Man-Rays…

August 12, 2009

My boys are pretty robust, not a lot of fear in their hearts or common sense in their brains.  In fact,  I was pretty convinced that fear was an emotion that skipped a generation.  Ask them to tube down a mountainside- “no problem”.  You kids want to go rock climbing- “absolutely”.  “Hey boys I’m going to jump off the house into flaming lava pit full of man-eating, fire-retardant piranhas”- “Oh, me first Dad just let me put on my trunks”.

See what I mean?  My kids are adventurous.  My kids are tough.  My boys are as manly as you can get without having the ability to grow hair in strange, unsightly places.  Part of me is pleased at how fearless they appear to be.  Then there’s that other part (the sensible part) that has come to the conclusion that this is the attribute that lands me in the emergency room once a month.  Luckily, I too am a man and possess the ability to compartmentalize the sensible portion of my id.

So, it was a surprise when Connie and I discovered their Achilles heal.  Apparently the one thing that truly terrifies my boys is any kite-shaped, sea dwelling creature.

I should have remembered this from our trip to the Cayman islands when we paid an exhorbanant amount of money to swim with the Rays- but I didn’t.

It wasn’t until our own watery stomping grounds were invaded by hordes of “Cow Nosed Rays” that this memory came flooding back to me. 

It seems that the Chesapeake Bay area is some how aligned with the migratory path of the Cow Nosed Ray and at certain points during the summer boating season it’s not unusual to see thousands of them swimming in formation.  Granted, I would be extremely reluctant to plunge head first into a horde of Cow Nose Rays- after all, even the most docile creature can become dangerous when surrounded by thousands of its closest friends.  But we didn’t encounter thousands of Rays swimming in formation.  We happened upon a lone Cow Nose Ray frolicking in the Bay on a sunny Maryland afternoon.  Good God, you would have thought that the kids just witnessed Hannibal Lecter preparing a meal- they were completely freaked out.

As a result neither boy wants anything to do with any body of water which may contain a kite shaped fish- no tubing, swimming or knee boarding and they’ll only ride in the boat if we promise to  keep it in shallow water- friggin ridiculous.  If only it was kittens migrating instead of some ugly species of flattened fish we wouldn’t be faced with this issue.

BTW, Cayden has a hard time remembering “Cow Nose Rays”- to him they are simply “Man-Rays”.  Pretty catchy isn’t it?

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darev2005 posted the following on August 16, 2009 at 10:21 am.

I wouldn’t go in the water if there were migrating ventriloquist dummies in there. Eek! Brrr….

darev2005 posted the following on August 22, 2009 at 9:46 am.

Every time I go back and read this post I have visions of shoals of geeky photographers darting through the water looking for something controversial to snap a picture of.

shane posted the following on August 23, 2009 at 8:49 pm.

I agree ventriloquist dummies have always seemed a bit creepy to me, I refuse to trust anyone who can’t speak unless they have a hand shoved up their butt.


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