Moments later Erin came unhinged. Her actions could be described as weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Through her panic I was able to determine that her eyes, nose, and mouth hurt. The professional in me kicked in and I set about asking questions of Erin about how this burning came about. It was quickly apparent Erin was not interested in telling me anything.
Amy quickly entered this confusion by announcing Erin had sprayed something in the storage room that had also caused her to have a coughing fit. To Amy’s chagrin I had to smile which was not an acceptable response to Erin’s current state. I was thankful Amy could not see me laughing uncontrollably on the inside. I already knew what caused the problem and how to fix Erin.
I needed no more information about what had happened as I had been in Erin’s shoes before; twice on the receiving end and several more instances on the much preferred administering end.
My first experience was mid-summer 1995. Suffice it to say nothing focuses the mind quite as well as this pain. I think I lost sight in both eyes, and the world sounded like it is made of rushing water. I was certain I had located a uranium spill and my nose felt like I had just snorted Drano. Furthermore, my ears were ringing and a myriad of uncontrollable curse words were running through my mind. Funny thing about being on receiving end was I immediately recognizable the sound of the nearby spectators laughing at me just as I was now laughing at Erin.
Back then my first conscious thought was, “I’m going to die.” An eternal 2-3 seconds later this thought morphed into, “I wish I would die. At least it won’t hurt anymore.” At some point in this misery I thought it a good idea to stick my tongue out and drag it along the asphalt. Surely that would aid in helping my tongue feel better. I’m happy to say now that the tongue thing went no further than a thought. But, after what felt like 50 gallons of water over my face, mouth, and eyes and nearly 30 minutes I was confident I would indeed survive.
Erin was subjected to the same cure. Unfortunately for her, I was around with the camera to document the aftermath. With time and water the panic element in Erin’s crying finally left and my suppressed laugh erupted into a full belly roll. Amy just glared at both of us.
I then ventured into the storage room and found the offending object. Somehow that curious 4-year old had retrieved this stuff from where it is stored on a shelf some 5 feet up.
The moral of this story is don’t mess with your dad’s pepper spray!