A Party In My Bathing Suit! « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowA Party In My Bathing Suit!

A Party In My Bathing Suit!
Published on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 by

crab pinataYou may remember the recent party in my mouth?  Well hold on to your knickers because this past weekend I had a new party.  A party in my bathing suit.  And wait until you hear who was there.  IN there.  My pants.  Partying.

As you know, most summer weekends find me and the kids in Corolla at my mom’s beach house.  I am happiest floating in the warm salt water with the sun shining above.

But guess how many times we have been able to swim, counting a full week plus weekends?  FOUR.  Only FOUR TIMES.  Why?  Because of the Outer Banks Cold Water Phenomena that has been haunting us all season.  For goodness sakes – the surfers are wearing winter suits in JULY!  In FREAKING JULY!

So the moment the water hit 59 this weekend we decided to jump in.  The air around us was 105, so on average, it wouldn’t be too bad, right?  But let’s throw in another factor.  There were red jellyfish scattered throughout the water.  Red STINGING jellyfish.  Very uncommon.  Let’s just say it was another straw on the camel’s back.

My mother and I ventured towards the water’s edge.  Hold your breath.  It’s COLD.  Timidly step in.  Take another step.  Another.  Dodge the jelly fish.  Now hold on, because there is a wave that is about to take you DOWN.  And…. Here….. It….. Comes….. CRASH!  Hold your breath.  Dive under.  The cold water wakes your every sense.

We broke through from the icy wave in to the amazingly hot summer air.  Refreshing.  Cold.  Lovely.  Ouch!

Whah?  Ouch!  <pause>  OUCH!

And then it hits me.  This weekend it came in threes.  More icy water.  Red stinging jellyfish.  And swarms of CRAB LARVAE.

You can’t see them.  But when they are in the water, they are EVERYWHERE.  By the time you feel the first pinch you are doomed.  For at that point they have poured in to your bathing suit already.  EVERYWHERE in your bathing suit.

The moment they feel that pressure they grab on to the closest thing they can find.  And that would be you.  And your private parts.  And everything else your bathing suit covers.

Imagine taking a needle and pushing the tip quickly in to your skin.  Then imagine an itch following the sharp and unexpected pain.  Now imagine thousands of these goings-on going on beneath your bathing suit.  That is what blue crab larvae feel like.  In your going on places, no less.

I have seen THE WALK OF SHAME many times on our beach.  One is the obvious, “I have to go to the bathroom immediately and it is NOT something I can take care of in the water.”  Yes, I’ve walked that walk.  There is also the “my CHILD has to go to the bathroom and did so, as a matter of fact, just now.”  Been there done that.  But the final walk?  It is the “I have crabs in my bathing walk.”

When you find yourself in a swarm of blue crab larvae, you have to make a decision.  Do I pretend I don’t have a thousand crabs biting my butt and walk out casually, or do I fly out of the water and race to the beach house as I strip down to my natural nakedness?

It’s a hard decision.  After all, everyone who has been in the water knows what is sharing your bathing suit at that very moment.  But there are some people that haven’t been swimming due to the cold.  And they don’t know what is happening.

So do you go the “I’m so cool nothing bothers me” route or do you throw caution to the wind along with your bathing suit top.

The first time it happened to me I learned how to fly.  I walked quickly towards the stairs.  Then I began running up the stairs.  Then I took flight over the walkway.  And then I went warp speed towards the house.

My mother found pieces of my suit going up the beach house stairs that day.  And jokes ensued for the rest of the week about how “Katherine got crabs.”  Ha ha that is so funny I forgot to laugh.

But now I’m a weekend local.  And I have to be cool.  I don’t live in Jersey, Ohio or New York.   My mother pays Currituck taxes.  So in my heart and head, I’m a local.  And locals don’t let on that they have crabs.

My mother and I played it out well.  We smiled through gritted teeth and slowly walked to our chairs.  As we packed up our things we made every effort to appear that we truly had meant to go back to the house right after our swim. Joe Cool had nothing on us.

