None of the memories I have are what anyone would call “crystal clear.” For some reason, time has robbed me of that spectacular 20/20 hindsight that people are always talking about. If I had to place a number/number on the strength of my hindsight, I’d have to say that at best it would be what most doctors would call, “legally blind.” That being said, I’m very fortunate to have 3 younger brothers who all seem to have better memories than me. They can recall vividly each time I tortured them, each time I made them bleed, and each time I was punished for those transgressions.
Today, we’re going to talk about the time I almost caused the oldest of the younger brothers to lose an eye. Now, you may remember an incident that happened here recently where I almost caused the middle younger brother to lose his eye as well. Suffice it to say, I’m bad with eyes. If you value your sight, you shouldn’t play tennis with me…or get on a trampoline with me.
Who here had a trampoline growing up? How much fun did you have on it? I’m telling you, as a poor white family, I don’t think it gets any better than having a trampoline. They’re kind of cheap, they’re durable if you set them up right, and you barely have to try at all if you want to kill someone on it. A couple of double bounces and a shove, and you’ve taught Tommy the neighbor kid that it’s not cool to come over uninvited and jump on YOUR trampoline.
One fine day, me, a couple of my friends, and The Groom were all outside having fun on the trampoline. All the sudden, someone looked at us and said, “Have you ever played Crack the Egg?” We all kind of shook our heads, because creativity was discouraged around our house. I can’t say that I blame my parents for that, if only because of what happened next. The kid went through the rules of Crack the Egg. 1. The egg scrunches into the fetal position, and tries not to “come apart.” 2. The other people on the trampoline double bounce the piss out of the person until they “come apart.” To a bunch of pre-teens, this sounded like the most fun you could have with your pants on, literally.
The Groom was the youngest of us all. He was, naturally, going to be the egg. However, it didn’t take much coaxing, and I think that’s because he wanted to impress us. So he got into position, and the mayhem started. We started bouncing and double bouncing and close bouncing and maybe even a bit of “punch” bouncing went down. I’m not saying we played fair, mostly because…my brother was awesome at being an egg. Dude was impenetrable, y’all. He curled up in that little ball and acted like he had been traumatized by a violent family episode, which consequently was about to take place.
Everyone here knows how a trampoline works. It’s mostly in the springs that surround it and attach to a metal pole. The springs are also metal. When those springs uncoil, there is a little gap between the coils. When they coil back up, that gap closes. In the meantime, if something gets in between those coils and doesn’t get removed, it gets the ever loving mess pinched out of it. I know, because I had fingers, leg skin, arm skin, neck skin, and a toe pinched in those coils, and each time I thought I’d been shot.
Well, my brother was still being the Rhianna of eggs, and we were trying to be the Chris Browns of cracking him, and I’m still not sure how it all went down, but somehow we got an epic double bounce out of him. This bounce sent him to the edge of the trampoline, onto the springs, which weren’t coiled, which is great. But. Whenever we launched ourselves into the air again, those spring coiled back, and he hadn’t taken the care to move his face, again, because he was awesome at being the egg. The part of his face stuck in the coils? Oh, yeah, that would be HIS EYELID. About the time the springs closed on a rather tender part of the eye, his body was LAUNCHED back into the air, pretty much ripping his eyelid from the semi-permanent if not somewhat uncomfortable new home they’d chosen. He screamed bloody murder, but I’ll be danged if he didn’t stay in an egg position. Now, I’m sure most physicians would have moved on to calling it the fetal position, and they would say he was in it because of the “massive trauma.” We just thought he was a trooper, and all that screaming was a battle cry to get him hyped up. We even tried to crack him a little more after the incident, just because we thought he was that good.
It would be pretty cool right now to be able to say that the eyelid came off, but it didn’t. It just bled for a while. The thing of it was, we had to pry that kid open just to figure out why he was crying. To this day, I don’t think anyone will ever top my brother when it comes to being the egg. I should probably get him a trophy sometime for it. Something that just says, “Crack The Egg Champion, 1990-present.”
|Yeah, that’s it.|
(Hey y’all. This little thing is called Memoir Monday, and I’d be thrilled if you gave it a shot. Just jot down a story about yourself, grab my code down there, and I’ll link you up to be read by all my wonderful blog buddies. The only rule? It has to be true. I am personally doing what I can to help cure your case of the Mondays. Thanks for playing along!)
Since Easter is right around the corner, and since I can’t see a peanut butter egg without thinking about this story, I’ve decided to finally get it out there for the world to hear.
My brother Brad (The Groom) and I shared (and still share even though I’m a diabetic and can’t have any unless it’s sugar free and that gives you the hot poops) a mutual love for candy. However, there was not an abundance of candy when we were growing up, because my parents didn’t want us to get fat.
Anyway, candy was a rarity. It was precious. It was never wasted. If that meant we had to lick a wrapper to get a couple more tastes of that Butterfinger, well, we did what we had to do.
