Little Natalie was 9 years old in 1999. She lived in a small town in Minnesota called Prior Lake.
Natalie's family consisted of 4 members. None of them were normal.
Dad, George, was a college professor who was a card carrying member of the communist party. He campaigned loudly and actively against the two established American political parties. Yet he somehow managed to live in a nice lake house on South Prior Lake. He drove a Toyota Camry, pulled for the Minnesota Vikings, and maintained a variety of high priced water toys at the Lake House.
Mom, Joan, was a creative, artistic sort. After failing as a writer, artist, and social activist, she settled on baking as her career. She partook of weed and hash liberally during her teens and 20's. By the time she was 45 in 1999, Joan had a bit of a reputation as a 'stoner'. The popularity of her baked goods at the Prior Lake bakery were thought to be at least partly attributable to creative ingredients. Joan decision making abilities were frequently questioned. More on that later.
Sister Rachel was a real trip. She was 11 in 1999. She grew up eating mom's baked goods. By the ripe old age of 6, Rachel had her first tattoo. She had her tongue pierced at the age of 9. She was arrested for the first time at the age of 12 for shoplifting. This was followed by a series of drug related arrests in her early teens. The highlight of her middle school career at Twin Oaks Middle School was expulsion for giving a blow job to the middle school gym teacher.
And then, of course, there was Natalie. She was the normal one in the family. Happy go lucky. Reading the 4th book in the Harry Potter series which had recently been released. One of the best students in the 4th grade at Five Hawks elementary school.
So, in July of 1999, this family of screwed up misfits was enjoying life on Lake Prior. George, Rachel, and Natalie were in a were a power boat along with assorted cousins and other family members. Cannabis crazed Joan decided she wanted to drive one of the two jet skis the family owned despite protestations from other family members. Things went downhill from there.
Joan cranked her yellow jet ski up to 50 MPH. She was approximately 30 yards from the power boat and running parallel to it when she saw directly ahead of her a 'Large Pink Octopus.' Acting as any sober captain of a maritime vessel would, Joan turned the jet ski violently toward the power boat. The resulting collision caused Joan to go airborne, do a complete flip, and land on the deck of the power boat. She suffered a compound fracture of her femur, broken finger, broken rib, and punctured lung.
Poor Natalie who was sitting on the side of the boat impacted by mom and her jet ski was tossed like a rag doll against the bulkhead. Natalie, who fortunately was knocked unconscious for the accident, suffered a broken tibia and broken arm in the accident.
Miraculously, the power boat still worked in spite of Joan's best efforts to sink it. George drove the boat to a public marina where mom and daughter were whisked off to the local hospital by ambulance. Joan, probably in a state of shock and still under the influence of her baked goods insisted on telling the medics, police, and hospital ER staff about the pink octopus that caused the accident. She was issued a $250 fine for wreckless boating. Thank God they didn't test he blood for drugs.
At the hospital, Joan underwent immediate surgery to have a rod placed in her thigh. Natalie's broken arm and leg were splinted. The breaks were set and casted the following day and Joan and Natalie got spend 3 days of quality mom and daughter time in the hospital.
Today, Joan continues to bake in Prior Lake. She is anxiously awaiting the legalization of weed in Minnesota. She and George have plans to open a marijuana dispensary in 2020 if the substance is legalized. Look out boaters on Lake Prior!
Eventually, the family genetic tree caught up with poor Natalie. While she made it safely out of high school with no arrests, convictions, or expulsions, things turned a bit south when she attended the University of Minnesota. She developed her mother's taste for cannabis and her father's proclivity for left wing politics. She was arrested a couple of times for drug possession with intent to distribute. She also managed to get arrested for public exposure while attending a Bernie Sanders rally in 2015.
Today, Natalie lives in Seattle. She is an aerialist, poet, and artist. She is married and the mother of one.