Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Sometimes it's Blood...

and sometimes, it's sweet and sour chicken."

This saying became famous in my family years and years ago, but has often served me since.

This is how it came about.

My parents have great dane dogs that they love and adore like their own children (we shall not here, now, discuss my love-hate relationship with them - suffice it to say, great dane slobber, hair-shed, and poop are all proportionate with their size which may cause me to appreciate them more from a safe distance).

One day when we were all visiting with them, one of their puppies came into my mother's bedroom with its face covered in blood. Its entire mouth up to one of its eyes, and one of its paws, were bleeding profusely, Also, the dog looked to be in distress.

We immediately went into panic mode. My mom pulled the dog over while my sister and I ran to get my father, warm washcloths, etc., but when we returned my mother was laughing uncontrollably. Apparently, while we were gone, she had discovered that the blood was slightly sticky and too orange and smelled vaguely like their last evening's chinese food. The dog's discomfort was likely attributable merely to the spiciness of the food.

Now, trust me on this, out of context at least, sweet and sour chicken sauce looks a lot more like blood than you think it does.

We loved the whole incident. Not only did it take us fifteen minutes to stop laughing that kind of laughing that comes in waves until the tears roll out of your eyes, but we really felt we learned a life lesson. Therereafter, my mother, sister, and I often reminded each other that sometimes in life it is blood, but sometimes it's just sweet and sour chicken.

The point of this story? Well, remember those jellyfish stings from my 5k?


I wore my new wetsuit this morning out on a longish swim against the current. You know, the sleeveless one that is lowcut and can't possibly cut/chafe my neck in all the usual suspect places where the welty stings were? Well, when I returned to shore, my neck was "stung" and red and swollen in exactly the same places as last weekend.

So, while the threat of jellyfish -- and the dreaded Lions Mane -- does exist (and, indeed, apparently a fairly large one was spotted on the race course by a co-swimmer and race official last weekend), suffice it to say that, this time around, my neck was chafed by, not sealife, but my wetsuit and the memories of sweet and sour chicken.


  1. Great family story, Gae. Sorry about the chafing.

    I went to Severna PArk near Annapolis ND this past week to reminisce about high school. Your swimming reminded me of stinging nettlefish coming up the Severn River in droves when it was hot. They stung. They also made great sneezing powder when dried for trickery.

  2. Janet,nettlefish make sneezing powder?! This is a great bit of information. No reason. ;)

    Chris, that was probably three danes ago. Unfortunately danes don't live very long - usually between 6 -8 years. That pup is long gone. They now have a dane and an english mastiff that was billed as a "dane" by one of the rescue organizations (their first danes were from breeders, but the last several have all been rescued dogs). And believe you me, danes and mastiffs are very different creatures. But both big and very slobbery. :D

  3. Mastiffs are big, but the ones I have know are the gentlest and one of the most intelligent I have see. Please don't tell my dogs I said that. They are very jealous of other dogs and each other. I love the story about your mom's pup and yes I know the feeling,

  4. TJL, the Mastiff is hilarious. She's a great addition as far as big smelly slobbery dogs go. She huge and built like a bulldozer and my parents named her Goldilocks (her color is golden) which always cracks me up.

    But on an intelligence scale, the danes win - although perhaps a mastiff's unbelieveable stubborness confuses the issue. At any rate, they love her just as much. :)

  5. That puppy is ADORABLE! But I do know big dogs are a ton of work...

    Love the Sweet & Sour chicken story! And hope the neck chaffing ceases and desists!

  6. How did I almost miss this post?! (I'm trying to catch up on all my reads before I go). It wasn't on my dashboard.

    Anyway, "sometimes it's sweet and sour chicken" is about the best glass-half-full line I ever heard.

    Both sorry and relieved about your neck (jellyfish creep the bejezuz outta me). B

  7. Great story, great segue, great retraction(not that I think the wrongly-accused jellyfish would be calling their lawyers or anything)! Hope your wetsuit-sting heals quickly (I've got a nasty one of my own after this morning's swim!!).

  8. This story must be recounted in your literature somehow.