Friday, August 6, 2010

Jellyfish Jam

Ogden Nash once wrote:

"The Jellyfish
Who wants my jellyfish? 

I'm not sellyfish!"

Hmmm... no offense, Ogden, but I think I can do better than that.

Jellyfish, jellyfish
with your long stringy arms
your gelatinous body,
so short on charms
your thoughtless mind,
your sucking fingers
your sting that burns like heck,
then lingers
your bulbous looks
like peeled-back brain,
you act aloof
then inject your pain,
oh Jellyfish, jellyfish,
through my hands you flutter,
can't you please ditch me
for the peanutbutter?

Hmmm, okay, maybe not.

So, why do I once again have jellyfish on my brain? Because it is August and they are out in full force. This morning's open water swim was a veritable jellyfish extravaganza. Especially the harmless moon jellies, which I don't really mind coexisting with.

But, now, the lions mane are out too, and during this morning's swim, my friend Evelyn got stung by one. A MERE 20 feet from me. And she's the second victim this season.

She called out and we stopped as she clutched at her arm and suggested we not "swim over there."

Er. Okay then. But we all know that jellyfish are like cockroaches: once you see one, you can be sure there are hundreds you can't see.

Then again, after the initial pain and creep out, she was fine, and we all kept on swimming at her behest, so why is it that I spent the rest of my swim panicking and periodically jerking up out of the water to shriek like a girl?

What is it about jellyfish that elicit such fear in me?

Is it their long gelatinous bodies without faces? Or the slippery way they flutter as they catch in my fingers? What is it about them that has me slathering on $13/bottle Seasafe lotion that promises to deter them, and ordering a $79 Ecostinger long sleeved, full body swimsuit that promises to detract? Because, it's not their sting itself, since I have now been with two swimmers who have been stung and then been quickly fine enough to carry on.

Nope. It's just definitely the freak out factor. The fear of being accosted by some slimy, faceless alien from the deep.

So, I'm working on a new plan. To be like Spongebob, friend to all the jellyfish in the sea.

I've got step one underway: the Jellyfish Jam. So turn the music up and dance it with me. Come on, you know you want to:


  1. This is funny. I love your poem. except for the peanut butter ending. :)

    Just think like a jelly fish. Be one with the jelly fish. They are sure to take you on as their queen.

  2. peanut butter and jellyfish, get it?


    And, I do not WANT to be taken on as their queen, just so we are clear. >:(

  3. although...

    does it come with a sash and a crown?

  4. I get that. I get claustrophobic, and it has more to do with lack of options than anything else... the worst I've had it was over a coral reef in Hawaii, where ALL I had to do was float or kick, and I was fine, but the removal of the option of putting my legs UNDER ME freaked me out. BAD. I figure the jelly fish is like that.

    And your poem is wonderful! (humorous, yes, but nothing wrong with humorous)

  5. I love the poem! And I am exactly like you re the jf. Ew.

    I love snorkeling and they are the only sea-creatures that freak me out. I snorkeled over a posse of frickin' barracuda and was fine. But even the thought of a jf and I am peanut butter and jellyfish.


  6. it's a challenge talking myself through the fear as I swim, and just enjoying the swim. Soon, the water will turn colder again, and they will go away. :)