Category Archives: humor

Stop! Hammerhead Time!

When i was a kid, I had a lot of different dreams. One of my dreams was to be a marine biologist (because isn’t it the dream of every desert-dwelling kid to live a life immersed in water?). I guess I wanted it because I can swim really well… The only thing is, my fat ass doesn’t sink. Literally. I have to force myself to not float like I’m in the Dead Sea when I’m swimming in a pool. I can tread water without doing anything–this is also known as the vertical float. I can’t teach the art of floating to my own children because it’s like teaching them how to breathe. I don’t know  how I do it, I just do

All of this leads into the day the marine biologist dream died.

In all honesty, it had been on its way out for probably a couple of years anyway, since I wasn’t very good in Math. Or Science. I was good at Biology, but I didn’t get Chemistry until about a month ago. 20 years after my last Chemistry class, and I finally got it. The irony.

But I digress.

So, the family went on a vacation down Loreto, Mexico–my parents, my brother, a family friend, and Marit, the foreign exchange student. Marit and I didn’t get along that great (she lived a more sophisticated, worldly life than I did), but I think she was happy to go on this trip.

Anyway, we were two days into the trip when we chartered a boat to go scuba diving. My brother, father, and the family friend were dropped off on one side of an island, while Marit, my mother and I were dropped off on the other to go snorkeling.

I actually wanted to go snorkeling closer into the beach, but no one listens to me. So we went snorkeling in water near a very sheer drop off (the water went from rocks on shore to at least 40-50 feet deep just like that–no beach, no shelf, just deep water). Now, I should have realized this was a bad idea–the rocks were littered with seals. Bathing, barking, doing “seal” things (whatever that may be… in any case, it looks fun).

Here we arrive at Mistake Number One: swimming with shark food when the unsinkable you actually resembles shark food.

To go snorkeling, I had to take out my contact lenses. Given how I was well beyond legally blind when uncorrected, this left me able to make out only indistinct shapes.

Mistake Number Two: Swimming with shark food while shaped like shark food, and blind, to boot.

So, we’re snorkeling around, when I notice something that I took for A VERY BAD SIGN: the seals all began coming in to shore. Not lounging, not loitering. They were coming into shore and launching themselves on the rocks.


I looked up for the boat, which I could make out as a fuzzy white shape barreling toward us. I looked for my mother, who was snorkeling about 20 feet away.

“Mom?” I called. “I want to get out of the water.”

“Don’t be melodramatic,” my mother responded.

But the seals were coming to shore quickly, and launching themselves  out of the water, because, well, they’re smarter than we were. There was nothing slow and gradual about this: they were literally throwing themselves out of the water. Not only this, but the boat, which had drifted away from us, was roaring toward us, and the driver (pilot? boatman?) was yelling at us in Spanish.

I don’t speak Spanish, because my father convinced me in 7th grade that German (German?!?!?!) was more practical.

But I didn’t have to see the wild gestures I was later told he was using,  because I already knew what was about. I may have been blind, but I could recognize a bad situation when I was in one… Not only that, but a very large shadow was swimming underneath me, and, given that seals were flinging themselves out of the water, I was pretty certain I knew what very large shadow was.

And thus, we come to Mistake Number Three: For future reference, trying to crawl out of 40-50 ft. deep water on to rocks covered in barnacles while very large shadow swims beneath you is NOT a good idea. But it will leave your knees and hands and elbows abraded.

Convenient, if you want to chum the water with your own blood. Not so much if you think you might want to, I don’t know, live.

Mistake number three leads almost immediately into mistake number four. At this point, I decided my best bet was to get to the boat, and fast.

Mistake Number Four: Listening to my mother (we’re all guilty of this one at one point in time or another).

I was the first one back to the boat–blind desperation is a GREAT motivator, but my mother insisted I allow Marit to get in the boat first. So Marit took the hand of the driver (there was no ladder to assist us in getting in), climbed into the safety of the boat, and promptly lost her bikini top.

Mistake Number Five: Believing my life might be worth more than ogling a topless, large-breasted German chick (FYI, it’s not).

To this day, I’m not entirely certain she wasn’t trying to kill me. I mean “Whoops, my boobs just happened to fall out of my top at the worst possible moment for you! So sorry!” Really??? Because I guess she hadn’t learned her lesson when she lost her entire bathing suit in Malibu (This begs the question: Who loses an entire bathing suit? Unless the wave that hit her was the special five-fingered kind, and had some help, I’m not seeing it.).

The boat driver completely lost his bearings in assisting said German girl with her top, leaving my mother and me in the water with very large shadow swimming beneath us. But whatever. I was getting into that boat if it was the last thing I did, so I grabbed ahold of the side of the boat and started hoisting myself in.

And then my mother wailed, “Meg, you have to push me into the boat!”

Seriously? Oh, yes, seriously. And pulling her in once I got in wasn’t going to do–I had to stay in the water and push her out.

So much for survival of the species.

Anyway, I looked down, and I could swear very large shadow had gotten bigger–and closer.

So I grabbed ahold of my mother’s bathing suit, and, with strength born of sheer adrenaline and the desperate, illogical fear I would die a virgin, threw her and myself into the boat. By this time, the most pressing concern–that Marit had most of her clothes on–had been resolved, and so, exhausted and terrified, we went back to the other side of the island to pick up the boys.

And the identity of very large shadow? Well, that was a hammerhead shark. This was confirmed by both the boat driver and several scuba divers on the other side of the island who saw it.

The unsinkable Meggan Connors could have potentially become the very edible Meggan Connors. I am sure I would have been tender and juicy, like veal. Oi.

