Last installment of the family vacation stories.

When we were teenagers, Squidward presented me with the pen and notepad, ubiquitous to all motel rooms and like a game show host said, “I want you to write the following phrase.” He then said the word “pus,” as in ooze. He went on to say that if we were going to describe something as having pus, how would we write it. I added an “sy” to the root of the word. He then said, “Now if you were describing a woman’s pussy, what would you write?” I wrote several dozen versions, starting with “pussy pussy,” “pusy pussy” and “pusie pussy.” This was a real brain teaser and we were unable to solve the mystery before falling asleep.

The next evening, in a Disney World Restaurant, Squidward looked at me and said the words and we both started giggling. My dad said, “Oh, that reminds me. What’s this????” He pulled out the notes I had made, from his shirt pocket and dropped them on the table for everyone to see.

Squidward said, “What did you do? Steal this off the notepad?”

Dad said, “You guys left it there for the maid to see. Of course I took it! I wanted to know what the hell you were doing.” Dad always seemed worried that we would burn down Disney World or something. But I not so distinctly remember a time where we ended up in Disney Jail. We were having our passes stamped at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom and my father decided to put two people on one pass. This actually wasn’t anything shady, just a way to use up the passes in the most efficient way. But the Disney tyrants didn’t like this so much. One called foul and we were being told we couldn’t enter the park. What? No Thunder Mountain? No Mr. Toads Wild Ride?

Well, my father wasn’t going to stand for that. And there was our usually calm, level-headed father, an attorney who could argue any case to a win, in what might become the finest moment of his advice-giving life. “RUN!” he yelled. I watched SpongeBob and his long legs take about four galloping steps and he was practically on the other side of the park. My Dad took off as did Squidward. And there was my mom. Stuck with the dead weight. All 40 lbs and 8 years of me. We didn’t make it. We were detained by Mickey Mouse and the law. We had a good view though of the last tuft of our attorney’s gray hair as he booked it past Donald Duck saying good morning to some Japanese tourists.

Somehow Mom sprung us. See, the Disney law isn’t really the law. They’re just the characters without their costumes. So when they weren’t looking, Mom grabbed me by the hand and we escaped. I said, “How are we going to find everyone else?” She said, “You know your father. He’ll be at the same place we always eat breakfast.” And he was. As were my brothers. You have to wonder about a family who can manage to scatter like roaches in a flash and know each other well enough to somehow know where and how to find each other again.

I had somehow managed to leave that story out of my repertoire until after Cool Dad and I were married. He said, “Oh I see, you saved the really scary stuff for after I was locked in.”

To this day, no one in our family can solve the riddle of how to properly spell pus-sy pussy.