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When Murphy Tags Along

“If anything can go wrong, it will”—Murphy’s Law, the simple version!

When someone speaks of vacation, it is usually with fond memories and a desire to never leave the destination. What about those vacations that go horribly wrong? Yes, the memories are there and after years and years have passed, one can look back and maybe laugh about it or maybe not. One member of my family had just such an experience.

Around the summer of 2008, my husband, Barry, my son, Will, and myself were invited on a beach trip with his family. The group consisted of his brother, sister-in-law, nephew, niece, mother, and father. We were sharing a 3-bedroom condo at Orange Beach for a week. After getting off work, we loaded up and started the drive to the beach and that is when Murphy decided to tag along.

We were somewhere between Jackson and Hattiesburg when a car, baring license plates from NY, sped beside us, whipped in front, causing Barry to have to slam on the brakes. The driver of the car proceeded to give a finger gesture that made my normally calm and cool hubby see RED. The car sped away and my husband floored the Chevy Silverado in hot pursuit. Now, my 4-year-old is securely fastened in his car seat, and I am hollering at Barry to slow down, and he is explaining that the idiot could have caused a wreck. Pot and kettle scenario taking place at this moment! Well, the speeding car got held up at the next red light. My husband puts the truck in park and opens the door. I am begging him to get back in the truck. He calmly stated he was going to just have a little chat with the driver. The driver obviously wised up because he did not waste a moment and ran that red light. Barry got back in the truck, and I said, “guess the guy didn’t want to chat with a redneck wearing flip flops, huh?” We made it to the condo in one piece and without any further incidents.

We get up the next morning and hit the beach! It was a beautiful day, and the kids were so excited to play in the sand and surf. Like I said earlier, Will was about 4 years old and my niece was around 10 years old at the time. The kids are running to and away from the waves and having a marvelous time, but there is this teenager that is skin boarding really close to them. Barry nicely asked the kid to move a little further away from the little ones playing. The kid ignores him and almost hits Will on the next wave. Barry hollers at the kid to please move and the kid is extremely rude. Barry starts after the kid, but the kid runs off. The kid’s parents were nowhere to be found; otherwise, I think they would have gotten an earful from an irate Barry.

To calm the papa bear down, we all join in the fun and start splashing around in the waves. Barry and my nephew enjoyed diving deep in the waves. Suddenly, Barry shouts out in pain. He is about waist deep in the water at the time and we all freeze. He said it felt like a bolt of electricity just went up his leg. None of us saw or felt anything in the water. We were close to a fishing pier, but again, we did not see anything out of the norm. Little later that day, Barry was talking with another beach goer and was telling him about the incident in the water earlier that morning. The gentleman told Barry he more than likely stepped on a stingray.

The next morning, the kids decided they wanted to play in the hotel’s pool. Being the best uncle that he can be, Barry started chunking the kids from the shallow end to the deep end. Somewhere between the first and hundredth chunk, his back went out. He told the kids he needed a break and waddled back to the condo for some Advil. After about 30 minutes, I went to the condo to check on him. I met him at the door, and he stated he was going to just float on the raft in the ocean. I told him I had enough sun for the moment, and I was going to sit on the balcony and read for a bit. We parted ways, and I went to enjoy the view from the balcony.

I was reading a few pages, people watching for a bit, then reading a little more. During one of my people watching breaks, I see Barry floating on his raft. All of a sudden, he starts flailing his arms and legs and eventually flips the raft. I started laughing and I am just dumbfounded about what is happening. He surfaces and starts stomping back to the condo, raft in hand. I met him at the door again still chuckling. His first words are, “where is the vinegar?” Obviously, he had floated into a school of jellyfish. He smelled like a dyed Easter egg for the rest of the day.

Barry awoke the next morning with ear pain. Of course, after taking the Advil for his back, his ear started feeling a little better. We took a break from beach and water activities and went shopping. He complained with the ear pain off and on throughout the day. I asked if we needed to go to the doctor and he said if it was not better in the morning, we would stop on our way back home. The next morning his ear pain was worse. We helped clean the condo and said our goodbyes. We stopped at a little after-hours clinic in Orange Beach. The doctor took one look in his ear and prescribed antibiotics and ear drops. Barry had an ear infection from diving in the ocean with his nephew. We left the office and decided to spend the night with my parents in Vicksburg since we were so late leaving Orange Beach. We get to Vicksburg and Barry just goes to bed.

The next morning, my dad decided to go get everyone donuts for breakfast. Less than 5 minutes later, he is back inside the house looking for Barry. We wake Barry up and my dad proceeded to explain that there had been a little accident outside. We all walk outside to see the huge hole in the side of Barry’s truck. My dad forgot Barry had parked his truck on the side of the house and didn’t see him when he backed up to get the donuts. My dad’s trailer hitch went completely through the passenger side door. All I could do was laugh, but I swear I thought I saw a tear fall from my sweet hubby’s eye. He turned to me and said he just wanted to go home. We load up and head back to Sterlington, Louisiana.

Somewhere between Tallulah and Sterlington, we chunked Murphy out of the truck or so we thought. Monday morning, we took the truck to the repair shop and Barry went back to work. Barry’s back started to feel a little better once he got home and rested, but his ear was still bothering him. While at work, he asked a physician friend to look in his ear to see what she thought. Long story short, she had to lance his ear because of the nasty infection!!

I don’t think Barry has been back to Orange Beach to enjoy the beach since this trip! The memories definitely have not been forgotten.

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