be a discussion about bugs. Specifically cockroaches. There's no question as to their presence, but how ubiquitous are they? When Bette found a cockroach in her closet, a big discussion ensued at dinner: how big do they get? Even the waitress chimed in, describing the gigantic palmetto bugs that fly. (They're THIS long, but don't worry; they immediately die if they get inside. Huh?) Nancy was getting particularly grossed out by the possibilities. So when Bette had the opportunity to play a joke on her, she went for it. What should Nancy find when she went to the bathroom? A dead cockroach on the toilet seat, of course! I'm not sure if Nancy thought it died a natural death just sitting there, but she seemed pretty convinced that the cockroaches were now going to attack her while she slept.

But things went from bad to worse in the scaring-ourselves department. Before the night was out, I was unable to open my door to the balcony (which faced the ocean), despite the fact that it was on the second floor and there were no steps leading to it. Several of them had me convinced that an intruder would, no doubt, find his way in to commit mayhem; thus, the knives were put in the freezer. Yes, the freezer. That's so the intruder would have to use his own knives.

Moving into the light of day found us at the beach. By now, all of Arlington, Ohio must know that Kay lost her phone and camera. When we discovered the loss, we seriously backtracked with some heavy-duty beachcombing. In the meantime, a good samaritan found the phone and started calling. The recipients of those phone calls may not have known about Kay's whereabouts, but they quickly learned. At any rate, Kay happened upon the caller who, fortunately, handed over the phone and camera, no questions asked. That may have had a better ending than the incident with the key. I found it in the sand; not knowing what else to do with it, I threw it away from the shoreline amidst protests. Too late, I pictured a lost soul searching the sand, locked out of her house with the magic mirror.

Yes, magic mirror. In the middle of the giggles and the shrieks, we admired ourselves in the magnifying mirror in my bathroom. I stumbled upon its magic when I pulled it away from the wall. I'm not kidding, it took ten years off my life. When I pointed out my discovery to the others, they felt compelled to follow my lead and came away astonished. I made it a practice to check its magic every now and then. After I caught a glimpse of my blurry eyes when I awoke, I stumbled pass the regular mirror to the Magic Mirror and saw only wide-awake youth. Must have been beach magic. There's no other answer.

Those are the stories I'm free to tell. And then there's the rest of the story.

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