In 2001, I went on vacation to Disney World. Prior to leaving, a surgeon examined my knee, which spontaneously bled from time to time since my car accident in 1988. He determined that surgery was required, but in order to avoid missing the trip, he cauterized the wound so that it wouldn’t bleed.
Rather than bleeding, a disgusting bubble of blood formed on my knee which I subsequently referred to as The Alien. This turned out to be far worse than the small, occasionally spouting hole. It was large, pulsating, and repulsive. Twice during my trip to Florida, the alien erupted in a bloody mess.
The timing for both events was perfect.
The first instance occurred while I was on the King Kong ride at Universal Studios. While suspended above a plastic city in an imitation cable car, the giant animatronic ape struck our cable car, sending my knee scraping along the seat. Blood from the alien erupted, dribbling down my leg in thin rivulets.
As I disembarked the cable car, another dozen passengers, including several children, prepared to board. They took one look at my bloody leg and the children began to scream, demanding to go home immediately.
A few days later I was enjoying the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon when my knee scraped against the bottom of the pool and ripped open the alien again. Unaware of what had happened, I continued to frolic in the waves as the water around me began to turn a deep crimson color. When I finally noticed the blood, I made the most of it, screaming, “Shark! Shark!” From every corner of the pool, bathers looked in my direction, saw the puddle of red water around me, and fled the pool in a panic.
Timing is everything.