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**I realized that because of the timing of this post, it’s completely unclear how the heck someone could be at the beach (seeing as it’s a wintry hellhole out there right now). The explanation? I’m a SoCal native. (Cue eyes rolling) This story is coming at you from last week, when I was home in the 87-degree weather. (Don’t be envious, it was awful. I hate the sun. But that’s for another post.)**
My father was stung by a sting ray for the second time in three months last week. What. If I’m honest right now, I’m laughing really hard. Not because my dad was stung, but just because another sting ray found a way to get him. It’s evident why this happened. At least, it’s evident to me:
My father has found a way to anger the delicate ecosystem of the rays’ domain. There is no safe space within the watery kingdom for ol’ Pete now. Pete is my father. I don’t know if that’s clear. [What’s that? It is clear? I’m being redundant? Okay.] My producer is telling me to shut up and get on with the story, so here it is: The Ballad of Pete & Ray.
The Sting Ray King (May The Manta Ray Bless Him) puts out an order, saying that Peter Reale is officially an enemy of the State, and if any ray should spot him, he or she should sting him on the spot. Now Rich Raymondson, a normal ray who works a cushy, upper-middle-phylum job; has 2.5 kids (poor Timmy, a shark got his left side); and a home in the Land Shores Reef, which boasts its beautiful views of the shores of the Grand Air Bubble (the air ocean of the western hemisphere), was taking his normal route home when he saw the feet of the cursed (pronounced curséd) foot of Peter Reale.
Now Rich, being a good ray, immediately swam towards the feet. He buried himself under the sand just slightly, in that will-he-won’t-he manner that sting rays pride themselves on, and waited. Rich’s eyes, two glassy pebbles, watched as Peter’s feet passed by his hiding spot. Ah yes, the chase begins, Rich thought with glee. The ray abided.
A full thirty minutes later, Rich was roused by someone stepping on him. The nerve! He revealed himself, drew himself up to his full height (a whopping one-and-a-half feet, way above average), and stung the malicious aggressor with his barbed tail (barbs a whopping 2 inches long, ladies!). Ray looked up at his newly-made enemy and gasped, bubbles flying from his mouth. It was Peter! What luck! Ray smirked his biggest smirk and swam into the future, which was EXTREMELY bright now.
I am not making this up, folks. I am merely a reporter in this strange, wonderful, fishy world. Be aware, The Sting Ray King (May The Manta Ray Bless Him) can issue these orders at any time. Even Walla Walla isn’t safe. This reporter has heard that they’re working on a whole new line of products that allow for and encourage freshwater travel. Be safe, everyone.
Reporting from the Ocean’s Bottom, I’m Anthony Reale.