The Summer’s Eve Heard Round the World

26 Dec 2006 11:14 am

For Christmas, our family friends sent a large box full of pens to the children in our schools. When I first saw what was in the box, I couldn’t help but smile. “Damn, she’s done it again!” I thought. Soon the whole world will be a part of our little inside joke.

I went to the post office to get the package. As I’ve mentioned before, trips to the post office are time consuming and just generally frustrating as you never know what they’re going to make you wait for next. I must admit, I didn’t want to go. We only have so much free time in the afternoons and I was sure this would suck up all of it. And to make matters worse, Andy couldn’t come with me as he had to make sure our new volunteer from New Zealand, Susan, got home from Pamplona rather than hopping off the combi with me.

I happened to get there at the perfect time. There were only about three other people in there when I arrived so I basically walked right in, got my form, had the security guard to help me fill it out as he had nothing better to do, and then sat and waited. After only three 80’s music videos on the TV hanging in the waiting room, they called my name. Looking around I realized about 15 more people had walked in. I really had gotten there right in time.

I went up to the counter to show my passport again, tell them my name again, show them my slip again, and turn in the form I’d filled out. At this point, they show you the contents of the package, which, as you can imagine, would completely ruin the fun of getting a Christmas gift in the mail. I had no idea what to expect. The inspector guy fumbled through the box for a few seconds then looked at me baffled as if someone had tried to send me a live kitten overseas without telling me. He pulled out a blue tampon shaped item and studied it carefully. It had the Summer’s Eve logo on the side. Oh ha ha!

“Pens?” he asked.

“Yes, indeed.” I really had no idea what it was either. Here’s where the inside joke comes along. See, for the last couple years, our family friend has worked for an enema company. At least that’s what we’ve always joked about. I think she works for a packing company for the enema company as well as companies that make feminine private wipes like Summer’s Eve. Anyway, she gets all these cool free gifts that often times make their ways to our house and all our friends’ houses (as gag gifts or just to extend the boundaries of our joke) in Alabama, the majority of which have something to do with enemas or are imprinted with the Summer’s Eve logo.

From hats to shirts to note pads, we’ve got an array of useful Summer’s Eve products. You can imagine this is particularly funny when the item is something that one of our dads can use, such as a hat, and you see a man running around with a visor that has a giant Summer’s Eve logo. Anyone who is familiar with the company (ie most women) begins wondering where a guy would acquire such apparel. The answer: Virginia.

The inspector studied the blue tampon shaped thing a little longer, folding and unfolding as he watched the pen mechanism function. He then looked up at me with his eyebrows lifted, pointing to me then acting as though he were sticking the pen in his breast pocket. Oh no way… he was asking if he could keep it. For about a half a second, I wondered if he would like to know what he was getting himself into, but I chose not to educate him. I smiled, gave him the thumbs up, and he happily stuck the pen in his pocket. I rejoiced a little at our spreading inside joke. Now there was a man at the post office in Lima, Peru who owned a Summer’s Eve pen. That’ll teach him to be so presumptuous as to ask to keep my mail!

Later that day, I explained to all the English speakers in the house about the pen incident. They laughed until they saw how cool the pens really were, then I started finding them all over the house. There was one on the desk, one or two in our pencil box, and one of our Peruvian volunteers, Ysabel, had one. They were everywhere and spreading like wildfire. I hadn’t meant to unleash the power but it seemed unstoppable at this point.

Right before our English class, I explained to Ysabel that Summer’s Eve was a feminine wipe company and that our family has always gotten a good laugh out of unsuspecting victims. She giggled nervously especially when my lacking Spanish vocabulary forced me to do a half-ass wiping motion to demonstrate Summer’s Eve’s use. Carla, one of Ysabel’s best friends and also one of our Peruvian volunteers, cracked up and even pointed the finger. Damn these girls can be brutal!

My English class was about the finer points of English pronunciation that night. Normally it’s just adults aged 24 and over but this month we have an eight-year-old kid who insists upon sitting at the front of the class. I was just in the middle of explaining what a long E sounds like when I looked down to see the little kid was using a tampon-shaped blue Summer’s Eve pen! I forgot about the long E and, in the middle of class, asked him where he’d gotten that pen. I think he may have thought I was accusing him of stealing or something because he got this look of distress on his face and turned around and pointed at Ysabel.

“She gave it to me!” He said, loud enough to distract her attention from her notes.

She smiled bashfully. “Yeah, I gave it to him.”

Cool. That’s exactly how it spreads. And you never know where you’ll see one next. First the post office, next, the world! This is the start of something big. Summer’s Eve is being heard round the world.

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