Halloween was a favorite time of the year, because we were able to go to the church social, play some games, and stock up on enough candy to last us almost a week.
Another favorite time? Easter. This was because we had REALLY cool grandmothers. Still do. But back then, one of our grandmas would give us an…EASTER BASKET! This was always a wonderful thing, and we loved it.
However, one year, it got real.
My grandmother decided to get us just one piece of candy that year, and when she told us, we were incredibly disappointed. Then we saw it.
It was the biggest peanut butter filled chocolate egg we had ever seen.
We almost lost it right then and there. We were so excited. We were on top of the world! This was the coolest Easter EVER!
You know…because of the candy. Oh. And Jesus.
So we ate on those things.
And we ate on them.
And we ate on them.
Are you seeing the pattern here?
Folks, I’m not lying to you when I tell you that we ate on these eggs for at least two weeks. TWO WEEKS. It was almost as if it were a chore. We’d come home from school, clean our room, eat some egg, do our homework, and then we could have free time.
It. Was. Awful.
After the first 3 or 4 days, it didn’t even taste good anymore. However, we couldn’t throw them out. That was even more unthinkable than continuing to eat them. It would have been heresy, plus I honestly think my parents enjoyed seeing us suffer.
To this day, I can’t eat peanut butter that tastes like the stuff in that egg. If I so much as smell it, I get sick to my stomach and I just want to puke. The only peanut butter egg I’ll eat is a Reeses, other than that, I won’t touch them.
I told Brad that I was going to tell this story and I asked him for a quote. Here was kind enough to provide me with one.
“That thing was the size of a freaking basketball, not an egg, and I swear I vomited like 12 times one year after eating that conglomerate of commodity peanut butter and stale chocolate. But we were poor and we would never throw away candy, so we ate it even if it did make us sick every year.”
I told you so. You have your own special code of ethics. We have ours.
Sloat Rule #2: Never throw away candy. Even if it makes you vomit and hate commodity peanut butter.
Other Non-Peanut Butter Filled Bites Of The Memory Egg: (GO READ THEM!)
Lauren’s Memoir Monday.
Ed’s Memoir Monday: Before Alzheimer’s Sets In.
Daffy’s Memoir Monday: In Memory Of Stupid.
Angel’s Memoir Monday: Prom Nightmares.
My dad, as most of you have probably already figured out, was and still is a huge influence on my life.
He was an incredibly godly man, he loved his family, and he busted his hump for us to have what we needed. He raised four boys on a salary of around 35k a year, with no government assistance whatsoever, and we NEVER went without what we needed.
In order to facilitate this, he had to compromise on a few things.
The first was his truck. The man drove a 79 Ford F150 Custom. Manual transmission, original everything, and it rattled like crazy. The truck was 21 years old when he died, and I never once heard him complain about wanting a new one.
The second was his “found it on the highway” collection.
You see, my father was a firm believer in the “finders keepers” rule of life. If you were foolish enough to drop anything on the roads in or around Okay, Oklahoma in the 80’s or 90’s, chances are that my father either picked it up or dismissed it as useless and passed it by.
He acquired a dip-net this way, some hats, and several tools. Upon finding the items, he would immediately take them home, get his initials on them somehow, (which were BS) and then he would put them to use, as if using them immediately somehow further elevated his proof of ownership.
Here’s where it got scary though.
His method of retrieving said articles?
It was to send his boys on the pick up. It got scary folks. He would pull over, and it was our responsibility to hop out, exercise discretion and caution upon going out on the highway, and then get the item and get back in the truck as quickly as possible. As I write this now, I realize that the speed was probably so that the owner of the item didn’t return to see it being stolen by a 13 year old.
Here is the story of the dip-net.
For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a net that is used to get fish out of the water without breaking your line lifting them into the boat. It looks kind of like this:
On some models, a scale is built into the handle so that you can weigh the fish at the same time.
The scene is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma on a busy weekend afternoon. We were in Tulsa for some reason or other, I don’t know why. I don’t remember the street, but what comes to mind is 31st and Sheridan.
We’re in the Aerostar, our minivan.
All of the sudden, we hear it.
“Is that a dipnet? I think that’s a dipnet. Does it have a scale on it? Hold on, guys.”
I don’t think my father had a specific selection process for choosing the kid that got out to get the stuff. It may have been that the first face he saw in the rearview mirror. I guess we’ll never know. I DO know that we all just kind of made ourselves look small and non-attention grabbing. I (kind of) remember the conversation that took place on that day:
Dad: “Brad! (The Groom) Hop out and grab that dip-net.”
Mom: “Oh Brian, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
Dad: “Oh, he’ll be fine. The road isn’t that busy.”
Dad: “He’ll be fine. Just jump out and get it!”
It was at this point that I knew my brother was going to die.
