He sat down at the dining room table and began to draw out plans on the table. Yes, I said on the dining room table. The man would never use pen and paper. He'd prefer to use a pencil and write on the surface of the table, licking his finger and smearing away mistakes. By the end of one frantic evening he had devised an evil plan that went across the entire tabletop, from one end to the other including storyboards, wiring diagrams and needed parts. One small problem was that it was the middle of the week, and he wouldn't be able to do anything until the weekend. So the plans remained drawn on the table for a few days. We would still eat our meals there, but dad was extra vigilant to be sure we didn't spill anything on them or that mom wouldn't wipe away his dreams with a damp dishcloth.
The next weekend he put everything into motion. My older brothers both drove Volkswagen Beetles. As you know, the engine was in the back AND it had a tempting and grab-able rear bumper. Dad figured out a way to attach a live wire from the sparkplugs to the rear bumper without really disturbing the working of the engine. He might have also had some lining on the inside of the bumper, but I can't remember much about the setup. He did install a toggle switch to the dashboard so he could turn this feature on and off at his whim. The feature was to deliver a hell of a shock to anyone who touched the bumper bare handed while it was on. Bonus points to those poor souls with wet mittens. OK, everything was now built according to the surface of the dining room table! But would it work in real life? He needed to test it. He made my older brother grab the bumper while he flipped the switch. "AHHRGH! Owww! SHIT" sobbed my tough football-playing older brother. Dad was pleased, and looked on as my brother jumped up and down trying to shake some feeling back into his hands.
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