Sunday 10 October 2010


(This post is long, but trust me, if you want a laugh at my expense, it's worth persevering.)

This is Solomon.
He's a 200kg Australian Sea Lion who lives at the Coffs Harbour Pet Porpoise Pool.
Before each show you can sidle on up and feed him a fish.

The smallest child in our family is the bravest one of all, she wants to be kissed by seals and dolphins, pat animals in the street and make friends with chickens.
It goes without saying she wanted to feed the seal.
By herself.

Picture from here.

When first in line I made the mistake of holding the fish for her, after all he's a seriously big sea-lion and she's a relatively small child.
Back in our seats she declared "No! Me feed seal!", when she realised she'd been ripped off.
We rejoined the queue, the last in line.

We sterilised our hands.
She took the fish and reached up.
Being too small to reach him I picked her up, we leaned in closer and without any warning at all...
Solomon did a massive sneeze all over the two of us.

I don't just mean any old sneeze.
This was a "blow-your-hair-back-and-spray-your-face-with-a-wet-combination-of-salt-water-and-fishy-smelling-saliva-filled-hurricane-like" sneeze.

There we stood, in front of the entire stand of people gathered for the performance, covered in what might best be described as seal snot.
They all roared laughing as the smallest and I tried to fathom what had just happened.
She cried, I cringed and together we used the anti-bacterial hand gel offered earlier to smother our faces, hands, arms and anything else we could.

I am eternally grateful to the lady behind us who handed me a pack of anti-bacterial wipes as I sat down with the small fish-smelling child on my lap.

We sat through the show (which is great entertainment by the way, even though I am still not sure how I feel about marine-animals being held in smallish pools)- smelling delightful.

I didn't pat or kiss her little head as I usually do when she sits on my knee, because I knew what coated each strand.

I felt thirsty but dared not lick my lips, as they had a salty tang to them.

Once the show ended and we'd moved away from the area, I bent down to retrieve somthing from my bag and the man of the house snorted down a laugh as he extracted from my hair...
a fish scale.

We went home, where I scrubbed us both in the shower with soap and shampoo to within in inch of our lives.

If anyone was in the crowd that day and has this event on video, I would urge you to send it in to "Funniest Home Videos and send me half the large sum of cash you win.

I'm going to need it for the kid's therapy.


Unknown said...


I totally GET the child wanting to do it BY MYSELF! We get that all the time around here.

cherri said...

KAREN! OMG that is awful!

I don't know what to horrible and hilarious!

wash, wash, wash!

Carolyn said...

I have to admit that was a LAUGH OUT LOUD moment!

poor little Miss G and mummy. I really hope that she has not been put off her fondness of animals.

willow and moo said...

Oh no! It is quite funny if you aren't the person covered in seal snot.

mummymadesigns said...

that certainly 'sealed'off your holiday didnt it ! ha ! what a surprise, hope you had a great holiday , that story is so funny! thanks for sharing !

Sealed oops i mean signed me x

Sally said...

That is ***SO*** funny! I think I'll be laughing about that for most of the day.
(... and thanking my lucky stars that it didn't happen to us! We've been blasted with water by an elephant and that was pretty gross... but nothing compared to seal snot!)

Natalie said...

Oh no, poor you and miss G - sounds like she handled it well though, I think my little miss would still be screaming about it.

Cass said...

I've nearly wet my pants laughing, sorry. Lucky it didn't attack you though like one at Taronga did recently.

Andrea said...

Oh dear, I was laughing and cringing at the same time. You poor thing, what terrible luck

Anonymous said...

oh I know it could've been so much worse (poo!), but that is totally grosse and hilariously funny all at the same time!! I wouldn't have thought rushing back to the hotel out of the question - and yes, I hope someone caught the event in all its snotty glory for you!

The girls looked gorgeous in their dresses!

Seaweed and Raine said...

Oh Karen! I am so sorry that you both got covered in "seal snot" - but at the same time, thank you thank you thank you! That is the best laugh I have had in days! Seriously. I have tears running down my face right now.
I love your candidness.
You did well to sit through the show and not want to go and shower right away.
Just think of it as one of those "memory moments" that you will still talk about when you are 80+ (and dare I say, tease the littlest about in the mean time) and giggle till you nearly pee your pants!

sophie said...

Oh crikey...what a story! What can I say, there is nothing to say is there...

Tanya said...

oooh geez Kazz- that's disgusting. AND VERY FUNNY- from my not covered in seal snot perspective...

Chars said...

Thankyou so much for the much needed giggle :) I can visualise this happening to me :)

Julie said...

Oh ewww, but very funny. You poor things.

Belinda said...

That is hilarious!! For those of us sitting at home that is...

Little Munchkins said...

No way!! I would have totally freaked out!

P/S : Are you still scrubbing yourselves after all this time? lol

Lori said...

Oh my gosh. Thats funny. Although it wasnt for you in the moment understandably.

Its funny, I tell my husband all the time, in reference to our children. "We have to give them something to talk about in therapy."