Being a little brother in the sixties was hard.
I mean, there you are are, minding your own business, after spending maybe 16 hours outside in the summer Oklahoma sun.
Riding bikes. Playing “skateboards of death”. A bit of football. Some wiffle ball, basketball, tree-climbing and high jumping. And maybe digging in the Edwards’ backyard “Hole to the Center of the Earth.”
Before you know it, it’s 7pm, and all of a sudden, for no reason at all, your big sisters gang up on you.
“Mother! Make Billy take a bath! He smells like a pig!” shrieks the eldest sister, who is quickly joined by the middle sister.
“And look at him! He’s caked in mud. He’s been digging in that stupid hole again, Mother! You should hose him down in the front yard and THEN make him take a shower. He is so disgusting!”
As difficult as it is to confront child abuse, I have to admit that my now-departed mother, whom I loved, was guilty of hosing me down more than once. In the front yard. Right in front of God and the neighbors.
To be fair, I think she did it mainly because she couldn’t really scrape off all the hardening dirt clods without removing one or more of my ears, and that would have been noticed at school.
As if mandatory-baths were not mean enough, my ever-complaining sisters also had me deported if they were having a Friday night slumber party. I’d be banished to spend the night with my grandmother and aunt, tragically forced to watch countless episodes of the Porter Wagoner Show and put up with Leta the stupid, shivering Chihuahua.
The silver lining was, come Saturday morning, I’d be sitting on the back porch, eating my grandmother’s killer breakfast. No-one on the planet made better biscuits and gravy than Moew, which explains why fraternities at Oklahoma University battled each other every year to get her to cook for them.
Name and Shame
My sisters, whose initials are Lynn and Cathy (there, I have Named and Shamed them, so sue me, I don’t care!) were even MORE impossible to live with if they had dates coming that night. Oh Lord, that was the worst.
In this era of environmental awareness, I am ashamed to admit that my own sisters are personally responsible for global warming. It was them and their stupid Aqua-Net hairspray.
On date-nights, the sisters would spend hours and hours locked away in the bathroom doing girl stuff. No little brothers allowed. Not even.
Then, about two minutes before their dates were to arrive, both sisters would shoot out of the bathroom, wearing only their slips, and dash into their shared bedroom, slamming the door in my face. Because I would be standing there, all pathetic and ignored and innocent like, holding a squirt gun or my bullwhip.
That’s when the Aqua-Net of Doom would menacingly roll out if the bathroom, like the creepy killer fog from a horror movie, and it would overcome me.
Pssssssss of Death
By my estimate, it took at least 17 giant spray cans of Aqua-Net for Cathy the middle sister to get her long hair into the perfect “flip”. Lynn, the older sister, needed another 34 cans to get her beehive to stay on top of her head.
But despite the billowing Aqua-Net of Doom, I had little chance of avoiding it. See, I would have consumed up to seven root beers at dinner, so by this time of night, I was about to burst. I had to race into the bathroom, slam the door and try in vain not to inhale the girl-fog while draining off a few gallons of A&W.
If Al Gore has sisters, I know he agrees that our collective sisters, and their Aqua-Net, is the cause of global warming. Well, looking at Al’s hair, you have to wonder if he was personally involved with Aqua-Net, too. Wouldn’t that be an inconvenient truth?
It is truly a miracle that I have not developed Aqua-Net-related lung cancer. I’m sure it’s because of all the summers I spent riding my bike behind the DDT-spraying Jeep. Inhaling the mosquito-killing chemicals must have somehow saved me from the horrific hairspray.
Where is the U.N.?
Despite this environmental carnage, to this day the so-called United Nations hasn’t made so much as a peep about teenage girls and their Aqua-Net. No, they spend all their time chasing war criminals and airlifting condoms to third world countries.
But, please, before more icebergs melt or another polar bear dies of sunstroke, we must urge the U.N. to ban Aqua-Net and all hairsprays of mass destruction.
And teenage girls, too.
It’s the least we can do for the environment and all the poor, Aqua-netted little brothers of the world.
Cough. Hack. Choke.