(Continued from June 5, 2010).... Take care of it? TAKE CARE OF IT?!?!? Well, can you imagine the amount of oil, gasoline, fire, and a few boxes of matches that the dad envisioned Robert throwing on the dispute? This fine 8-year-old, known for starting disputes, was going to end one? That was not his normal pattern of behavior (or so the parents told me!).
The dad asked Robert to repeat what he had just said. Robert said, “Don’t worry, dad. Just go back in your room and get dressed. I’ll take care of this”. With that, Robert continued down his path to the exploding bathroom. OH NO! Nothing about this sounded or looked good, as the loud arguing was still continuing between Kathy and Bill!
The dad told Robert to walk back to him. Robert, upon retreating to the dad, seemed to be holding his left arm (the arm away from the dad) in an awkward manner. The dad asked Robert what was wrong with his arm. Robert then revealed that he been carrying A FULLY LOADED RIFLE-STYLE SQUIRT GUN DOWN BY HIS SIDE, you know, the kind of toy that is JUST PERFECT for solving disputes as two people are fixing their hair before school!
Yes, ol’ Robert had planned to enter the bathroom, hose off his younger brother and older sister just moments before they had to leave the house for school and as they were fixing their hair, and CALM THEM DOWN?!?!?
Ah, yes, Robert must have concluded, a couple of gallons of gasoline should put out that fire! And, if it exploded into a larger fire? Well, 8-year-old Robert was counting on it for his enhanced morning entertainment!
While one can certainly give Robert credit for quickly designing a scheme that would produce his desired results in large quantities, one certainly had to question the overall wisdom of the plan. As you might have guessed, yes, his delay into the fray was caused by him having to go to the garage, get a squirt gun (the LARGE one, of course!), fill it with water, and scoot upstairs, all while trying to sneak past the parents! Ah yes, a carefully crafted plan that almost worked to perfection!
But, alas, the parents, who had previously purchased that squirt gun (and other squirt guns, as well) for use at the beach and in the backyard, quickly decided that perhaps their purchases were not the smartest transactions that they had ever made.
Before going to work, the dad confiscated Robert’s AK-47 (or at least it seemed like one!), as well as all of the squirt guns from the garage, and hid them in a place where no one could find them. In the future, they were only brought out for use at the beach and in the backyard upon mutual agreement by all parties. After each use, the dad locked them way.
Robert? Well, he eventually cooled off on his love of controversy involving other people and actually got along quite well with his older sister (in fact, he later came to rely on her for just about everything at school) and his younger brother (to this day, they continue to make music together and try to solve all of the world’s political issues!). As far as Kathy and Bill, they have never had another similar argument since that one exciting morning!
But, had Robert been successful with his method of “stopping” the dispute between Kathy and Bill with an early morning splash, it is possible that the resulting yelling matches would still be heard around the world today!
Yes, "NO MORE SQUIRT GUNS" quickly became the mantra and we, uh, I mean the parents, could not be happier!
So, how about you? Any near-disasters that turned out to be quite humorous? Let me know!
Paul W. Reeves