When I was younger my parents imposed a rule of law in the Sanz household that in today’s nanny state would be illegal. The basic premise was that if you did something to someone that wasn’t nice, they got to do it back it you. On a particularly hot 40 degree Melbourne day my brother and I were languishing in front of the TV, my mother had turned off the air conditioning because she trying to accelerate her detox in time for Cup day. Now I don’t know how the fight started, but at some point my brother starting flicking lemonade at me, and just as my mother walked back into the lounge room she was just in time to see me flick some lemonade back at him, which of course Michael noticed, burst into tears as a result and started crying at mum that I was trying to make him sticky on a non-bath day.
Well my punishment was imminent. My mother instructed my brother to go the fridge and extract the bottle of lemonade and sent me to my room to change into my bathing suit, a new purchase after I’d begged my mum to let me start wearing a bathing suit that covered my chest. Up until that point I’d only been allowed to wear bathing bottoms because as my she’d assured me, at 10 years old I had the body for it and if you’ve got it, flaunt it. This new bathing suit in all honesty wasn’t much better. I hadn’t been allowed to go shopping with her for it and as such was presented with an adult sized leopard skin print all in one, with padded cups on the eyes of the tiger firmly hovering over my nipples. I walked outside, trying not to scold my feet on the boiling concrete. My mum pulled up two plastic yard chairs and sat down on one, nursing a woman’s day on her lap and then instructed my brother to pour the remainder of the the 2 litre bottle of lemonade over me.
The existentialist in me stopped me from mounting any sort of defense and I stood there in the back yard, in my bathing suit, drenched in lemonade as my mother and brother sat and watched me dry off as they did the word search at the back of the magazine.
Eventually I passed out and my mum explained to the ambulance officers that arrived at the scene that she’d been out shopping for orthopedic shoes with my brother and I’d probably been the and I’d been the victim