The year was 1966 to my recollection. I was walking on Johnson Beach in Hollywood, Florida with my cousin Jerry Fata. When we walked upon something we both had never seen before. It was a blue bubble on the sand.

Of course, like a curious kid, I grabbed it. Not knowing it was going to feel like someone put gasoline on my hand and lit it. I was in sheer pain and terror being that young. It was a Portuguese Man O’ War. I thought it was a weird balloon. Boy, was that a wakeup call.

It absolutely was one of my top ten pains I have ever encountered. So this is what happens next. My cousin was probably glad he didn't grab it and I did. It’s funny now. But at that time it was total misery.

I ran to my parents screaming and crying my head off. My mom was for sure freaking out. They brought me up to the first aid area where the lifeguards hung out. Someone up there said to me, "take it easy, we will make you feel better." So, they sprayed a cold numbing spray on my hand. Immediately it felt a million times better. It lasted about 2-3 hours, and I was fine.

The moral of this post is: when you are at a beach in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, don’t touch a Man O’ War. It doesn’t feel good!

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