Johnson's Baby Shampoo

An unfortunate event occurred one day at Wildwood.

Wildwood was our neighborhood swim and tennis club. I took swimming lessons there. I learned how to play tennis and ping-pong. My two sisters and I were pool rats. Unless it was raining or my mom had errands to run, we were there, especially after we got old enough to ride our bikes the three quarters of a mile down Harpeth River Drive.

My best friend Hunter lived three doors down, and his family had a membership at Wildwood too. I had no brother and he had no brother, so we stuck together. On the days Marco Polo or Sharks and Minnows didn’t seem that appealing, we would take our fishing rods down to the pool. The Little Harpeth River ran behind the pool, and we knew a few good spots for warmouth, smallmouth bass, and bullhead.

On this particular day, we’d decided to swim the same as everybody else. Wildwood had the same rules as any other pool: No running. No glass outside of the eating area. No food in the pool. When one of the lifeguards blew the whistle and yelled, “Rest Period,” that meant all of the kids under sixteen years of age had to get out of the pool for fifteen minutes. I guess that gave the few older people at the pool a chance to do a few laps in peace.

The wind was blowing, making our wet skin cold, so Hunter and I ran to the bathroom. We were quite proud of ourselves actually, the idea being to stand under the hot water in the shower until we heard the whistle blow again. Side by side, with the steam curling up to the ceiling, and the sunlight slanting through the dirty windows above the lockers, we reveled in the warm.

Someone had left a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo in the shower, so Hunter decided that he might as well wash his hair if he was going to take a shower. He flipped the top and squeezed some into one palm.

The viscosity was all wrong though—too watery. He leaned in for a sniff, and his face puckered.

“Ah, it’s pee!” he screeched.

Of course I died laughing, and when out of his own frustration he tried to squirt some on me, I ran out the door.

My best friend almost washed his hair with urine.

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