We were so young. As Don Henley sang, This is the end of the innocence.
Cause you see, we didn't realize then that Dad doesn't make a wager unless he's certain he's right. He's not so much a gambling man as a give-you-enough-rope-to-hang-yourself man.
And when he answered the last question correctly on that last card, Becky and I shrieked in horror. Cause the agreed-upon outcome of the wager was that if Dad won, we had to go outside in the freezing January night and plunge our arms into the pool. We had an above-ground pool, and it was cold enough that there was a thin sheet of ice covering the water.
Did Dad have mercy at the last minute? Was the wager merely an exercise to teach us a lesson? Nope. He led us outside by our wrists, Becky and I half laughing, half screaming, and plunged our arms through the ice into the water. You know how freezing water just takes your breath away, makes you ache, how ten seconds feels like minutes? I still remember that vividly. Lesson learned: don't make wagers with Dad.
Which is why I don't know what came over me the other day. Mom, Dad and I were having lunch at a shady outdoor cafe and chatting. Now, can you pardon me if I get all Bible Geek on you for a moment? It's an occupational hazard. Dad brought up a quote from the Bible--when a character in the Old Testament dies, the Bible says that despite his old age, his "natural forces were unabated". We've always snickered a bit at that line--like, "Oh yeah, you the man!" The Bible is a bit cheeky at times, you know. Anyway, Dad said it was Moses that the Bible was talking about and I, for some reason, was sure it was Caleb.
I was so sure! And his confidence irked me. Pushing my sunglasses on top of my head, I said, "You're wrong." Dad threw down the gauntlet: "Shall we make a wager?" And it was on.
And, Reader-- I was wrong! Dang it, he was right. Moses--you manly man! The agreed upon consequences were that the loser had to fully impersonate a chicken in a public place for 30 seconds. That was Dad's idea, by the way.
So here's me, clucking like a chicken at Bondi Beach, one of Sydney's most crowded beaches.
And here I am afterward. Ava and Nate weren't sure how to take it all. I think Ava was more embarrassed than I was.
Full Disclosure statement: Dad would like me to tell you that, although we were at Bondi, on a path with literally hundreds of people strolling back and forth, he let me go down a little side path, where only a few people were around. And he also maintains that I flaked out halfway through, and only gave about 15 seconds of good, quality chicken. I say why take 30 seconds to do what you can get done in 15? I was clucking, I was bobbing, I was scratching. What more can one girl-chicken do?
I would like to add that I do not know why I am poking myself in the boobs in that first picture. I clearly did not think that through. Posting these photos is slightly more embarrassing than the original event. But my family tells me that I'd be a chicken if I don't.
Speaking of poultry, happy Thanksgiving! I won't be eating turkey this year, but I'll be counting my blessings for sure.