Little brothers and little sisters can get into mountains of trouble. Francis and I were no exception. We had stumbled upon the “Fountain of Bad Ideas.” I hope my children do not read this because it differs from what I have told them. Do you promise not to tell them? Cross your heart and hope to fly. Stick a cupcake in your eye.?

Brilliant children that we were, we thought it would be fun to paint our lips with lipstick? No. Vaseline? No. Lip gloss? No. What else would one use? We daubed our lips with liquid fire, also known as Minard’s Liniment. You have probably never heard of it so let me give you little background.

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It was made of camphor, ammonia and turpentine. It came in a glass bottle with a felt dauber to apply it to  aching muscles — NOT LIPS. We found the dauber intriguing and applied it liberally to our lips.

Whoa! Our lips were on fire and they stayed that way for hours. We ran to find Mom. She would know what to do about it.

Mom displayed heartfelt sympathy for us. In her sweetest voice she told us:

“You two birds, got what was comin’ to you. If you’re foolish enough to do that, you’ll have to put up with it. Now quit that cryin’ before I give you somethin’ to cry about. And stop that runnin’ around. One of these days, you birds are gonna end up in the cellar”

Did we learn our lesson? Not a chance. We moved on to bigger and better adventures like our contest to see who could eat the most Vaseline or be the first one to jump off the roof contest.