How Cousins, Summertime, and Hydrophobia Can Save Your Life


Duh-dun, duh-dun, dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun AGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Ah, summer vacation. I have the best family in the world, but all of them had kids before I did. This means The Spawn has a lot of cousins who are all older. This is great in that they get to enjoy him (and lots of babysitters at family get-togethers), but it probably means they will scar him for life just like my older cousins did to me.

Summer vacation was a time when all my family came together and my older cousins had an opportunity to psychologically scar me for life babysat me. When I was 5, my cousins let me watch Jaws and instilled powerful hydrophobia that endures to this day.

They also let me watch Friday the 13th at age 10, ruining freshwater for me as well. Basically, if it ain’t chlorinated? I’m not getting in it. Expert angler Jeremy Wade from River Monsters has only reinforced that people who swim in anything other than the hotel pool are just asking to be part of the food chain.

My point, EXACTLY (image via Tus-Memes).

My point, EXACTLY (image via Tus-Memes).

I suppose my cousins did me a favor in that, when we went to the beach, my parents never had to worry I’d drown in anything deeper than an extra-large coconut snow cone. I was perfectly content to sit in the surf and build sand castles. When at the lake? Yeah. I’ll stand on the dock with the shotgun and shoot Water Moccassins collecting near the dock and YOU MORONS GUYS can go waterski.


I recall one trip to Florida and my family forced invited me to go clamming in the Indian River, which consists of brackish water. I pleaded with them to believe me that there could be sharks and they laughed me off. It’s a river. Sharks aren’t in rivers.

HA! Twenty-five years later my theory was proven correct on Shark Week. BULL SHARKS LOVE brackish water and are invading deeper into fresh water. Australia has quite a problem with bull sharks in their canals. I’m shocked I’m even here to tell this story. Good thing I was a skinny kid and didn’t resemble a tasty manatee.

Probably just gave a few of you hydrophobia. You can thank me later for saving your LIFE.

Over the years, I’ve pretty much turned into a human feline. Unless bathing? I don’t like getting wet.

The Spawn shares my aversion to water…bathtub not included.


I’ll be hanging out on dry land, grilling meat like a good Texan should. We’ll hang out by my brother’s pool and let the new generation of older cousins warp The Spawn even further than I have (though not sure that’s possible).


When even ur Kiddy Pool is not safe…

When even ur Kiddy Pool is not safe…

So have fun on your jet-skis and with your snorkels. I will miss you when if you get eaten.


Kristen Lamb is the author of the #1 Best-Selling Books We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer. She’s just released her newest book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World.

Follow Kristen on Twitter @KristenLambTX or on Facebook or on her regular author blog.

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