When I was growing up, we drove a Chevy Malibu station wagon that had wood paneling. I’m not sure how uncool it looked back then, but people were jealous when my brother and his friend hooked it up with the ability to spray the innocent and the not so innocent. With an extra windshield fluid reservoir and an irresistible red button on the dashboard, we wreaked havoc all over town. And on vacation.
My mom was an office aid at our school, but to the kids she was “Recess teacher” or simply “Recess”. It drove her nuts. “I do other things at this school!” Well to them she was the lady who made them stand by the fence if they acted up, broke up their fights, etc. Later she was the lady who chased one of them up “Spanish Hill” with her new powers. Steve casually glanced over his shoulder to see who was coming, but his demeanor immediately turned to panic and he pedaled his heart out in vain. Mrs. J. loved a good joke. It was a hot day. Mrs. J. loved her new squirters that poked out of the grill of her car. It ended with his backside being sprayed. Poor Steve. I don’t even know if he deserved it or not. Probably not. But I think this story would be funnier if she had yelled, “Call me ‘Recess’ one more time!”
Other kids would beg Mrs. J to spray them and of course she was happy to honor those requests. Then my dad sprayed some kid in a parking lot on our way to Lake Tahoe. He looked down at his leg in horror.
The feature was most useful when we drove on the freeway because we were going fast enough for the water to go up over our car and hit cars behind us, so we used that against all tailgaters. They would immediately back off, wondering what the heck was up with the car in front of them. The most validating moment was when they had to turn on their windshield wipers. We never did follow through on our idea to fill the reservoir with green water to make them feel extra concerned.
I think Mom’s best friend finally decided she should get a taste of her own medicine. We were heading to the movies and when we stopped at the 7-11 to get candy, some of us waited in the car. When Mom walked back out and in front of it, her friend pushed the button, thinking there was one sprayer in the middle, but no. There were two squirters that were not down the middle.
Carolyn completely missed my mom.
Carolyn successfully sprayed a complete stranger right in the crotch. He looked down at his pants. He looked up in horror at Carolyn, who was probably peeing her pants for real because she was laughing so hard, then back at his crotch. There was a half smile, almost like he didn’t know whether to be offended or impressed. I don’t think he liked being sprayed in the crotch. I think he secretly wished he could spray other people in the crotch. His facial expressions will be etched in my memory forever.
I think I can share this because surely the statute of limitations for crotch spraying has passed. I think. Just in case, I cannot confirm or deny that my mom sprayed innocent children or that her best friend made a grown man look like he peed himself.
May this fictional, yet true story live on forever!