For some strange reason, this past week my children asked if I got in trouble much as a kid. What brought on this bit of inquisitiveness, I’m not sure. Visions of grandeur danced through my head as I recalled various adventures that I could lay on ’em. Then I realized, no, I didn’t get in trouble that much because my older brother got in A LOT of trouble…. so I walked around the house telling my mommy, “I be good!” Over and over and over. And I was good. :o)
So this happy tale emerged after much prayer and supplication: my parents had vacated the house leaving my 13-year-old brother in charge of me (11) and our little sister (6). We decided to be helpful and empty the garbages from upstairs…. (with ulterior motives, for sure!)… so we could burn the rubbish in the fireplace in the family room. Fires are so exhilarating, especially when you’re home alone! My brother lit the matches and started the newspaper tubes that we had diligently rolled up just like Dad always did. We waited until it was nice and hot before we started adding the garbage…. which included: toilet paper tubes, kleenex, q-tips, junk mail, odds and ends…. AND…. an empty aerosol can of hairspray. OOOooooohhhhh!
We didn’t bother closing the little chain-mail curtain because we were still loading in the trash when it happened……. quicker than bottle rockets on the 4th of July, the can exploded and shot out of the brick fireplace. We were terrified! We ducked for cover! We shielded our heads and faces! We screamed like girls! The can hit the popcorn ceiling and then came to a smoking landing on the tri-level, multi-colored shag carpet, where it sizzled and then fizzled on the far side of the hide-a-bed couch (that I am the proud owner of to this day!)
We waited for it to cool down before we tried to pick it up, but it was sort of stuck to the melted carpet. My brother did pull hard enough to dislodge it and then I carefully trimmed the burned carpet to a uni-level, non-torched height. I remember the can leaving a mark on the ceiling, but I can’t remember how we covered it up. That was 33 years ago, okay?! I remember thinking that we could have put someone’s eye out with the shooting hairspray can, and we never repeated that fiasco. Safety first! Or at least second!
Reminds me of Back to the Future when Marty tells his 1950’s parents to go easy on their future son when he burns the livingroom carpet!