"What bag?" AB and I asked him nearly simultaneously.
"The big bag," he said.
We have to haul our own trash out of the cabin and so AB pulled over and opened the trash bag up looking for the starfish.
I felt horrible for not having returned the creature to the ocean.
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AB got back in the car and informed me that after digging through the bag of smelly trash, he could not find the starfish. We immediately started neurosing about having left the starfish back at the cabin. No one would be there until at least the following weekend. And we were too far along to drive back.
We were CERTAINLY going to hear about leaving a dead starfish in the cabin somewhere. At least it is family, and they can't ban us. We headed on home.
That evening, we unloaded the car and unpacked the bags. Sure enough, no starfish. I banished from my mind the thoughts of our family hounding us for years about leaving the starfish behind, rotting.
A few days later I returned the Pack and Play to our friends.
You know what happened right?
A few days after that my friend went on a mission. She could not figure out what smelled like sour milk in her garage. They went through everything.
Until they finally got to the Pack and Play.
They opened it up and found what I can only imagine was the nastiest, stinkiest rotting mess ever.
My son had put the starfish in a bag (yes, he was right, he really did put the starfish in a bag) and then put the bagged starfish in the bottom of the Pack and Play. My husband who gets in a picking up groove and becomes oblivious to things like... oh a giant starfish in the bottom of a Pack and Play... somehow muscled the Pack and Play closed.
(I remember him saying, "I can't believe how hard it is to get this thing all they way closed!" Starfish, particularly giant ones, don't bend very easily.)
I had relayed the case of the missing starfish to my friend, so when she called me and said, "I know what happened to your starfish," I wasn't hugely surprised. I was surprised though that the call was that she seriously DID know what happened to the starfish and not some witty joke about what happens to lost starfish.
I was mortified.
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