Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pop Its

Growing up with my brother Luke,
there was never a dull moment. I can't see these Pop Its and not think of this story. 



It was summer circa 1990 and my cousins Josh and Stacey were down from Stroud to stay with us for a few weeks. It was, without a doubt, always the highlight of our summer. Four cousins romping and scheming in the sweet Eastern Oklahoma countryside - what else could a kid ask for? 

Sunday night rolled around and Mom was scheduled to host the church Women's Auxiliary in our home that month. There was nowhere for us kids to go, so we were banished to the back of the house and instructed to be well-behaved, quiet, and to stay out of trouble. 

Ha. 

We started out really well, scheming up our nightly midnight snack plan/route and telling stories about the Traveler. But things were sure to get out of hand fast with the four of us involved. And, they did. 

Early into the evening, Josh and Stacey ended up brawling on Luke's water bed. Naturally, Luke and I squabbled back and forth too, but Josh and Stacey took things next level that night. As Stacey went flying through the air she scream-cried to new decibels and Josh was yelping out wildly from her intense fingernail gashes in his skin, and I couldn't do anything but sit on the floor with my eyes glued to the door waiting for Mom to come flying through it. 

Miraculously, she didn't, and things calmed down a bit after that .... until Luke unearthed a pack of Pop Its. 

"Hey, I wonder what would happen if I bit one of these," he said. 

Josh's eyes lit up, Stacey's got enormous, and I was trying to find a way to high tail it outta there to tell Mom. But I was trapped. 

Before I could form a sentence, Luke threw that tiny white bag up into the air and into his mouth like a peppermint tic-tac and those pearly whites came closin' in. I started SCREAMING, Josh was hysterically laughing and Stacey still sat there wide-eyed and concerned not knowing what was about to go down. None of us did. 

POP!!!! We see nothing but a flash of fire. Luke jumps up and black gravel that smells and looks like gun powder coated his mouth and he's hopping around and spitting more than a cowboy at a rodeo. I start bawling because I think he's on the brink of death, while screams and laughs filled the bathroom. 

And then, after he saw he survived, he did it again and tried to get us to do it, too. We went through an entire box of Pop Its in our bathroom that night, snapping, screaming, biting, laughing. That bathroom reeked of TNT and smoke. And we made quite the mess as you could imagine. 

Women's Auxiliary was quickly coming to a close and we all sat on the bed, 4 ducks in row, fearfully awaiting our impending doom. 

Mom gently opened the door, peeked her head in and said, "Well you guys were perfect little angels tonight! Thank you! You all can come out now! "

We all breathed a collective sigh of relief, exchanged quick glances, and told her the pleasure was all ours. 



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