We climbed the stairs, went over the walkway and then I turned to see if anyone had followed.  It was only then that I dug my hand into my bathing suit trunks and went to town.  Scratching.  Digging.  Pulling.

So maybe it was my MOM who more resembled Joe Cool than I.  But I couldn’t help it.  Because there was a party going on in my bathing suit, and from what I remember, I hadn’t sent out any invitations!

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  • I would have NEVER been able to pull off walking away cool and calm like that. No way. I would have been screaming and ripping my bathing suit off as I sprinted my way to the closest shower facility. Much like you did the FIRST time it happened!

    • Oh yes, I have done the scream and sprint!!! This time even after soap and a shower they bit off and on for about ten minutes – my Mom too. This weekend we are going again… I'm going to see just how many people are swimming and I plan to watch them when they come out – WAY before I go in myself. Actually I'll send my teen boys in – not that they would tell me the truth about if the crabs are gone yet or not. They would much rather watch me dive in thinking I am safe and then watch me run out screaming!

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  • Ahahahahahaha…poor you! Don't mean to laugh at you but…ahahahahahahaha! I admire your composure 🙂

    • QUIT LAUGHING AT ME! Ha ha! No wait, laugh all you want because I laugh at myself ALL THE TIME. I will never forget the first time it happened – I was probably in high school, maybe college. Christmas that year brought me a gold charm bracelet from my parents with a single charm – a golden crab. Good memories, despite the party in my bathing suit!

  • Oh eewww… Man… even my skin is crawling!! How do you get them off? No wait – I don't want to know…


    • Ha ha! You just shower. Most slide right down the drain… but I used SOAP and they still bit off and on for about ten minutes…. don't ask me how! They seem to like the posterior end the most…. Don't ask me how I know…

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  • Ron

    Oh, what a GRRRRRRRRREAT story!!!! I was laughing my butt off throughout the whole thing!

    ” they grab on to the closest thing they can find. And that would be you. And your private parts.”


    “So in my heart and head, I’m a local. And locals don’t let on that they have crabs.”

    Bwhahahahahahahahahahaha! That KILLED ME!

    Thanks for the wonderful share!

    • YOUR comment made ME laugh!!!!! I do have to say though… when it first happened I had to listen to “Katherine has Crabs” jokes ALL WEEK… even from my FATHER! He was a master of shaggy dog stories so I had to listen to about a million crab ones that week. “Hey Katherine, I am sorry you have been the BUTT of CRAB jokes!” yea yea yea….. We are going back this weekend… I am sending my teenage son out there first. He loves body boarding so much that he stayed out there for hours… so I know he will swim either way – he will tell me if they are out there. My middle son though…. “Oh no Mom, there aren't any!” …. then he would wait and laugh as I fall for his lie!

  • Good Lord! I would not be happy about a party in my skivvies either! Or in my shoes for that matter. Those wee beasties sound pretty brutal. Ouch! I would have been tearing my clothes off screaming at my husband to get them off of me, no matter where we were. (I'm classy like that.) Ouch! Damn! And lots of 4 letter words too!

    • Oh but I have done that same thing….!!! That first time I literally stripped as I ran up the OUTSIDE stairs of the house…. I didn't care WHO saw me! All I knew is I had to get to a shower and FAST. You really don't see them – not even when they are on you b/c they are so small. I hope those guys aren't in the water this weekend! I am sending the boys out to test the waters first LOL!

      • I was lying on the beach in Hawaii in a fairly isolated place on a chaise lounge. My husband went back to the hotel for something before I spotted white albino tarantulas all around me walking up too close for comfort. Before I could stop my self, I let out some earth shattering screams that brought some darling college boys running up to me. They patiently explained those were not tarantulas but crabs. I didn't like them any better even with the better understanding of what they were, and my husband (now ex-husband) was shocked and dismayed to find one of the boys lying with me on the chase to offer me his full body protection from the beasts. Suffice to say, it was a bad experience all round, but one I must admit I enjoyed in a perverse way.

