At some point in our not-too-distant past, someone at a party who’d perhaps had a few too many adult beverages thought it would be fun to put a lampshade on their head, and pose for a picture:
I don’t know why, but perhaps if I’d been there and also had a few too many adult beverages, I would have thought it was funny, too.
Well, Jamie Bisceglia of Fox Island, WA was ready to pose for a picture – not at a party but even better, for a photo contest – and she didn’t have a lampshade handy.
So instead of a lampshade on her head …
She put an octopus on her face:
For a story as important as this one – and Jamie got international coverage – I think some context is vital.
- Jamie lives on Fox Island in Puget Sound, WA. An island is “a piece of land surrounded by water.”
- Jamie has been fishing since she was a kid, and is currently the owner of South Sound Salmon Sisters, a company that takes women on guided fishing trips.
- On that day in early August, Jamie was participating in a Tacoma fishing derby.
All this would suggest that she’s familiar with ocean residents, their characteristics and proclivities.
An octopus is “a cephalopod mollusk with eight sucker-bearing arms, a soft body, strong beaklike jaws, and no internal shell.”
Octopus suckers look like this:
And octopus beaks look like this:
Even I, who do not live on an island or participate in fishing derbies, can see that suckers will stick, and beaks will bite.
So I’m presuming the Jamie vs. octopus incident occurred for a reason as follows:
Option #1: Jamie wanted to help a friend win the photo contest. Jamie is a fishing expert, knew she was doing something risky, but anything for a friend, right? So she chose to do this:
Option #2: Jamie is really stupid.
Option #3: Both of the above.
The octopus, not being stupid, did what any self-respecting octopus would do to show its displeasure at this treatment:
It sank its beak into Jamie’s chin:
“When its beak entered my chin, it was the most intense pain,” Jamie said. “It felt like…a barbed hook. If I tried to release it off my face, I knew I was going to tear skin or flesh away.”
During this process, and because it was a self-respecting octopus, it also released venom into Jamie.
Jamie eventually removed the octopus and – though she was bleeding profusely – went on with the fishing contest.
That was on a Friday. When Jamie woke up Sunday morning,
“My eyes were swollen, I couldn’t see very well out of my left side, my glands were completely swollen, underneath my chin was a large pus pocket, and then the left side of my face was completely paralyzed.”
Jamie hadn’t gone to the ER. Jamie hadn’t gone to Urgent Care. Jamie hadn’t called these guys, either:
See #2, above.
Eventually Jamie did get medical help. And since then, she’s been proselytizing about not doing what she did:
Well, darn. That looked like such fun, I was just about to go catch me an octopus and do some serious face time, too.
Guess I’ll stick to lampshades.