It's probably a terrible idea to introduce another ongoing series, but screw it, here goes...
This is a list of 10 things that I would like to go back and do over again. Some are missed opportunities, a few are unfortunate accidents, and others involve almost everything that happened in the "Over Night Success Story" posts. It's just stuff that would be nice to go back and change to create a different outcome.
10. The Tahiti Incident
When I was 13 years old, my grandparents decided it would be a great idea to take their 3 children, and all of their children's children to Club Med in Tahiti.
This may seem like a good thing, but just imagine spending Thanksgiving with everyone in your extended family, only Thanksgiving lasts 8 days on an island with nothing to do.
It's worth noting that in the years since this trip, my grandparents refuse to have anything to do with me or my sisters or my parents. They literally have not uttered my name in the last 10 years. So that might give you an idea of how well we all get along. But that's a glorious story for another day.
At this point, we were still talking. And we had to go, I guess. When you're 13 you don't really have a choice in these matters.
Anyway, Tahiti was beautiful. Although the 9 hour flight, and the 30 minute "puddle jump" on John F. Kennedy Jr.'s plane was my version of hell. But once you're there, the water is nice.
We didn't know what we were getting ourselves into with this Club Med. Or at least I didn't. You see, it's all about activities! They want you to do stuff! Reading on the beach? Are you out of your mind? Get up, we're having a dance competition! Now it's relay race time! Oh, so many activities. All led by a cheery, annoyingly hyper man with a zinc nose and a straw hat named STEVE. I say STEVE, because that's how he says his name. All loud and happy and shit.
Unfortunately, my sisters and I don't like to do things. We like our leisure time to involve actual leisure. Seems crazy, I know. Club Med wasn't for us. If there was a Club Med for people who like to make fun of the people at the real Club Med, that would've been our spot.
One day I was trying to mind my own business, when STEVE comes around and starts yelling about a coconut throwing contest. I just had to be in the coconut throwing contest! "Everyone was doing it", he said. I'm not sure why I would succumb to peer pressure from a guy with such poor taste in careers, but it felt like I had no choice.
Very sadly, my Dad and I got off our beach chairs to go stand in line to throw God Damn coconuts. Trudging over to that line, we might as well have been walking to a "relocation" train in 1939 Berlin, we were that sad about it.
So we're standing there among the palm trees, waiting to throw, when suddenly, shockingly, my arm goes numb.
I was in pain. Real pain. Not the kind that makes you scream and yell and hold your arm, but the kind that makes you immediately want to puke.
I looked over, and a coconut was rolling away from me.
I looked up at my dad, and weakly let out a "dad?!". He looked down, and I could see on his face that he could see that something was seriously wrong with me. I had gone white.
I slumped down onto my knees, then my butt.
What had happened?
A coconut fell from one of the palm trees, about 80 feet up, right on my arm.
I was rushed to the Club Med Doctor, who pronounced that I was in shock, but I'd live.
If you think that's funny, I have a statistic for you: falling coconuts kill 150 people a year! That's more than shark attacks. Spielberg should be making a movie about coconuts, the silent killer. Just when you thought it was safe to go near the palm trees...
I eventually shook it off, but the fear never went away. Needless to say I steered clear of those trees for the rest of the trip, no matter what contest STEVE cooked up.
Ever since the incident, anytime I am in the vicinity of palm trees with my family, hysterical laughing breaks out. They think it's the greatest thing that ever happened.
Years later while I was in college, I was riding my bike innocently down the street. Suddenly, I heard a loud THUD. I looked back, and just to my left a coconut had fallen. Seal Team 6 is to Bin Laden as coconuts are to me.
So if I could do it over again, I wouldn't have gone to Tahiti, or at the very least, I would've told STEVE to go fuck himself.