Up Jumped the Cholla 1-2-3

Fast Post #2 – another childhood story

Ah my brother – he’s got a lot of “Funny uh-oh” in his history.  And it’s my job to exploit that.

If you had a chance to read “When Sheep Don’t Bring You Joy”, you’ll know my brother and sharp prickly desert plants don’t get along.  This incident made him WISH he was just bleeding out of his pants in Benson, AZ.

Ding Dong – our doorbell rang at 1 in the morning. That can’t be good – 1 AM doorbells are never good.  Of course my mom was hesitant to open the door –who wouldn’t be?  I can only assume she thought it was my father coming home early from work (he worked 5PM-2AM) or Willard Scott from Publishers Clearing House to award her $50,000.

I was still partially asleep until I heard a SCREAM and a SLAM. I bolted out of bed and ran to foyer to see my mother white as a sheet and I heard hysterical crying from behind the door. She opened it again, gingerly, and low & behold, my brother was standing there covered from head to toe in Jumping Cholla “Teddy Bear” cactus.

Imagine this ALL over my brother’s body and face

He had snuck out to see his girlfriend earlier in the evening after everyone went to bed and on the way home, tried to go through someone’s yard that had a WALL of Jumping Cholla. He walked straight into it and got the shock of his life.  I remember my mom had to call a family friend over (a guy) to help my brother and take him to the hospital.  He had cactus bits and spines everywhere – I mean EVERYWHERE. Yup – even there (hence calling over a guy).  The ones in his face hurt me the most to think about…after I’m done giggling of course.

All I have to say is…Karmic kickback is a bitch.

Obviously, after that incident, a little grounding action happened.  But knowing my brother, I’m sure the only lesson he learned was ‘bring a flashlight next time’.

And for your listening pleasure, the song that inspired the title of this little tale – Nick Cave “Up Jumped the Devil”

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Childhood, Humor, Random Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Up Jumped the Cholla 1-2-3

  1. Maryann Graziano says:

    OMG, I remembered seeing a jumping cholla for the first time. It was in the Sonora National Forest and I was standing by one when your mom said, move!!!!! So I did, and said “why”? She said the cactus was about to attack you. Didn’t believe her at first but then saw the darn thing MOVE! Still talk about that to my classes to this day.

  2. The Waiting says:

    Oh my word. What a nightmare! Poor guy! Haha at least he (and you) got a good story out of it.

  3. runningonsober says:

    Oh honey, I knew exactly what you meant. I don’t sweat the small stuff.

    To paraphrase one of the best writers I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, the best sign of good writing is that it makes you want to read the next sentence. And I love what you share and how you share it. Exactly how you share it.

    Simply put, I love how I feel when I read your work. That’s a gift.

    Write on, writer. Keep shining.

  4. runningonsober says:

    Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

    I LOVE that song, but must confess I thought of “Rapper’s Delight” first… “bang, bang boogie, Say up jumped the boogie…” LOL. I think it’s stuck in my head from a running playlist.

    Like I think that photo will be stuck in my head. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Karma at its finest. Haha!

    • He sort of just his just desserts for that move!

      • Mary says:

        I loved this post, I like your style and we are obviously both SKP & Nick Cave fans but I’m a 66 year old published researcher and I say (channelling Lynne Truss) you should be more careful if you want your writing to be out there in the public domain. Not to be too critical, which is what critical people *always* say, but “Teddy Bears are to too cuddly” makes no sense, bells do not ‘peel’ but ‘peal’ and “I can’t imagine how walked home” distracted me from the point, which was both hilarious and sympathetic.

        Well done.

      • Sorry – he sort of got his just desserts for that move

      • chaoshighway says:

        This post had me laughing out loud. Especially since your brother was a never ending source of annoyance for us as kids. That photo really drove your point home (no pun intended).

        On a separate note I find it highly irritating when people post grammar critiques in the public space. I like the rawness of blogs and am reading for content not perfection. I hope the person who posted that can be more respectful in the future as I’m sure she would be unhappy to read the same thing about her own work. Do unto others and all that jazz. And don’t mess with my fave blogger! Keep on blogging my friend.

  5. Ouch! Cacti are not for novices.

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