It was a saying I heard often from my younger brother as we were growing up. It usually started innocent enough with a towel fight in the kitchen while doing dishes. I would throw the dish towel at him while we were doing dishes and tell him to get busy and do his part so we could be done. He would take opposing corners and swing it round and round and he would snap me with it, hard.
There were occasions when we had squirt gun fights in the backyard with the other neighborhood kids that eventually ended up with my brother with the garden hose in hand and everyone else soaked. “Better not start anything you don’t plan on finishing” he would taunt. Always begging for a reason to escalate the latest challenge.
As we got older my parents never quite figured out that it was not a good idea to leave me in charge of my younger brothers and sisters. I was responsible enough but our closeness in age made my brother resentful of my position of authority for the evenings my parents were out. My brother was only 14 months younger than me and challenged me at every corner. Eventually we would end up chasing each other around mom’s diningroom table each with a chair in hand like a lion tamer at the circus trying to back the other into a corner. We would eventually get tired of the game and end up watching some TV.
In the winter in was time for the King of the Hill. The boys in the neighborhood would climb on top of the biggest pile of snow around and would knock anyone down that got near the top. It usually evolved from a boys vs girls game to finally just one boy on top of the hill, often it was my brother standing on top making faces at the rest of us at the bottom of the hill.
Today at work my thoughts went back to those days of childhood games, pillow fights, chair fights and snowball fights. When I pulled a truck into the car wash this afternoon it still had the snow on it from last night’s snow. It hadn’t melted yet. I picked up a handful and squeezed it. “Perfect”, I thought. “Just right” as I formed it into the perfect snowball.
I looked to the other end of the shop. Between me and the other five hoists there were three mechanics and no customers. Perfect opportunity to throw a few snowballs at the mechanics. I was the only one with plenty of snow at hand. What could be the harm? Then those childhood words rang in my ears once more. “Better not start anything you don’t plan on finishing!” I was definitely outnumbered at least three to one.
I opted for the kinder, gentler version of the snowball fight.
This was actually my second attempt. The first one slid off the hood of the truck before I could get my camera from my purse in the office.