(Did I get the grammar down correctly on that title? "The Rays that Sting")
So -- my conclusion is this: it's about surrendering to reality, and having booties MADE of straps and then WEARING them -- in order to be protected from the outrageously painful strike of the stingrays in the sea.
We each have been struck. Robert first, then Annie, then me... and Robert has now been hit twice. All strikes happened out there in our boogie-wave territory. Surfers float above it all.
For both of Annie and Robert, that first strike was an excruciatingly painful ordeal, lasting some four hours. We hover over the afflicted asking what we can do to help, telling stories, massaging shoulders, whatever -- to just help them through...
For me when I got hit, well, I lucked out. When I set my foot down after a great ride, a ray struck me... I could feel it hit repeatedly and then wiggle to drill the poison in deep... but the stinger had hit me directly on a STRAP of my sandals, and so it was all to no effect.
So, anyway... this most recent strike (poor Robert) brought with it another helpful tip (Robert's invention).
Just a few days ago, being a good sport (and the surf waves sucked, so why not), Robert came and joined us surf-widows out there in the shore break waves. Boogie-boarding, by the way, is the equivalent of sledding down hills. Getting out to where the waves break (forcing your way through the forces of already crashed waves) is the equivalent of climbing back up the hill. Catching the wave and riding it to shore is about as thrilling as sledding back down... The size of the wave -- like the steepness of the hill -- determines the hoot'n'holler factor. (Annie and I are the only surf-widows who go out there and do this childish play -- I guess the others are just too sophisticated for "sledding." Their loss, sez here.)
The shore waves were big and strong on this day, and so we were all hootin' and hollerin' and bouncing along to shore -- a great day for boogiers -- when Robert put his foot down and then called out.
We know the drill well.
Help the afflicted one limp to shore. Race over to the nearby sand-dunes where the herbal remedy grows wild. Gather bunches of it, while any other helper available alerts the little surfside restaurant folks to boil up some water. In all past instances, the leaves are broken up and put into the very hot water and the afflicted one then painfully lowers the part of his foot that has the hole in it downdown into that very hot water. One wonder which hurts worse! Boiling hot water or strike?
FOUR HOURS of that before the pain subsides enough to move on...
But now, there is IMPROVEMENT! Robert came up with this one and it worked. Following his request, the first batch of leaves that I gathered for him were "blendered" to a pulp and then packed and held directly onto the sting area. Following that, we submersed his foot into the mash as well. The pain subsided noticeably (which is NOT to say that it quit hurting like hell -- but it did indeed subside to perhaps like, uh, purgatory maybe).
Robert still believes that hot infused water is also good, so he followed up the mash-soaking with gingerly dipping his foot into the hot water and herb infused bath , too.
The wonderful result (and I thank the mash) is that in a mere TWO hours, the pain had subsided and we moved on!
So..... about booties made of straps. We have learned that sandal straps block the ray-sting, so then why not make booties that are all-strap? Well, why not!! So Annie did just that. Had a pair made for me as well. She wears hers... They look kinda like the boots that a knight-in-shining-armor might wear.... and kinda clunky. The ones she had made for me need a little tweaking before they are wearable (they don't bend at the ankle but that can be tweaked if I would just take them back to the guy). What is stopping me? Danged if I know!