Vacation Mischief

Back in the days when we were in elementary school, the word “vacation” had a different meaning for us. It wasn’t about flying off to some faraway land, staying in fancy hotels, and doing a marathon of sightseeing and shopping. No, sir. Our version of a vacation was a trip to our aunts’ place in Olongapo City, a mere 25 kilometers and a swirling 40-minute bus ride away from our humble barrio in Dinalupihan, Bataan. This epic vacation usually happened during the summer months of March to April when school was out.

Our aunts —bless their heavenly hearts, owned a grocery store, and we, the little vacationers, were expected to be their delightful honorary helpers. Sure, they had a saleslady, and a designated go-fer, but a couple of extra pairs of little hands were always warmly welcomed.

The store itself was a mere 10-minute walk from our aunt’s house, nestled in the local city market. But the core of this story, the warehouse, was right there in the house. Most of the deliveries happened here, and this was where the real fun-in-a-vacation kicked in.

Back in the good old days when little dinosaurs were still domesticated, biscuit cans like Skyflakes, Fita, and La Pacita were not sealed like they are now. Also, those glass jars of pickles? Not tamper-proofed. I’m betting my bangs you can sense where this story is headed. Sanitize your dirty minds because, yes, you’re absolutely right.

Before these goodies were shipped off to the store for selling, we engaged in a little pre-shipping quality control. In simple English: we opened, plucked out some samples for ourselves, closed them back up, and gave the can or bottle a good shake to even out the space. Crafty, right? Use your imagination: cute 9-year-old twin boys, one holding a flashlight, the other skillfully opening a can, both sharing muffled giggles, as one keeps a watchful eye on the door. Yep, we were the inspirations for the Hardy Boys. We learned this fine art from our older brothers and a cousin, the true masters of mischief.

Now, in our golden years, we still fondly recall these little mischievous acts and share hearty laughs about them. After all, what’s a vacation without a sprinkle of adventure and a dash of mischief, right? We were so full of them.

Cheers to the good old days!

If you’ve been touched, amused, or entertained by this post, or it put a smile on your face, please favor me with a cup of coffee. I will continue writing.

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