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Remember The Partridge Family? Remember little Danny Partridge? Image from here.
The title to this post was supposed to have been:
“Top Ten Life Stories That I Will Never Live Down”.
(You see, I’m writing this as a response to a writing prompt given to me by MamaKat, over on Mama’s Losin’ It.)
But, really, why do there need to be ten?
Ten stories are unnecessary. Superfluous. Overkill!
For me, there is one, and one only.
There is only a need for one story that I will never live down.
And I KNOW you want to know what that one story is.
Our family had gone on a trip to the Baltimore, MD, area, for a family reunion.
And as best I recall, we had taken a day and driven over to the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. It must have seemed like a good time to spend the day at the beach.
On the drive back to our cousin’s home in Baltimore, we had stopped on the road in Salisbury, MD, at a fund raiser for the local firemen there.
I was about 10 years old at the time.
The firemen of Salisbury, MD, were serving up an oyster fry.
In hindsight, I honestly don’t know to this very day if I might possibly be allergic to oysters. I say this because I have had another bad experience following ingesting oysters, after taking a bite of an oyster dip at a potluck Christmas party. I didn’t know what it was until after I had taken a bite of that dip/spread/whatever it was that was sitting in a casserole dish in that dimly lit room. And then I began to wonder what the heck I had just eaten. I asked, and was told it was oyster something. That experience did not end well. I didn’t even make it home from the party before I paid for it. But then there was another time after that when I ate raw oysters on the half shell at a restaurant, with absolutely no ill effect.
So…I STILL wonder.
Anyhow, we stopped to support the firemen at this oyster fry. Two carloads of us. My immediate family, and my uncle and aunt and their seven kids.
What I think I recall them serving were fried oyster sandwiches.
And at the time, I thought they were pretty good: hey – they were fried. Enough salt and deep fried batter and you can make most things taste good. And I’d never had oysters before. And everyone else in my family and extended family were eating them like they were going out of style.
So, I ate my sandwich, too.
And then, we all went on the drive back to my uncle’s house near Baltimore.
And my uncle and aunt invited me to ride with them and their family. (We probably swapped a few cousins for cousins, to keep the body count even.) But I rode with my uncle in his car, as a special treat.
My uncle and aunt had two daughters who were almost my age, and I wanted to be with them: playmates! How fun!!! See, I came from a family of four children, where I was five years younger than my nearest sibling. So everything I did or said was generally counted as silly or less important, because I was “the baby”. So to hang with two girl cousins who were almost my age, and with an uncle and aunt who were very fond of me, was a very special treat.
So riding home from the Eastern Shore was fun! SO much fun!!! I was independent from the rest of my family, and was being treated as a special guest, and I was having a ball: the time of my life!!!
Until I started noticing that I was feeling a little car sick.
A bit queasy.
And then queasier.
And then I noticed those oysters were sitting like ROCKS in my gut.
And then my throat started feeling like it was closing off. Like someone had put a clamp around it.
And then my upper intestines started sounding the “WoooooooooOOOOT! WoooooOOOOT! WooooooOOOOT!!!! RED ALERT!!! BATTLE STATIONS!!!!” alarm siren that they used to sound on the deck of the Starship Enterprise. (You know. Star Trek?) “ALL HANDS ON DECK!!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!! REPEAT!!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!! RED ALERT!!!! WoooOOOOT! WooOOOT! WooooOOOT!!!”
And I KNEW that EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURES for the contents of my stomach were about to take place.
But what to do?
I was a shy, quiet little girl: a favorite of my uncle BECAUSE I was shy and quiet and sweet.
“Uuummm….Uncle Ralph???” my tremulous voice queried. “Uhhhhh….I feel kinda sick…..”.
(Yes. His name really is Ralph. Don’t think I don’t appreciate the irony. And I could not possibly make this stuff up.)
“Well, do you need us to roll down the window, Sweetheart, so you can get some fresh air?”
“Uuuuhhhh….yeah….” I replied, as various cousins shifted positions in the back seat (long about the time all the oysters in my stomach were really getting rolling on shifting their own positions) to allow me to hang my head out the window. And my cousin Kathy began the LENGTHY process of rolling down the window.
How long can that take, right?
Well…sadly…the answer is …just a teeny. bit. too. long.
Yup. Regrettably, Kathy, though an amazing athlete with lighting quick reflexes, couldn’t QUITE get those reflexes going quickly enough to get that window rolled down. Not, at least, before I hurled my entire lunch UP ONTO THAT SAME WINDOW. So not only did I not make it TO the window, but everyone in the back of the car was treated to the absolutely HORRIFIC SIGHT of the contents of my gut, splattered and dripping down the inside of the car window. And then…there was the stench. All the way back to Baltimore.
Mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm.
So, since that time…
I have graduated from high school. Graduated from college. Lived on another continent and learned their culture and language. Been gainfully employed as an educational professional. Obtained a Master’s degree. Been AGAIN gainfully employed. Gotten married. Had two kids. Been responsible for providing an education for those two kids. At present, I’m even writing a blog that is not doing too badly.
At every family reunion, the very first thing that one set of my cousins will say to me is not, “How are you doing?” or “Gosh, it’s great to see you,” or “Wow! Don’t you look great! Whatcha been up to?”.
The very FIRST kind words they treat me to, invariably, are:
“Hey! Remember that time you threw up all over the back of Dad’s car and it splatted down the window???”
when you’ve achieved THAT level of notoriety…
what else IS there?
It’s all downhill from there.
I feel sorry for those child stars who peak so early in their young lives.
The Partridge Family may be gone, but for Danny, it’s never been forgotten. Image from here.
Here’s to you, Danny Bonaduce/Danny Partridge. You, and all the other young Hollywood stars who’ve reached the apex of your career far too soon.
I know how you feel, man.
Now. How about you? What are YOU trying to live down? 😀
P.S. Whatever you do, for gosh sakes…don’t share this! ;-D
For more great stories like this one, (but probably lots better than this one) you can visit here: