I KNEW there would be too much material for one post, when I started writing about my father and his brothers growing up during WWII. (I have been scribbling notes since February 12th, and believe there is enough for (possibly) two more after this one.).
I have wondered for years how they didn’t burn down the house or get arrested! Poor, Grams.
This story takes place during WWII.
Gramma Emily could not afford a television, but she had a radio, and most of the commentary on it was about the war Overseas — especially the bombings in London and the allied fighter pilots shooting enemies down in flames.
My father and his brothers would be all hyped up after listening to the news. They would make paper aeroplanes, toss them into the air and pretend to shoot them down — but it just wasn’t the same.
My father and his brother Jack were playing quietly in the basement, when Gram told them to have a bath.
They both grumbled up the stairs, because they still wanted to play. Gram told them they could play later, AFTER their bath!
While Jack ran the water, my father played with the paper roll, unraveling it into the toilet bowl, before flushing it.
JACK: “What are you doing, Danny?”
DANNY: “Shooting enemies down and watching them crash into the ocean.”
Jack shook his head, grabbed a piece of paper then reached into his pants pocket.
Pulling out a Zippo lighter, he stood on the toilet seat lid, opened the window, lit the paper and tossed it out the window, watching it incinerate as it fell.
“THAT’S how you shoot down enemies planes!” he said, helping my father to look out the window, after he lit a second piece.
As the tub slowly filled, Danny continued to tears pieces from the toilet roll and hand them off to his brother. Jack would dangle the paper out the window, light it and let go.
This was called fun, until … one piece drifted a little longer and lower than the others … drifting past the kitchen window below:
“JACKIE! DANNY! ARE YOU IN THE TUB YET?”
“Almost done, Mum!” Jack lied, closing the window and climbing down off the seat lid, bumping into my father and knocking him off balance — and half-falling into the tub with his clothes still on!
“WHAT IS GOING ON UP THERE?”
“Danny slipped getting out of the tub!” [Another lie.].
“IS HE OKAY?”
“I’M COMING UP THERE!”
“He’s okay, Mum! WHAT?!? YOU CAN’T COME IN HERE! YOU … YOU’RE A GIRL! AND, AND … WE’RE NAKED!”
Unfortunately, I don’t recall the rest of the story, but things certainly do not seem to have changed much over the years between mothers and their sons.
Mothers still threaten to invade the bathrooms their sons occupy, and sons continue to retaliate with bathroom warfare — minus the Zippo lighters.