The year before I went to Kindergarten, my brothers and I lived in a pretty nice house. It was a cute one-story country house complete with a front porch, blue trim, and a large tree in the front yard (the same tree from Ceramic Frisbees). An apricot orchard surrounded our house and the house next to us. Teddy, Kurtis, and I frequently enjoyed having free run of the orchard where we played Power Rangers and had apricot eating contests. Back behind our house a little further into the orchard, a small shelter sat for the fruit pickers to relax in during their breaks.
One day when the workers were not there, Teddy and I decided to explore the shelter. There wasn’t much to see. The only piece of furniture was a small wobbly table, but it was what sat under the table that intrigued us. There must have been ten two-liter bottles of 7UP down there. Teddy insisted on having the first drink; but after opening one of the bottles and smelling its contents, he changed his mind.
With a mischievous smile, he handed the bottle to me and said, “You try it.”
It smelled weird, and I didn’t want to drink it.
Teddy sensed my hesitation and, before I could protest, said, “Oh that’s okay if you’re scared to drink it. I forgot that you’re a girl.”
I knew that I shouldn’t ingest anything that I found just lying around, but I couldn’t have Teddy calling me a girl.
As I put that bottle to my lips, Kurtis, who had been on his way over to check up on us, yelled, “Marci, don’t!,” but it was too late. The yellow liquid burned and tickled its way down my throat.
Teddy was laughing so hard that his face turned red, but Kurtis just stood there staring at me. “What?” I demanded. “What is it? What’s so funny?”
Kurtis’ whole demeanor changed as he finally found his words and asked, “Didn’t that 7UP smell funny to you, Marci?”
It was a rhetorical question but I decided to answer it anyway, “Well yeah, but-”
“Do you see a toilet anywhere around here?” he continued.
“Kurtis, you know as well as I do that the only restrooms around for miles is ours and Autumn’s.”
“Well, little sister, where do you think a the fruit pickers pee at?”
It took my mind only a few seconds to register what he was saying before I began throwing up.