When I was 6 or so, I was still living in Colorado. My same-age cousin came to visit, and the whole family was hanging at my grandparent’s house. The cousin and I had been mungling out back, bored, when we decided to check out the action at the park located across the street. Since we were not yet old enough to just go out front apparently, we decided it would be a genius idea to go around to the side of the house into the fenced dog run, and climb up onto the old dog house that sat inside the fence facing the street. And for whatever reason still unbeknownst to me if I think about our personalities, I climbed up first, accidentally kicking the shit out of a wasps’ nest chilling under the eave apparently.

Oh holy hell the wasps.

In that fuzzy revisionist way we remember things, I know I don’t accurately recall the next part clearly. But it feels like I turned around and saw my fartknocker cousin running as fast as his aleady-taller-than-me fartknocker legs would carry him, out the gate of the dog run, without a word of warning coming from his fartknocker mouth.

So. Is it his fault he got like, three bites, and I got dozens and dozens (and dozens, if this is my story to revel in so please roll with it Mom kthanks)? No. He was a kid. But it sure feels like an AWOL move deserving of some dishonorable discharge from the whole family, if not the friggen kids’ table.

And my grandmother flat panicked when she heard me rounding the bend in the backyard screaming bloody murder. Grandma had been convinced my uncle’s totally harmless, Sesame Street Barkely-esque dumb dog who wanted nothing other than to loll in the backyard all day, was going to maul my cousin and I gleefully when no one was looking. I remember her calling to my uncle to grab Bowser, even though considerable confusion was mounting due to the completely innocent dog being found sleeping or something equally not blood-inducing. Poor Bowser. I hope he got an extra dog treat for being so maligned.

I’m sure in the end the sotto voce cousin clued people in, which was nice of him. Not sure he deserved ice cream with me, but whatever, I’m over it.

And that’s really it. It’s a battle story, but it has no visible scars; it’s just meant to earn some street cred, and has served me well over the years. It’s also an interesting side note to the fact that I’m not afraid in the least of flying things, but will still jump a foot in the air to see a spider. WTF.

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