At first blush, you might think the older kid on the left is faking the tears. But at right, one sees only the authentic, thousand-yard stare of a younger brother caught up in more trouble than he can possibly imagine.
These two have lost their entire collection of Beyblades, the spinning-top toy based on the Japanese manga series of the same name. The boys were using the family bathtub as a Beyblade arena. The combat destroyed the tub's enamel, took "a chunk of tub out," and demolished the soap dish. So the Beyblades will be sold to compensate for the loss.
The boys' piggy-bank account of $125.67 will also be liquidated to help pay for the $500 repair, with the Beyblades auction covering whatever's left. As of now, the lot of eight is up to $69.
Again, look at those guys. Two contrasting expressions, but both betray the stark childhood terror of having destroyed something far more complex than they can fix or lie about, and more expensive than they can pay for. Plus, at that age, breaking any bathroom fixture is utterly terrifying. I'm remembering my best friend Richard, who accidentally flushed a Sandpeople action figure down the commode when we were in grade school, and the trauma of the ensuing repair. From an email Richard sent me 10 years ago, recalling the incident:
I walked by the bathroom and discovered that the entire toilet had been unbolted from the floor. I figured I should run away from home or something. It's downright frightening to see a small circular hole in the floor where your toilet is supposed to be, and to see your toilet leaning up against the bathtub ... Dad goes to work on the hole in the floor, and I keep imagining him unclogging some sort of shit geyser, with crap spraying out of the floor like he'd struck oil.
That same fear is what's going on in the mind of the little boy with the bowl cut at right.
Selling 8 Beyblades to Replace DESTROYED Bathtub [eBay, thanks to all who sent this in]