The second heart-to-heart I ever had with my mother was in Spain when we were staying at my aunt Mariela’s apartment. Mariela lived on the top floor of a building in Madrid. My father, who is her little brother, taught me how to terrorize people from above in the form of spitballs and water balloons in the dead of winter. I cannot delve into much detail, but let’s just say our shenanigans also involved unsuspecting passers-by, as well as vehicles, both parked and moving. This was about a million times more fun than it sounds. And I learned a lot of useful life skills from being a hooligan with my father, such as:
- How to hide behind something to avoid being spotted;
- The importance of speed and precision;
- How to celebrate my victories without alerting the wrong person; and
- The art of keeping a straight face after doing something hysterically funny.
One lesson I learned the hard way was that, no, an entire roll’s worth of toilet paper spitballs directly underneath the apartment window would not go unnoticed. There were only so many likely suspects. (The building isn’t very tall.)
My mother found me in the bedroom reading some time later, sat down beside me, and gently told me that I had crossed the line. That kind of thing was bound to get Mariela in a lot of trouble. In fact, she may even get kicked out of her home! All because I decided to launch about nine-hundred spitballs, which had since dried/frozen on the sidewalk and the windshields of the cars below. I had to think about how my actions were going to affect the lives of others. I felt like a jerk, shamefully apologized, and learned my lesson:
I would never again use an entire roll of toilet paper all at once.
I also learned to throw them further and at an angle, so they’d land in front of other apartment buildings.
“So… You didn’t actually, you know, stop throwing spitballs at innocent people,” my friend Josh said. He is very observant.
No! I received constructive feedback and utilized it to improve my technique. My aunt still lives in that same apartment, I am happy to report, proving that the subsequent spitball attacks were never again linked to the Fernandez family. If that isn’t a success, what is?