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The dinner dishes are piled perilously in the sink as M- and I get ready to do our evening chore. Washing and drying the dishes.
“I’ll dry and you wash.” I say.
“No, I want to dry. You wash!” M- counters.
And so the evening’s verbal ping-pong match begins. We go back and forth, bouncing insults at each other. Except we don’t use a nice, round smooth ball. No, our ping-pong match is played with shards of glass and we play until one of us ends up in a bloody pulp on the floor.
B- decides to step in and stop the fight before it gets too violent.
“I have an idea. Whoever can eat this hot pepper, the whole thing, gets to dry the dishes. The other has to wash.”
He grabbed one of my mom’s garden grown peppers from the windowsill. They were hot. And when I say hot I mean fire-hot. These peppers do not mess around.
“We have to eat the whole thing?” M- asks.
“Yep. The entire pepper,” B- replies. Did I hint a little bit of mischievousness in his voice?
Before I could say or do anything M- grabs the pepper out of B-‘s hand and stuffs the whole thing in his mouth. He begins to chew while B- and I watch him in horror like we are looking at a train wreck about to happen. He becomes cartoon-like in his reaction. His face reddens, and his eyes tear up. I can almost hear the hoot of a train whistle and see the steam coming out of his ears. He begins to make sounds that are incomprehensible.
“M-, are you o.k.?” Here’s mom to the rescue.
She scoots him to the bathroom where he vomits. And now he is too sick to do his evening chore.
“What a little jerk.” I think.
I plot my revenge as I wash and dry the pile of dinner dishes.