My mind has been just reeling in excitement and energy because of a few conversations I had yesterday and today. Suddenly memories have been sparked within me that have caused me to do something I've not done in a very long time - take notes.
Yesterday I started a notebook of the stories I want to tell, things I've been reminded of, and things I think all of you, my friends and readers, would appreciate. I write them down with two or three words that will remind me of the entire story later on. More likely than not, these will end up being the titles to the blogs. So far, and this is no exaggeration, I have three and a half pages of JUST TITLES, just since yesterday!
One of my favorite memories was a moment of cruelty in my youth. Though I feel bad about it now, I will admit that I still laugh each time I tell this story. My brother doesn't laugh quite so much, though... It still brings back sour memories for him - literally.
I was rotten to him. For a year as children, he and I were very close. We lived at the end of a long dirt road with nothing and nobody around for a mile. When we moved to a more populated area, we made our own friends and moved on. That's when my mischevious side came out. I didn't exactly have a reason to cause him such grief, but I was certainly good at it.
The first time, all I did was put liquid soap in his toothbrush. I say "all I did was" because the story got better as time went.
He walked into the bathroom, picked up his toothbrush, put some toothpaste on the top, wet the toothpased top, and placed the toothbrush in his mouth. He began to scrub and then he froze. His face wrinkled up like an old mans as he stood looking in the mirror. He spat and sputtered and coughed and gagged and choked for a full 5 minutes before my mother came to see what was going on. I'll admit that I got a belt across my backside that night - fully deserved - but not until after both of my parents laughed so hard they had tears streaming down their faces. It was worth the spanking I got that week. I will fully agree that I deserved that one.
It was an ongoing prank from then on. We would do things to one another and not tell our parents. He tried to put soap in my tooth brush, but I rinsed out my brush before I ever put toothpaste near it. To this day I still do that. More often than not, it's completely instinctive.
My next trick was to not only put the soap in his toothbrush, but to take a thin layer on my finger and run it around the inside of his bathroom drinking cup. That way, if he discovered the soap in his toothbrush first, when he got done brushing and went to rinse, I still had him. That one worked, too. He gagged for a while, finally composed himself, and walked past my door glaring at me like he could have killed me easily in that instant.
He tried to set cups of water on the top of the door so they would fall on me when I opened the door. More often than not he ended up wiping up the water on the floor with a bath towel so Mom didn't find out. They nearly always missed me. Nearly.
My next stunt was to take wads of toilet paper and wet them in the sink. Then I would climb over the side of the tub and throw them straight up at the ceiling. They would stick there and linger, waiting for my brother to get in the shower. The steam from the warm shower would then heat the toilet paper wads, filling them with more moisture, and causing them to grow heavier. That's the way it worked in my mind, anyway. Unfortunately it didn't work, the wads never bombed him from above, and I moved on to the next project.
I had a few failures like that. I didn't realize that a person was supposed to remove the shampoo from the bottle before adding the "Nair" product or it would be too diluted to work. My brother still has a very full head of dark hair. The jar of dead bugs in his laundry basket didn't really work, either. The lid was on too tight to stink at all, and the only person who found it was my mother. She screamed at me for a while over that one.
The pranks went on for a while that way, back and forth, constantly trying to get one another. He would hide somewhere and scare me so bad I nearly peed my pants. I would get him back by putting salt in the sugar bowl for his cereal (and end up with it going into Dad's coffee). He would use a pink marker in Barbie's hair (I always hated pink), and I would hide his most prized comics or baseball cards. He would take all of my shoes and I would find another hiding spot for his porn collection.
One day I came home and heard everyone upstairs talking. It sounded like they were in the bathroom, but I hadn't put liquid soap in my brother's toothbrush for a week or more. I went upstairs, wondering what was going on.
"Manda, come here right now," my Mother's voice commanded. I knew I was in trouble, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out why. "Did you do that?"
She pointed at the ceiling over the shower. I had completely forgotten those dried up, crusty wads of previously wet toilet paper were up there. It had been more than a year since I had tossed those up, hoping to have them plop and splat on my brother's head durring a shower. I poked my head around the corner and smirked. My dad was standing there with a broom and it frightened me, thinking surely he would wallop me with it, but I couldn't help it. I broke into a grin and then a chuckle. My ever-so-stern father cracked too. He started to chuckle, my mom snorted, and I laughed so hard I hurt.
The crusty toilet paper had begun to mold slightly around the edges and nobody had noticed because my brother and I were the only two to use that bathroom. We were both fairly short back then. We didn't look up at the ceiling - why would we?
Dad stopped laughing and we followed suit. He handed me the broom.
"I want you to get every single piece down from that ceiling right now, Young Lady. I don't ever want to see this again."
It was a good two weeks before I pulled any other pranks on my brother. Just when he thought he was safe - the liquid soap was back.