Friday, 20 August 2010


One characteristic of children is that they take things quite literally. My sister and I were no exception. From Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), here is the story of how we tested the claim of a manufacturer's "unbreakable" jug of vinegar in the summer of 1966.


"It says here that this bottle is unbreakable," Diane informed me one evening.

"Let's toss it down the stairs and see if it really is unbreakable," I challenged.

"Yeah, let's do it," Diane agreed.

Standing on the landing in front of the basement stairs, jug in hand, I hurled it as hard as I could. The bottle bounced around in a most satisfactory and hilarious way.

"Let's throw it down the stairs again," I exclaimed and retrieved the jug.

Diane tossed it down with the same amusing results. Since the third time is the charm, or so people say, we thought that the bottle would last once more.

That's when our experiment went horribly wrong. The bottom of this allegedly unbreakable bottle split, sending a flood of vinegar all over the bottom landing and into our bedroom. "Oh-Oh!" both of us exclaimed.

Aroused by the racket of our "research," Mom raced to the stairway and caught us in the act. "It wasn't us Mom; it was Linda," I explained. Diane heartily agreed.

"You kids clean that up," Mom ordered. She was not fooled for a moment by our doubly lame excuse. Linda, a toddler and barely able to stand, did not even have the strength to drag the jug out from under the kitchen sink.

Both of us felt ill at the unpleasant prospect of cleaning up. Gagging and coughing, we mopped up the mess, astonished at the unbelievably powerful stench. Diane and I resolved never to toss vinegar bottles down the steps


Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Click here or
e-mail me for more information about this book and how to order it.

1 comment:

  1. We used to get shampoo in unbreakable bottles, too, but never put them to the test.


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