Once upon a time, there were two 9-year-old twin girls, Anna Beth and Zoe. I had the pleasure of transporting them to a hospital once, back in the day. We all met under unfortunate circumstances, but we made the best of it and had some good laughs in the process. Some stories just beg to be told. This is one of them.
Anna Beth, who was very specific about being called “A.B.,” was pogo sticking on her back porch one day when her sister, Zoe, decided to spray her with the garden hose. This wasn’t any ordinary garden hose though; this was one of those as-seen-on-TV super sprayers. Yeah, this hose would’ve blown the stripes off of a zebra. It was a very impressive yard accessory.
Anyway, A.B. was pogo sticking on her back porch trying to beat her pogo stick record (she was up to 348 hops, pretty impressive for a 9-year-old), when Zoe came out and wanted her pogo stick back. Apparently pogo sticks aren’t something one can just pick up and use without asking permission first. So, being the mature 9-years-and-6-minutes-older sister that she was, Zoe grabbed the Super Sprayer 2000 and kind of maybe sorta sprayed her sister in the face with it.
I’ve seen pogo sticking accidents before, and I’ve also seen my share of slip’n’slide contusions, but this topped both of them.
It looked like A.B. got hit with a watery dump truck. The water from this hose didn’t just knock her off the pogo stick; it threw her back about 15 feet into the rose bushes. It was pretty impressive.
My partner and I did the whole bandage a few cuts, make sure she was still breathing, blah blah blah dramatic ambulance stuff. Finally she was on the stretcher and in the back of the truck.
My partner drove and it was my turn to be in the back. So, I started off the transport with the typical transport conversation: “Hey, A.B., can you feel your heart beating? Yes? Good. Let me know if it stops.”
Just kidding, I would never say that.
Nah, I’m just kidding.
But I’m seriously kidding.
Or is it kidding seriously?
I don’t remember anymore.
So, Zoe rode in the back with us for moral support or something. After establishing that it was highly unlikely for A.B. to suddenly die on me or something, I decided to ask my question.
Oh yeah, that question.
“A.B., if you could have a tail, what kind of tail would you have? Oh, Zoe! You too, what kind of tail would you have? Think it over while I call the hospital to tell ‘em we’re coming to hang out for a while.”
So I called the hospital and gave my report of what happened. The RN at the hospital was very impressed by the garden hose. Oddly enough, she said she had one too, but hers didn’t work nearly as well. That’s why you don’t buy garden hoses from Goodwill.
I hung up the phone and was instantly bombarded with a flood of questions (water pun intended).
“What kind of tail?”
“What kind of question is that?”
“A tall tail? Fairy tale? An animal tail?”
“A tail from your butt? Like a puma?”
It was a lot of questions. I answered with a confidently pleasant “yes” in a cracked voice. Yeah, it still cracks from time to time. I’m not sure why… It’ll get deeper one of these days I suppose. I hope. Pray. Pray and hope. Why couldn’t I just have a cool Australian accent?
Zoe answered first. She wanted a bunny tail; a white, fluffy bunny tail, and a very large one at that. In fact, she wanted it large enough to be disproportionate to the bunny.
A.B. wanted one like their dog’s tail. She said they have a dog named Wichita and she’s a mix of German shepherd, retriever, lab, puggle, and husky. I seriously thought they were talking about 4 different dogs for a minute. But nope, it was just one. And they also said she had one blue eye and one brown eye.
They were very specific and descriptive about this dog tail; it was curly like a husky, but fluffy like a retriever, with the colors of a puggle, and it was long but not super long and not short or too fluffy, and it was “very super duper waggy.” I guess this is a very happy dog. They even said Wichita knows how to hit people in the face with her tail when she’s happy. That’s a talented dog. Smackin’ faces with a joyful waggy tail.
I was very impressed by their describing abilities, especially since one was a spiteful 9-year-old.
About 4 minutes of tail conversation later we arrive at the hospital. So all head inside, A.B. gets registered, we take her into her room and help her into the other bed, blah blah blah. Oh, I also told them to ask all of the nurses they talk to about what kind of tails they would have also, because nurses love random trivial questions; especially ones about tails. Everybody loves tail questions.
They said they would try, but that they weren’t making any promises.
A while later we picked up their brother, Jefferson. He was 6 and fell off of the trampoline or something. I don’t remember exactly. Maybe he was on the trampoline and sprayed himself on the foot? It’s been a while and I’ve slept since then.
Anyway, we had to take him to the hospital for some reason. So, naturally, I go though my transport spiel again, tell him to let me know if his heart stops (just kidding! …But seriously.), and of course, I ask about a tail.
Jefferson wasn’t as talkative as his sisters were. And he said he wouldn’t have a tail. What kind of 6-year-old wouldn’t have a tail? Seriously.
A few minutes later we showed up at the hospital and dropped him off 3 doors down from the twins.
I popped into their room to ask how the tail progress was coming and to see if A.B. was doing alright. Those pogo sticking twins “forgot” to ask the nurses. How does one just “forget” to ask? In hindsight, I think they might have been lying a little.
Oh, and Zoe decided to change her tail from a bunny tail to “4 arms and 2 legs, like Doc Ock from Spider-Man.” Well, that’s not a tail, but I was glad she was beginning to get a little original.
That’s how the legend goes anyway.
This is by far my favorite tail story to date.
I should also mention that I altered a few details of the original story…And by “few,” I mean a lot. But don’t fret; the tail answers are real.