A couple of weeks ago on Facebook, I received a friend request from my friend, Josh, that I hadn't talked to in several years. It's pretty rare that I get a friend request on Facebook that I'm actually excited about (sad, I know), but this one was different.
Growing up in several different towns (and states!), I don't really have friends that I've had since childhood or "people I grew up with"... except my siblings of course... and one family, the H family.
The H family paralleled my family in many ways. Our parents were best of friends, both Dads were ministers, and both families had 4 kids. We would only get together with the H family about 2 or 3 times a year, as we always lived at least 3 hours from each other, but we always had a great time. The H family's oldest son (Jacob) was the same age as my brother, Jeremy, and their youngest (Lydia) was about a year younger than my sister, Lisa. So, every time our families got together, we naturally paired off as Jacob & Jeremy and Lisa & Lydia. That left me to pal around with the middle two red-headed H boys, Josh and Zach.
If you know me, you know that I was an easy kid. I didn't question authority much (unless it was Jeremy's authority... a Flashback Friday for another day), I did was I was supposed to do, and I stayed out of trouble. However, there is one major exception to the staying out of trouble part... and that was when Josh and Zach were around.
Josh was our ringleader. He would always hatch up these great ideas - that inevitably got us into trouble - then he would hatch up a way to get us out of the trouble. Which, of course, only got us into more trouble. You would think after this happening a couple times, I would have learned. But no.
When deciding which story of trouble I was going to share today, I quickly decided that I would not tell the story of the time Josh convinced Zach and I to get on the roof of the house with him and run around. We thought that since our parents were inside the house they would never know. Of course, we forgot to consider the fact that they could hear us running around up there and we were busted.
Nor am I going to tell about the time that we broke a basement window with an antique croquet mallet of Josh and Zach's great-grandfather. The mallet was also broken in the incident and we were all sent to bed in the middle of the day.
Nor will I share about the time when we were a little older (Josh could drive) and asked to go to the movies. We were given permission to go, but told that we must come straight home. We decided, upon Josh's persuasion, to stop at Dairy Queen on the way home. We got busted on that, too.
Nor will I tell about the time when our families were both guests at an older couple's house and we found an old copy machine in the back bedroom. We decided to plug it in and fire it up, which resulted in filling the whole back of the house with some thick, black, smokey substance. And, of course, we were busted.
Nope, I'm not going to tell any of those stories or the plethera of others that I have to choose from.
Today, I'm going to tell about the time that our neighbor thought Josh, Zach, and I tried to kill her dog.
The H family was visiting us for the weekend at our house in Kansas City. This house was in a neighborhood that backed up to a wooded area. Josh, Zach, and I decided to walk around in the woods to see what we could see. After a few minutes, we found a cue ball (like you play pool with), but nothing else exciting, so we headed back to my house. On our way back, our neighbor's dog started freaking out and barking at us. Josh tossed the cue ball over the fence into our neighbor's yard (he didn't hit the dog), and we walked home.
About 10 minutes after we got home, the neighbor rings our doorbell. My dad answers, and the neighbor frantically tells him how his kids tried to kill her dog with the a cue ball (then she holds it up for proof, ya know, since we left it in her backyard).
The Dads decided to call all of us kids into the living room and find out who it could have been (although I'm sure they had a pretty good idea). Following Josh's lead, we all denied having ever even seen the cue ball. Of course, it was true for Jacob, Jeremy, Lisa, and Lydia. The neighbor quickly affirmed that the kids who tried to kill her dog were the two reds and the girl with long brown hair.
The redhair got us everytime!
We were busted.