We looked ridiculous. Our faces were covered in charcoal and we were wearing black jean, black turtleneck shirts and black boots. If you cleaned up the charcoal we’d look perfectly at home standing backstage at a fashion show, all we’d need to do is lisp. If it was the middle of the night then we’d look invisible; the point to the get ups we were attired in, except it was a little before three in the afternoon with a bright sun causing us to sweat. Soon rivulets of perspiration would draw pale lines down our faces and we’d look even more ridiculous. Assuming that was possible.
The occasion was that Doug’s sister was having a beach party and she and her clique of pre-cotillion debutantes were slated to do a little topless sunbathing. We had been sent off to the movies with a firm shove by Dougie’s mother but instead of pedalling to the theater we each snuck into our own homes to snag the appropriate wardrobe for the suave spies we saw ourselves as. Six girls and twelve uncovered breasts was just too much for our budding hormones to resist, in spite of having absolutely no idea why we were so drawn to the idea of sneaking a peek at the uncovered boobies. We were, like, eight years old after all.
We approached the overlook to the beach, a brush covered plane of rock and soil some thirty feet above the little natural sandy alcove where the show was to take place. We could have planned it a lot better, much of the brush was holly and hellishly barbed. It didn’t take long to have much of our motivation poked from our tender hides and so a rethink of the whole cop a look thing was re-evaluated. We decided instead to approach along the rocky coastline, slinking from boulder to boulder. This proved a much more comfortable approach, but required much more stealth and some very quick scurrying from hiding spot to hiding spot. We made way too much noise, but it was thankfully masked by the sound of the breeze that pushed rollers too little to be called surf against the shore. Of course, there were gulls calling out, no doubt trying to give away our filthy minded intent, and they along with the bell buoy channel makers a hundred yards offshore added to the caucophony that drowned out the sounds of our ineptitude.
After all the hard work –both physical and mental, this planning stuff was exhausting, we finally had just one more scamper and we would be in place to view the sought for chests. I should point out that the objects of our clandestine operation were of a similar age to ourselves, and so the twelve jewels we’d come to admire wouldn’t have the mass of more mature females of the species, but like I said, it’s not like we were experienced conniseurs of the feminine form. One at a time we made the transit and took a position that would at last reward our efforts, and peering around the large chunk of granite we saw …nothing. The little beach was empty and devoid of life, save for some kelp caught at the tideline.
No sooner than we realized all our efforts was for naught, we found ourselves the targets of a rain of eggs, launched by a chorus line of tittering sisterhood standing in front of the holly on the cliff above us. Of course, looking like big black exclamation points we were hard to miss, and we were soon covered with the slime of egg white and yolk. Our humiliation amplified by the haunting laughter of the evil females. For all our stealth, a wary and suspicious mother had figured out what we were up to and had herded the girls safely away while we were trying to hard to get into position. It was she, the foul and ancient witch who put the idea of the egg shower into the youthful minds of the girls.
The walked away in a sigle file like the Rockettes leaving the stage at Radio City Music Hall, herded along by the motherly queen bee. We had been punished and taught a lesson and further drumming of the lesson was unneeded. Plus, humiliation is the gift that keeps on giving as the jungle telegraph of female chats spread the news of our disgrace. As each of us culprits made our way into our homes, we were the recipients of shaking heads and tsk-tsk noises; and perhaps the hint of a smile tugging the corners of the mouth.
Curses! Foiled again!