When I was stationed in Germany, there was a waiting list for base housing, so my DW, oldest son and I moved into a quadruplex "on-the-economy". There were a large number of young families in the little German village, and of course they went to school, bright and early.
Easy, my son's nickname, would play quietly alone until called for lunch. He ate lunch as fast as he could so he could be out when the "big boys" came out to play soccer. Though he was the youngest by far - and the shortest, he was not the slowest and his foot-eye coordination was fantastic. The soccer games would generally last a couple of hours, with a break for something to drink and to pee.
In Germany, boys taking a pee in public is not a big deal. They're boys, they have to pee. The only piece of etiquette required was to turn their backs to the others, or find a fence or wall to pee on, again, with back turned.
Fast forward. We finally got on-base quarters, and since I was a unit commander, being five minutes from base during an alert was amazingly safer than being 35 minutes out - unless we'd been put on alert and then my little MG made the trip in 16 minutes flat.
We had been in quarters for three days, my DW had everything organized and things were great - or not.
I came home early (6 PM) on the fourth day and I knew something was wrong when I walked into the apartment.
Dead quiet. And the temperature dropped 10 degree's. Outside, it was late fall. Looking around, then listening, I could here my DW crying. Passing my son's room, I looked in and he was he was sitting on his bed, face to the wall.
I went in to our bedroom, closed the door and gently asked what was wrong.
Nothing, everything was just fine.
Really? You know I'll find out, one way or another, so tell me what's wrong.
Hiccoughing between portions of her story, she told me that Easy had been playing outside with the other kids, when he had to pee. Up against the wall, zip down and in a minute was back playing. A six-year old girl was so shocked, she went and told her mother.
Said mother proceeded out of the building, and on discovering my son, she went over to him, grabbed his arm hard enough to leave bruises, and quick-marched him to our apartment - which he had identified for her. By this time, he was hurt and afraid and he was crying.
When my wife innocently opened the door, the woman threw my son inside the apartment and proceeded to give my wife a tongue-lashing, going into great detail about the little savage we had and his crude, lewd behavior.
When my wife tried to find out what had been done, the woman started screaming at her about not being fit to raise a child, she was stupid and she must have been one of those girls outside US bases who just crawl into any man's bed.
Obviously, her behavior hurt my wife. When she quit her caterwauling and left, my wife still had no clue what my son had done. When she asked him what he had done wrong, his big-eyed answer was, "Nothing mommy, I didn't hit anybody and I shared. I don't know why that bad lady hurt me."
My DW's burning ember flared to a burning torch. Unfortunately, the more angry my DW gets, the more she cried and she couldn't do anything.
When I came home and she told me what had gone on, something sounded strange to me, so I went to my son's room and had him go over in detail everything he had done when the "big kids" got home.
Um-hum, OK, that's great, OK, sure ... go back to what you said before OK. I peed on the wall Daddy.
OK, that's all right this time, but American boys go into their housed to go pee. They don't pee on the wall, ever. Do you understand? He said he did, but I could tell his mind was really asking him "Whhaatt?
Not really a problem, but then I rolled up his shirt and there was a bruise. On the under side of his arms, I could almost see finger prints - OK, I did see individual finger marks.
Having learned from my DW where this person was located in the apartment complex, against my DW's wishes, I rapidly marched over and knocked on the apartment door.
When I get angry, people who know me know that the softer I speak, the more angry I am. The guy who opened the door had no clue.
When I told him who I was, his comment was, "So you're the little assh*les old man? What the hell do you think you're doing, barging in like this?" From behind him, I heard this harridan say, "And you tell him about that b*tch of a wife, the little tramp!"
Ohh. Right off I knew this wasn't going to be just a chat with another set of parents with some explanation and a little understanding.
I asked him if he would please control himself - that didn't work. We were both still in uniform, so I knew he was a 1LT and I was a CPT. Then I told him he was not acting like an officer and a gentleman and I ordered him to tone it down.
He told me what I could do with my order and if I wasn't in uniform, he'd kick my backside - he also expressed the opinion I was a little twerp.
Whish! My temper exploded. When my temper is let out of it's cage, I quit hearing anything except for what is directly in front of me, I lose all my peripheral vision and outside of the narrow cone I am seeing through, my peripheral vision is only red. I suggested we go down to the PT building and by signing in to box, or spar in martial arts, rank would have no meaning.
He agreed, we left.
We arrived at the Training Center, signed in and he preferred we warm up with a little martial arts. Fine.
Uniform tops off, we jumped, hopped and feinted around the mat until we were both warm, then asked a MSG to referee a full contact match, with no time limit, until someone was unconscious or someone tapped out. Reluctantly, he agreed.
My opponent was about 4" taller, outweighed me by at least 20 pounds, and had longer arms. As the MSG signaled for us to start, I knew he would attack first, so I simply waited, stepped to the side and tripped him.
I must have made a remark about grace or buffalo behinds or something, because his face turned red and he came at me again. This time he received an elbow in the ear.
The match continued exactly like that for about 30 minutes. I had a bloody lip, he had a broken nose and both eyes were swollen nearly shut. He had been on the mat so many times he had burns on his back. Finally, he tapped out.
While we were toweling off, I offered to buy him a beer for his effort. He didn't sound particularly enthusiastic, but since a medic was going to do a little touch-up, he accepted.
About half way through our beers, he asked me what I had studied and what level had I achieved. When I told him, his response was, "H*ly sheet! You could have killed me on first contact", a statement I agreed with.
We had a second beer and I explained to him about living on the economy, what bathroom etiquette the young Germans practiced and what my son had done.
I explained how his wife had acted and was willing to stop by my quarters and show him my sons bruises.
Then I told him how his wife had described my son and what she had said to my DW.
He got quiet, then said he would apologize to my wife. Not what I felt was needed, and I told him so.
He indicated it might take him an hour or so, but he thought his wife would see the error of her ways, make her way to our quarters and "SINCERELY" apologize.
And that's the way it happened, the notorious 'Four year old, Pissing on the Wall Contest' in Schweinfurt, FRG.
Ohh, right. He was correct. His wife did apologize and it sounded sort of sincere. He and I became beer drinking and card playing buddies. Our wives just never could seem to hit it off.
Do you remember that snotty Nellie on 'Little House on the Prairie'? That pretty much described his daughter, but I think she got it from her mom.