As the youngest of four icky poor kids, I didn’t have a whole lot of consistency growing up. Thankfully, I could always count on my brother to consistently be a massive wang. Last night, he helped me compile this list of psychological terrorism and physical torture as we skipped down memory lane together. I was feeling so nostalgic that I had a moment of regret while looking at my daughter’s unbutchered hair and arm skin free of twisty burns and wondered if she was missing out. Then I put down all that good shizz I’d been smoking because hell no.
The Jaguar Under the Stairs
When we were younger—I was about 4–my siblings and I went to live in my grandparent’s attic (it was super cool, promise. None of that poison cookie mess.) The stairs to the attic had one of those broom closets underneath it, and my brother convinced me that a jaguar lived inside it. A jaguar that loved to eat little girls named Theresa. Sometimes he would hide in the closet and growl, and then laugh when I peed my pants.
Lester the Creepy Clown
My grandparents also had a super creepy crocheted clown with an unholy porcelain face that my brother nicknamed “Lester the Molester” when we were about 12 and 13. His favorite thing to do was to hide Lester in dark places where I was sure to find him, after which I may or may not have also peed my pants. It was nightmare fuel.
The Legend of Alphonse
All of my siblings moved away from home when I was about 6, and they split us into different homes. I lived across a small man-made pond from my brother, and our houseparents worked hard to keep us hanging out. One beautiful spring day, we were strolling around the pond when my brother launched into a story about Alphonse, the massive man-eating snapper that lived there. He convinced me to lean in to get a closer look, and then pushed me in. My hair smelled like duck dookins for a week, and I flipped out when my leg got tangled in some stringy algae.
Throwing Hot Water on My Bee Sting
We lived close to HersheyPark, and went a lot. One day, I got stung by a bee and at the first-aid station, my brother helpfully poured hot water on my sting. At the time it was “because it draws the stinger out” last night on the phone it was “because no one was paying attention to me”.
Breaking My Wrist Because Why Not
One day, my brother and I skipped a drug and alcohol awareness assembly to go drink goldschlager together, and we had to cross a field for some reason. He tripped me, and when I ran after him to retaliate, he ducked down in the fetal position, tripping me again. Boom. Broken. Also, detention when I got caught skipping.
“Fuzzy Bunnies” is something that sounds nice but is actually awfulsauce. It involved driving his elbow into my thigh really hard for a long time and shouting “It feels like little fuzzy bunnies brushing against your skin, doesn’t it??” It did not.
My brother and I both worked at HersheyPark when we were old enough. He worked at a game booth and I worked as the giant Hershey’s Kiss. He had the day off and came to the park while I was in costume. First he waved at me cheerfully, and then suddenly made a Braveheart style let’s-go-fuck-shit-up motion with his arm, at which point he and about five of his friends dogpiled me. The shape of the costume meant a lot of very embarrassing flailing and rocking back and forth. I required the help of a Hershey’s Syrup bottle and Kit Kat Bar to right myself.
*When I asked him about this incident, his response was “Holy shit! That was you? I wasn’t even picking on you specifically—I was just being an asshole.”
Minty Eye Mask
This refreshing spa treatment was actually just my brother smooshing peppermint patties into my eyes while I slept.
Rue 21 was my favorite store when I was in the throes of puberty. I begged a ride off of my brother one Saturday and when we got there, he disappeared. Just when I was starting to worry, he burst out of the fitting room in a pleather mini skirt and a tie-dyed halter top and grinded on a store mannequin in front of the crowded store while singing Monty Python’s “The Penis Song”. Banned for life.
This might shock you, but my brother and I ended up in family therapy a more than a few times together. Instead of using this time to heal our fragile psyches, he mostly spent it speaking in tongues, claiming he was Xanthor, Lord of The Fart Lands, or asking the therapist if Schnozzberries did, in fact, taste like Schnozzberries.
My brother and I fell out of contact when he was a little older than 16—we reconnected about 4 years ago, and with a little distance between his scheming and dickery, this stuff is actually really funny. To cleanse your palette, here’s the unofficial #11: He made me cry like my eyes were full of minty confection when he admitted that he snuck into my high school graduation when I was 18 to watch me walk. I never knew. Love you, Xanthor!