The shark's cousin goes on a wild spree in Surf City, USA!
Yesterday found me in Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s local Boot Barn surrounded by hundreds, possibly thousands, of cowboy boots and have you ever owned a pair? I lusted heavily as an Oregonian child but my parents never folded and I was stuck in off-brand KangaROOS. I sometimes wonder how my trajectory would have been altered had I been gifted the cowboy boots I so longed for. Would I be an almost famous rodeo journalist? A serial philanderer?
I suppose I will never know and it is too late to change either career or fashion but there was a pair of boots in Boot Barn that caught my eye. They were made by El Dorado and featured a silver toe cap and rich gray, strangely bumpy leather.
I looked and it said they were made from the hide of a stingray.
This morning, maybe coincidentally maybe not, I read that over the New Year’s holiday weekend there were a record number of stingray stings in Huntington Beach, California. A whopping 73 if you can even believe it. The Los Angeles Times reports:
Officials say a new stingray injury record at Huntington Beach was reached when 73 people reported injuries in a single day.
Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis tells the Orange County Register that in his 40 years of working as a lifeguard at the beach, he never saw so many stingray injuries reported to the level it reached on Friday.
Panis says the spike in stingray injuries is in part due to extreme low tides, small surf and warmish water in the low 60s along with holiday crowds in town and people off work and school.
On Thursday, 45 stingray injuries were reported to Huntington Beach lifeguards, a number also higher than usual.
Lifeguards plan to educate people on techniques to avoid being stung by rays.
We know, of course, to shuffle our feet when walking through the shallows but sometimes, especially when it is very good, I forget and run like an injured gazelle. Still, I have never been stung and would not like to be. Have you? Have you tasted the venomous dart?
I hear it really hurst.