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The Great Water Fight

By Ralph Hood

My brother Jim and I roomed together in Atlanta in 1964. I was fresh out of college, he was still in college. It was not an altogether peaceful existence.

Let me tell you about the Great Water Throwing War, which we called GWTW (dang, that sounds familiar—you figure it out).

Somehow, we got into the habit of throwing cold water on each other. I have no idea why we thought it was appropriate behavior, but we carried it to great extremes. There were rules, of course. For example, it was not considered sporting to just walk up to the other and hurl water. Instead, you had to throw it when the other person least expected it and was totally absorbed in something else. In other words, you had to be sneaky.

Once, at a time when I knew Jim was eager for revenge, I came home at the end of the day loudly bemoaning how tired I was after my hard day of work. Jim was busily studying, and the more I moaned, the more he told me to shut up and let him study. Finally, I allowed as how I was so tired I reckoned I would just take a long, hot bath. Jim ignored me.

I drew that big tub of water, all the time telling Jim how much I was going to enjoy my long soak in the tub. He studiously ignored me.

While the tub was filling, I loaded a big pot with water and ice and carefully secreted it in the little hall closet just outside the bathroom. When the tub was filled, I quickly got out and tiptoed into the closet. A few minutes later, Jim came a tippy-toeing through the hall and into the kitchen where he got his own pot of ice water. He tippy-toed back to the bathroom door, jerked the door open and threw the water and ice into the tub in which he thought I was luxuriating in all innocence.

While he was pondering the situation, I calmly stepped from the closet and poured ice water over his head and shoulders. His comments are not printable in a family publication such as this.

That was one of the very few times I ever came out on top.

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