That was the day the dream of becoming a marine biologist died, never to be resurrected. Because as much as I like fish, I don’t want to be fish food.


From Mad Cow to the Clap

For Christmas, Husband got me my very own giant microbes. For those of you who don’t follow my Facebook page, in honor of my blog on syphilis, I bought my father a giant syphilis microbe plush toy. It was awesome, though he didn’t know what to make of it (but Baby Brother laughed pretty hard). Well, Husband bought me my own variations, all with some sort of memory for me.

1. Syphilis (of course), to remind me of kindergarten. Because who doesn’t think of kindergarten when they think of syphilis?

2. Mad cow disease, in honor of my time in Germany. While I was on a train heading to Austria (I think; it might have been when we were leaving Austria to get to Paris),  I claimed to have mad cow disease to keep people out of our compartment (this was at the time of the outbreak of mad cow disease in Britain, where I had defiantly eaten hamburger every day. Ironic, now I’m allergic to beef). Each of us had something to drive others away: Jen had her rock hammer, Naomi had her stinky feet (which, incidentally, I don’t remember as being overly stinky. The stench doesn’t stand out in my head anyway, not like Clint’s cologne does), and I had mad cow disease… It basically consisted of me mooing loudly on the one occasion someone stuck his head in our room and practicing frothing at the mouth a lot. I probably looked like I had rabies, but hey, I was twenty-one. Everyone’s obnoxious at twenty-one. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

3. Staph, to remind me of last year’s illness and how, no matter how much I complain, this year actually is better.

4. And finally, he got me the clap, because… well… I think STDs are funny. I suppose that’s only true if you don’t have them, though…

Anyway, I hope you all had a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, a joyous Kwanzaa, or a good solstice. I did.

Now it’s time to go play with syphilis.


Baby Megs and The Syph

Y’all might wonder why I am the way I am. I swear, there is a reason.

It’s my dad’s fault.

Now, when I was a kid, my dad was almost never around. And I mean it, almost never. When he moved from Alabama out west, six months before we did, it took me about a week and a half to be unable to recall what he looked like. Later, in high school, I came downstairs without my contacts on and didn’t recognize him. Dad was always at work or hunting. Occasionally, taking my brother someplace. I was the token girl and not the scion. That’s not to say my brother got a lot of attention: he didn’t. Neither of us did. But he took Baby Brother fishing and did stuff like that, and when he did, I got left at home.

Interesting, but I love to fish. So dads, take your girls out too. Seriously, I should be a stripper. If I hadn’t had a very rigid set of moral standards, if I hadn’t been painfully shy, if I had been more of an exhibitionist or rebellious, I would be working a pole right now.

Granted, no one wants to see that.

Ironically, though, my sense of humor comes from him. The bawdy sense of humor that knows few boundaries is all him, baby. Though I think I have some sense in regard to boundaries that my father lacks. After all, I have boundaries, I just elect not to use them very often. My dad, on the other hand, doesn’t.

This brings to mind the day I stopped talking in class. I was in kindergarten.

Mind you, it was a Southern Baptist preschool/Kindergarten in the deep south, back in the late seventies, early eighties, back in those days when the switch was still used. Fricking thing hurt, incidentally.

Bear in mind, I was already painfully shy, a fact my mother was aware of, but who knows if my dad knew. In any case, I’d been sick for a few days. And my very pretty, very sweet, very devout kindergarten teacher innocently asks, “Oh, Meg, what did you have?”

In all honesty, I had a cold or something equally minor. My father being a physician, I figured he must know a thing or two about medicine. So, I responded with all the confidence in my five-year-old body,

“I have the syph!”

I watched a number of emotions play across her face, and I knew I’d done something wrong. Something terribly, terribly wrong, and I recall shrinking in my seat. Her voice was very quiet as she asked,

“What did you just say to me, Miss Connors?”

By this point, I’m sure I was blushing like crazy. I was in huge trouble, but I had no idea why. Less certain, I said, “I have the syph?”

I promptly got sent to the principal’s office. Where I repeated exactly what I’d said to my teacher to the principal.

By this time, I knew that whatever I’d said was terrible. Was wrong. I had no idea what was wrong with it; after all, I was just repeating what my dad had told me. It’s what he always told me when he’d look in my throat or at the splinter in my finger or whatever. After all, one had to be sick or wounded to get my father’s attention.

“Baby Megs, you have the syph.” Sometimes, he’d even says, “Baby Megs, you have syphillis.”

I was five. I had no idea what syphilis was, or how one… procured… such an illness.

Anyway, the principal broke out the ruler, had me lay my palms flat. And he hit me with that ruler. Twice.

By this time, I was sobbing. I had no idea what I’d done wrong. I was painfully shy, quiet, and I wanted everyone to like me (yes, all of these things have changed. I’d like it if people liked me, but really, if you don’t, there’s not much I’m willing to do about it). I just wanted to do what everyone wanted. I was asked a question, I answered it, and I was punished for it.

“I have the syph!”

It’s funny now, like everything else… At the time, I was mortified. I’d be mortified again in seventh grade, while I had to lie to the school nurse and tell her that she was misreading the word “syphilis.” I most certainly did not have syphilis. I don’t know what I had, but I told her it was “strep.” Thankfully, my father’s handwriting is so bad that she at least pretended to buy it. By then, corporal punishment in school was illegal, so I dodged a bullet there.

But I digress. In any case, I can trace most of my reluctance to speak in class to that very moment. For years, I never volunteered information. Hell, I don’t think I began talking in class in earnest until college.

All because of syphilis.