        • I am laughing SO HARD! First at the “tarantulas” that turned out to be crabs… and then at the thought of a husband walking up to see a college student on his wife! PERFECT!!!! Oh wait, I re-read… lying WITH you… but I guess since he is an ex husband my mind immediately gravitated to ON you just s he would be more upset. ha ha!

  • How horrible for you. I've never heard of these apparently invisible sea critters, but I'll be remembering this story on my next dip in ocean waters.

    • I bet if you scratch even one time you will stop and think about it LOL! But honestly… even in the Outer Banks, it is pretty rare. I think it has only happened a handful of times over the many years we have been there. And when it does it is usually a small pocket of them. But this time it was all up and down the coast. The water is now showing 72 degrees, and it was about 59 when we were there, so I hope this weekend the current is different and they are gone!

  • Joy

    I would have thought only hard-boiled New Yorkers – or at least New Englanders – were that stoic. Amazing what you can do when you think you have to. Testament to that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Plus a great story to tell for years to come. Next time, why don't you make a game of it: see who can stay in the water the longest and evince the least amount of suffering? Be cooler than ice, eventually just biting them back! Don't let the crabs make beach bummers out of you. On the other hand, maybe the www can give you tips of what to eat or apply topically so that you'll not be tasty to the critters. Wet suit?

    • I love your idea of what to eat to keep them away! And a contest…. great too. Actually there is more to the story. My son is the winner if indeed there was a contest. He had a regular bathing suit on and a rash guard. He spent FIVE HOURS in that freezing water getting stung AND bitten…. I don't know HOW he did it…. he loves body boarding so much that he will go through ANYTHING to do it. He came out of the water covered in marks from jelly fish stings…. and he was eaten alive by those crab larvae that whole time. He is TOUGH!

  • Oh, wow! I've never even heard of such things… she what we don't learn not living by the ocean. or even seeing the ocean in 15 years? that sounds so painful! but I would definitely be more afraid of the jellyfish… ouch. they both scare me.

    • But I bet there a a gazillion things I never get to see that you see all the time!!!

      Jellyfish… yup… they are nasty little guys. Usually we just have button jellies that don't sting – you can even pick them up. But these red guys are unusual and have long streamer things on the bottom… OUCH. Jellyfish stings DO hurt, that is for sure. The crabs hurt a BIT but are more annoying… whereas the jellyfish are a deal breaker!

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  • See. That's why God created swimming pools. My general philosophy toward sea life is I'll stay out of your home and you stay out of mine. I'm glad your crabs were only of the blue larvae kind. 😉

    • HA HA HA HA HA!!!! YEA BOY…. OCEAN CRABS ARE BEST! 🙂 I have been eying our neighbor's pools for the last MONTH. And this week is SHARK WEEK….. making them look even BETTER!

  • ohh dear, poor you Kathy. First your mouth now your nether region. I read about the jelly fish sting epidemic didnt know someone I 'knw' was part of that statistic. Hope you are okay now. You and your Momma are tough birds! I would have been getting jiggy with it. Yes ma'm thank you.

    • I'm good now! There were gazillions of jellies in the water THIS weekend…. it was actually harder to walk on the beach with the jellyfish than it was swimming with them… although my swimming was limited to about 5 careful minutes.

      Just took another visit to your blog… I love it… and it looks so great!

  • sheilasultani

    I always think I love the beach – the sound of the ocean, the smell of salt in the air. The excitement and anticipation overwhelms me every year UNTIL I go for the first time and get sunburned, step on garbage in the surf and cut my foot, get attacked by seagulls scrounging for crumbs and get sand in every crevice in my body. The thrill slowly ebbs for now until I have forgotten and next years heat wave starts and once again I can't wait to hit the beach!

