Jellyfish and June Bugs


an underwater wonder Posted by Hello

Alright, so a few entries ago in Sisterhood, I tattled on my sister Shannon for forcing me into a spanking that I didn’t deserve. I guess there really is something called Sisterhood because my other sister, Renee, has gotten all over my case for making Shannon feel bad. I think I am o.k. with Shannon, but just to make her feel better, I will now pleasure you with a confession of my own.

As you know, I am the middle of seven. At the top of the line-up there is Erick. Four years later came Adam, then a year later, Shannon, and I came a whopping 18 months after her. Shannon was always the little princess. I found my way by NOT trying to be like her. I guess I realized at a young age that I could never compete with the first most perfect daughter. So, I settled into the fun-loving, somewhat tomboyish, “throwing caution to the wind” girl. I am still so glad that Shannon took the princess role; I am so much more fun than those prissy girls. Just ask LG.

As you picture Shannon, the princess, you can imagine her feeling towards creepy crawly things. She absolutely detested any kind of insect, and would scream at the top of her lungs for someone to save her whenever she spotted one. I can’t tell you how many mornings I would have to fish spiders out of the tub before she could shower.

Well, I always thought that Shannon’s fear was unfounded. (I still don’t understand it when girls are afraid of those little creepy things – you can squash them between your fingers, for heaven’s sake) I determined at an early age that I would be the one to cure my girlygirl sister of her irrational phobia.

In California there was an insect called the JuneBug (it usually surfaced in May, NOT explaining its common name, at all). These bugs are much like the South’s Firefly, except they lack any kind of cool “light”. JuneBugs were more apparent at night and would attach themselves to our window screens (because the light is so pretty). They looked like a teeny brownish version of a beetle mixed with a bee. My sister hated those bugs, and just the sound of their buzzing would scare her enough that she would have to run from shelter to shelter, as to not be attacked.

Of course, the sight of my sister sprinting from the house to the car was absolutely ridiculous. Whenever I would trail my sister, I would always collect a few JuneBugs on the way. I would then proceed to throw them at her, with or without warning. Those bugs would be crazed from being trapped in my hand and would fly full-speed ahead at Shannon. I would get one really good laugh every time from her agonizing reaction. Shannon would always go nuts, and she provided unlimited entertainment for me and my brothers.

My mom or dad would always come behind and instruct me to stop the torture. I would collect up the JuneBugs and say sorry. But, Shannon knew that the torture would never end: whenever the JuneBugs were out, she was on guard.

While we lived in Alaska for the summer of ’81, to my disappointment, there were no JuneBugs. I had to find a new source of entertainment. And, so I did. It wasn’t hard to do; there were all kinds of creepy crawly things to choose from. Of course I chose the thing that intimidated Shannon the most…..jellyfish.

Jellyfish always lingered in the ocean close to the house. They washed up on the shore every day. Whenever Shannon and I would venture out to play, I would hide myself in the tall grass out in front of our shanty with a dead or dying Jellyfish in hand, waiting to be put to use. Just like a crouching tiger, I would wait for Shannon’s approach and then I would attack. I would use my good arm (I was quite the softball player in my day) always aiming for her head.

I usually hit the target and she would be so petrified that she would freeze in place and beg me to come and retreive it before it killed her. She was always the smart one and would remind me every time, “Alice, jellyfish are poisonous; they can kill you.” I usually beleived what she would try to teach me, but not about the poison because she never got stung or poisoned. What would I do in response to my sister begging for mercy? Do I have to answer that question? Of course, I would retreive the jellyfish, tell my sister that I just couldn’t resist the fun, apologize, and wait for the next opportunity to attack. Shannon always forgave me for my abuse; personally, I think that she should have beat the crap out of me. To this day, I still think that she takes too much crap from people.

So, there you have it, Shannon. I definitely think that my ongoing creepy crawly torture, was much less justifiable than your dodging of a spanking with a belt. So, really, truly, this time, I am very sorry. I will never scare you again. Promise.

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