Monday, August 18, 2008

childhood memory: the nana & the segul

some of you have probably heard this story before. i remember it every once in a while, usually when someone is talking about disney world or birds. both items have come up recently.

i was 9 years old and in the 4th grade. my family had graciously received a trip to disney world from the starlight foundation. my brother was 5. my sister was 2. my parents invited my nana to come along to help with us youngsters. the 6 of us were in orlando for a week.

we visited all the attractions. the castle, the character breakfast, the indiana jones show at MGM studios. then we spent one day at seaworld. we met shamu, petted dolphins (ok probably not petted), looked at penguins...all that good stuff. in the afternoon my dad bought everyone in the family a soft serve ice cream cone (twist with jimmies please). anyway, this was a big deal. ice cream in a cone didn't happen every day. it certainly didn't happen when we were out at a park where simple ice cream treats cost 5 times their actual value.

my dad handed me my cone. i walked away from the kiosk and toward a bench where my mother was sitting with my sibs. i stopped to take the first lick of my ice cream. at the very moment i went to stick my toung out a seagull swooped down and landed right on top of my ice cream. i'm sure i must have shrieked but i don't really recall as i was startled to say the least. the bird flew off leaving a foot print on the top of my ice cream.

i was shocked and before i knew what was happening my grandmother appeared beside me. as quickly as she could, she reached across me, grabbed the cone and threw it to the ground with all her down east yankee might (which gives nanas the power of 10+ nanas). it was at this moment that my dad turned around. all he saw was the SPLATT! ice cream everywhere.

chaos ensued. seagulls began to descend from all corners of not just seaworld, but from all of orlando and probably all of florida. they picked at each crumb of the cone and licked the sidewalk dry. within moments there was not a trace of my ice cream anywhere.

fearing that the nana had finally had a mental break from reality and that his sisters would blame him solely, my dad came running. with arms flailing he demanded to know why the nana had stolen my $45 ice cream cone and savagely smashed it to the ground.

eventually she explained what happened. my mother corroborated her story. i stood there silently unable to get a word in edgewise as the nana reenacted the event several times over. each time i am sure i cringed at the thought of my icea cream hitting the ground. at some point he decided to believe her story. i just stood there, silent. everyone else finished their cones and started walking toward the next exhibit.

i never did get an ice cream that day, i still don't trust seagulls and this is one of my dad's favorite stories to tell people.


hows yr edge said...

One of my favorite stories. We'll find you non-dairy soft serve some day!

Melissa said...

i think you should take me to cabots someday soon.