    • We call sand in our bathing suits “sea biscuits”…. hate those things! We don't have trash in the water much… although I am constantly taking left over fireworks off the beach thanks to the drunken tourists… You almost described having a baby. You can't wait to have one, you are so excited… AND THEN YOU GIVE BIRTH and swear it is your last baby during contractions. Later, you forget!

  • Hmmm. At least we have none of that down here on the Gulf coast. Just the occasional hurricane but so far they haven't ended up in my pants–hurricanes I mean.

    • I “GUFFAWED” when I read your comment!!! A hurricane in my pants would be a very bad gastrointestinal thing indeed LOL! It could potentially be something positive for someone else I'm sure, but me???

      You get hurricanes for sure…. very scary. I'm on the East Coast and we have had tropical storms over the last few years and only one full fledged hurricane. It didn't quite hit a three but I will never forget “checking it out” on my mother's front porch. A huge gust of wind hit me out of nowhere and it threw me back in to the window, breaking it. I immediately thought, “Hmmm perhaps I should go IN now!” That was my brush with a hurricane… I bet you have about a billion more stories than that!

  • Well, I guess I'm not going to your beach anytime soon. I'll take the leeches we have in our lakes any time. At least they don't pinch and unless you fall asleep in the water, or go in some mythical swimming hole a la Stand By Me or Little House On The Prairie, they don't get near your private parts.

    • Would they get near your private parts if you fell asleep naked in the water? EWWW LEECHES!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!! You need to blog about THEM! EWWWWWWW!!! I must picture them as every stereotype I've seen… I see long huge sluggy things hanging all over your body, leaving huge circles when you pull them off!

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  • That is not the kind of party I was thinking of. And that would be just one more reason why I don't like the beach. Too many living things taking a taste of me.

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  • Mandiroo

    I was on the coast of Texas last weekend and encountered the same thing, except I assumed they were the ghost crab larvae. It was HORRIBLE! I feel your pain. 🙂

  • Mandiroo

    I thought they were “pieces” of jellyfish at first… I'd never been stung by one, so I didn't know the difference! I got a closer look and realized exactly what they were. My boyfriend, kids and I were still crazy enough to get back in the water… where they left them alone for almost an hr, before my boyfriend JUMPED out of the water and ran to the showers… It was kinda funny… 🙂

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  • I also made the painful experience of meeting some jelly fishes when swimming. Hummm, not that a nice one!

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  • Great post.

  • I really enjoyed this post, especially the “examples in this post” portion which made it really easy for me to SEE what you were talking about without even having to leave the article. Thanks

  • Ape2016

    Holy moly!  That sounds horrible.  This is why I don’t swim in the ocean anymore.  Can’t stand being bit, stung, etc.  Give me a pool full of chlorine any day.

  • Melinda

    oh yikes….one more reason to get a swimming pool and stay out of the ocean 😛

    • You know, there are a LOT of new swimming pools in Corolla… in the last two years we have had rays, jelly fish and blue crab larvae… now the pools make sense!

  • Justyn

    I encountered these little guys for the first time today. I didn’t try to play it off at all haha. I ran full speed for the showers!

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  • Jack

    We are down in Ocean City, MD and my kids just had the shocking experience of crab larvae attacking in the beach water. Ruined there beach experience forever. They are never coming back to OC beaches. Sad but I guess that’s where the delicious crabs come from.

    • patricia connole

      I was there today too. I’ve been there many times over the years, and never have seen them. Yesterday we had a few. Today was horrible! My girls both had one piece suits and it was so bad we left and went to the hotel pool. My youngest pulled one off in the car and she had taken a shower before we left. Maybe the rough surf yesterday churned them up…

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  • Jess

    My kids found this with the blue crab larvae yesterday here in Texas; Gulf of Mexico. People were calling the sea lice jellyfish larvae, but I knew what they were. They had eyes, legs, and tiny pinchers. I spent forever picking them out of my daughter’s long hair. Yesterday was a Spring low Tide, if that matters.

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