I’m sure my mom was upset by how often I wound up in the ER. It wasn’t that often, but I was an active kid, so it did happen. Besides, I’m sure once was more than enough for her.

On the other hand, sometimes I think she must’ve had the patience of a saint not to put me there herself.

I don’t even remember what it was Charlie and I had done – made a mess of some kind in the garage, probably. Anyway, she sent us in to do the dishes. Well, me, technically, but Charlie wound up chipping in too – I think he figured that if he didn’t, he’d just have to do something worse anyway when he got home. It went okay – got all the plates and cutlery put away, in fact we were almost done when one of us dinged a pot lid against the dishrack.

It went ting, with a really bright, clear sound. And then, since we’d finished our chore of washing the dishes, an Idea was born. Mom was still busy in the garage, and I think Dad had a meeting or something, so neither of them noticed us tapping pots, pans, and lids with cutlery to find out what got the best sound.

All too soon, we had every bit of metal cookware we could find laid out around us and were tapping away, using wooden spoons as drumsticks and pretending we were in a rock band. It wasn’t very musical, but it made a lot of noise and it was great fun.

And then Mom came in. I don’t know if she’d heard us, or if she’d just come for a drink or something; neither of us noticed her until she was there in the kitchen standing over us, arms crossed. The so-called music stuttered to an abrupt halt, though I couldn’t resist giving an especially bright-sounding lid one last tap with the handle of the spoon.

Two things saved us from her righteous wrath, I think. First was that we were using wooden spoons, not something metal, so nothing got dented or scratched up. Or bent out of shape, like a fork might have got. Second, we had, by some happy chance, managed not to involve any of the nonstick cookware.

Still, considering she’d just sent us in there not long ago for making a mess, and there she’d found us with a new mess, she wasn’t happy. Charlie scurried home right that instant, with a phone call from my mom to his beating him there, and I had to wash all those pots and pans again. With her chopping veggies for dinner and keeping an eye on me to make sure there weren’t any more outbursts of creativity.

For some reason, I think we got a dishwasher soon after that.