One evening this week, I wiped down the kitchen counters after dinner, because we don’t have a maid to do that for us. When I reached the end of the counter, where it meets the wall, I noticed that there was a fine mist of SOMETHING STICKY AND BLUE sprayed in a splatter pattern that completely denoted the area as a crime scene.
It looked like someone had dipped a toothbrush into a jar of blue paint and then flicked his thumb through it to create an entire galaxy of blue pinpoints representing uncountable stars.
I think it goes without saying that I was shocked, because, y’all! IT WAS BLUE STINKING PAINT SPRAYED ON MY WALL! AND ON MY COUNTER! AND ON MY CABINETS! AND ON MY FLOOR! I think I was, in fact, three whole breaths away from needing to see a therapist for some anger management.
I looked at Hubs and asked, “What happened here?!” I may have used my nice voice; I may not have. The seriousness and the traumatic-ness of the situation made reality hazy. And also foggy. And all I did was try to draw air in, and release air; draw air in, and release air, in an effort to stay alive.
Hubs looked at the crime scene and said, “If I had to guess, I’d say a Smurf was murdered here. Probably took a hollow-point BB to the head, based on the splatter pattern. I’d get some crime scene tape up, get the FBI on the phone, and start interviewing witnesses.”
Hubs is hilarious.
Our first witness was the boy. We called him into the kitchen, and I pointed to my wall. And then I sort of waved my pointing finger all over the place to indicate AND THE FLOOR! AND MY CABINETS! AND MY COUNTER TOP!!
The boy gave himself away, because he started wringing his hands together, which is his involuntary habit when he is guilty. And then he took a step backwards, to put some distance between him and the leader of the Spanish Inquisition.
And then he spoke.
“I… um… well… I saw some pliers… and they were… um… DAD’S pliers… and they were… um… well… just laying on the counter. So I… well… I was grabbed by a big feeling, Mom. It was a big feeling, and it… um… grabbed me, and I… um… SQUEEZED-A-PAINTBALL-WITH-THE-PLIERS-TO-SEE-WHAT-WOULD-HAPPEN!!!”
(He didn’t breathe a single breath when he confessed that last part.)
And half of the Spanish Inquisition Team broke protocol and busted out laughing. That would be the half of the team who has done something crazy and stupid like that before in HIS OWN MAMA’S KITCHEN. The other half of the Spanish Inquisition Team, which is also known as CSI: Small Town, pointed at the boy’s bedroom door and said, in a relatively quiet voice, “Go! To! Bed!”
And the boy? Well, he went, with tears streaming down his face. And then he turned around and said, “I am so sorry! I didn’t know I had coated your kitchen in blue spray. I just saw those pliers, and I can’t explain it! I just HAD to see what would happen when you squeezed a paintball! And, Mom, I put down sheets of aluminum foil and everything, just to protect your kitchen counter from the mess. I did my best to protect your kitchen!”
Eventually, when I realized that the paintball splatter was going to come OFF OF my kitchen walls… and my counter… and my cabinets… and my floor… I forgave the boy. And I said, “I have no idea what it’s like to be gripped by an overwhelming urge to pop a paintball with pliers, but your daddy seems to think that every boy needs to try it. Your daddy admits that he has ALREADY, in fact, tried it. So the lesson here is simply this: Paintballs and pliers are to be used OUTSIDE!”
And the boy told me, “Mom, I don’t need to pop one with pliers any more. I already know what happens! And, Mom? It was pretty stinking cool!”