A water balloon to the face.

Sundays are reserved for television, sports, eating and lounging around while you recover from your hangover. But first you have to earn it.

Depending on how I feel, I will sometimes go for a run first-thing Sunday morning as soon as I wake up. It’s a great way to start the day. Especially if it is a beautiful morning. However, other days — like today — I was feeling the effects of heavy drinking yesterday, and was in no state to do anything this morning, let alone run.

So I ate a hardy breakfast and waited until about 4 p.m., when I would be feeling a little better, to go for a respectable 2-mile run.

When it happened, I was about three-fourths done with the run, jogging down a road that would lead me back towards my house. I was feeling good, lost in my music, oblivious to the world around me.

Suddenly, something rather large smacks me square on the right side of my face. A moment later, a second one hits me.

I turn, and see a white car driving away in the opposite direction. Some punk kids threw water balloons at me in the face. And not just small balloons that you fill up for an innocent water balloon fight on a hot summer day. We’re talking massive, several-pound water balloons.

It happened so fast, and so unexpectedly, that I didn’t even really know what happened. I was able to put two and two together when I heard the balloon pop as it hit the ground, and then when I saw the car speeding away. My instant reaction was to touch the spot of my face where contact was made to ensure that it was only just water inside the balloon. Fortunately, the balloon didn’t pop when it made contact with me, and regardless, it was just water.

Secondly, it hurt. The side of my face was probably red from the impact, and I was exercising my jaw to make sure everything was okay. It turned out I was fine, and nothing was bruised. Except my ego.

Obviously chasing after the car was not really an option. I can’t outrun a car, and besides, what was I going to do? I just stared at it in anger with my hands raised in the air. Some day they will get theirs.

As soon as it happened, another car who was halfway down the block stopped as it approached me. Inside were a guy and a girl, presumably a couple, who looked in their late 20s, possibly early 30s. They lowered their window and immediately asked me if I was okay. I told them I was fine, just a little annoyed, but that I appreciated their concern, especially considering they had no idea who I was. They made sure to double-check I was okay, and then they drove off when I assured them I was fine.

An incident like this is easily something that any person could look at and say, “This would only happen to me. Welcome to my life.”

Perhaps five or six years ago, I may have said that myself.

But when I got home, and I told my older brother what had happened, he responded by saying, “Really?” Then two seconds later he said, “…That’s actually pretty funny.”

And you know what? It is funny.

I got hit in the face with a water balloon by some kids who obviously have not matured enough to realize the severity or consequence of what certain actions could lead to. If they maintain this level of ignorance, they will learn it the hard way. There’s really no doubt about it.

But in the meantime, although it hurt a little, five minutes later I was fine, and now I can definitely laugh about it. I also have an interesting story to tell.

It’s just funny to say. I got nailed in the face with a water balloon. Other people — if it were to happen to them — might play the victim card, and act like they were dealt a large dose of injustice. It’s what “FMLs” are made of. They would retell the story hoping to gain sympathy, and find no humor in it. I, on the other hand, will retell the story for one purpose: so people can laugh at myself — along with myself.

And how about the concerned guy and girl who stopped and asked if I was okay? Seriously — God bless them. I greatly appreciate that they stopped. Most people would witness it and, since it doesn’t concern them, would move on with their life. But these two people stopped in the middle of the road, even blocked traffic briefly, and would not drive away until they were certain that I was fine.

Just knowing that there are two people in the world who are like that made the entire experience totally worth it.

Punk kids will be punk kids. It’s a rite of passage. It’s unfortunate that they get their “kicks” by physically harming other people, but one day they will grow up and realize how juvenile their behavior was. Who knows, maybe while I am running another day, they will target me again. Perhaps I should even start running with a shield, kind of like Captain America. And I of course mean the puny Captain America, before scientific engineering gave him superhuman abilities.

I still finished my run. I still got my exercise. I proceeded to spend my Sundays doing what I always do — eating, watching television and spending an absurd amount of time lying on my bed.

Sometimes you just have to find humor in some things. Even if it means taking a basketball-sized water balloon square to the jaw.

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