#AtoZ2016 : J Is For Jal-A-Pain-Yo

On Monday night, Tommy was hiding under my wife’s car when I got home. I crouched down, “Tommy? What are you doing under there?”

He quickly shushed me, and waved me away. “Please, Mr. William! Please, pretend you don’t know where I am!”

I stood up, and peeked into the car, through the windshield, “What’s going on, Tommy?”

“Mr. William, Mom’s looking for me. It’s dinner time.”

It occurred to me most 6 year old boys want to eat dinner, not hide from their mothers when it’s dinner time. “So, what’s wrong with that?”

“It’s what she’s fixed, that’s what’s wrong.”

“Oh.” I looked at my watch, pulled my keys out of my pocket, opened the car door, “She fixed something you don’t like?”

“Did she ever!” Tommy’s head peeked out from under the car, and he looked up at me. “Mex-I-Can food.”

“Mexican?”

“Yeah.”

“What’s wrong with Mexican food? I like it. It’s quite tasty.”

Tommy nodded as he slid back under the car, “Burritos are great! And I like those sweet corn cakes.”

I nodded, “Yum!”

“But, Mr. William. That’s not what Mom’s made.”

“Oh?”

“She made seven layer dip, with chips.”

I closed the car door, and acted like I hadn’t found what I was looking for. “But I like seven layer dip with chips. It’s pretty good stuff.”

There was a pause, and an exasperated sigh from under the car. “But, Mr. William. She made Jal-A-Pain-Yo poppers to go with it.”

It was all I could do to not laugh. “Oh! Now, I get it.”

Tommy’s voice drifted out from under the car, “The call the Jal-A-Pain-Yo poppers for a reason, you know.”

I shook my head, “No, I don’t. Why do they call them Jal-A-Pain-Yo poppers?”

“‘Cause you put one in your mouth, and pop it, and then cry from all the pain you’re in, as your tongue, and mouth, and even your teeth feel like someone set fire to them.”

“Oh.” I nodded. “Well, I won’t give you away.” I shook my head, and headed toward the front door as Tommy’s mom started across her front yard toward my driveway. I nodded at her as she headed toward the car.

“Young man! Come out from under there!”

I can still hear Little Tommy’s voice, “Nooooooo! I don’t want any Jal-A-Pain-Yos!”


It’s April 14th, and I’m a few days behind on the A to Z Challenge for 2016. Only 16 more letters to write stories for this month.

Please, go explore the A to Z Challenge, and the sites of others who are participating in this adventure.

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