We just looked at each other as he opened the door to the van, and I think in our own wordless way, we said goodbye.
Do any of you remember the game, Frogger?
That’s the only way I can describe this. I watched as my brother dodged every single vehicle imaginable, procured the net, and then ran back across the road faster than a Democrat from a controversial issue.
He made it.
I have never been more proud of my brother. As he crawled back in the van, the look on his face was part sheer terror, and part excitement, and part exhiliration. I really believe my brother will a shorter life because of the experience, but I also believe he had more fun doing that anything else he’s ever done.
I don’t want any bullcrap in the comments about how horrible it was of him to do this sort of a thing. The truth is, I’m guilty of it now, and probably will be when I have kids. Was my brother in danger? Yeah he was. Was that a good thing or a bad thing? I believe it was absolutely a good thing. We need to get back to raising kids that way. Let them risk their lives every once in a while. Make them tougher. Hit them a little more. Yeah, yeah, I know I don’t have kids yet so I can’t really talk. But still. That’s my advice for today.
I asked him for a quote to sum up his experience from that day, and being ever the miser with words, he said this:
“I feel like I almost died for a $12 dollar dip-net.
The Groom will probably be the first in my “Meet The Brothers” set of posts, which I’ll try to have up this week sometime.
Other Non-Chinese Fire Drilled Drives Down Memory Lane: (GO READ THEM!)
Alex’s Memoir Monday: On A Sunday.
Sal’s Memoir: The Blackbird Song. (This is so far a 5 part story, and you won’t regret clicking the next button.)
Josh’s Memoir Monday: Arrested At 12.
Daffy’s Memoir Monday: Geez! What Happened To You?
Jeff’s Memoir Monday: Really?
Amber’s Memoir Monday: My Favorite Birthday.
The Scribe’s Memoir Monday: Manic Monday.
(Folks, I am gonna try to start something here with this Memoir Monday business. I made a button, and I want you all to start telling your own Memoir Monday stories. I don’t care if your blog is already a story telling blog. Stick this button on your site on your Monday posts, and make me very happy! Qualifications for Memoir Monday is that it must be true. That’s all. If you use the button, make sure that you send me a message so I can link your post to this one! We’re gonna get this going! Thank you! Just copy this HTML code and paste it into the Edit HTML tab of your blog.)
I have told you some stories about my younger brother, The Groom. I call him The Groom because he just recently got married. One day, I suppose I’ll make a new name for him. As of now, though, he’s The Groom.
He’s also a doucher.
This is why.
One night, I was outside shooting hoops. It was relatively dark, but we had a street light outside that lit up the court enough for me to see. I was around 18 at the time.
My dear sweet mother was outside gathering laundry from the clothesline. It was a normal night, and all was well.
I spotted movement out of the corner of my eye. I have always had pretty good vision. I can’t hear, and I’ve essentially burned all the taste buds out of my mouth with various kinds of hot peppers and sauces, so really, vision is all I have left.
Someone was around the side of the house.
Someone dressed in a lot of black clothing.
Someone in a mask.
SOMEONE HOLDING A F*CKING GUN!
I was a real trusting person. I had never experienced crime of any kind, and I thought that this was probably just a friend at first. However, when I saw the gun, I went nuts vajay.
I said, “Who are you? What are you doing here? Who are you?! MOM RUN! RUN! RUN!”
And I proceeded to run all the way around the house, pretty much like the biggest pansy you’ve ever seen in your life.
About this time, I hear laughing. I stop, wondering why anyone would be laughing at a time like this, and turn around. Upon turning around, I see The Groom, sans ski mask, standing there with his BB pistol, laughing like he’d just been told the funniest joke ever.
My mom? She never stopped taking clothes down.
I walked inside, and I grabbed the keys to my truck.My mom had made it back to the porch by then, and I stormed out of the house with my keys, she asked, “What are you doing?”
“I’m going to kill your son.”
I got in my truck, gunned it, and I chased The Groom down the block. I’m gonna give him credit, he’s pretty agile. After realizing that I couldn’t run him down, I gave up for the time being. I was mad for days. However, it once again proved that I am not any kind of hero at all.
I can only hope that having kids changes all that.
Other Great Memoirs Today:
Adrienzgirl’s Once Upon A Time, I Was An Idiot Teenager
Daffy’s BSlapped By New Kids On The Block
Secret Agent K’s Memoir Monday
Jeff’s Musical Memoir Monday
I love to golf. And simultaneously, I hate to golf. I know that I am not the first person to feel this way. I would think even that Tiger Woods, after putting on his Nikes, getting out of his Buick, and downing a Gatorade, might even tell you he hates golf. Ask him after this weekend. I heard it was bad.
I went out golfing with The Groom yesterday. I didn’t realize it when I told him I would, but the temp outside was soaring to a very sweaty sunburny 102 degrees. I might add, at 115% humidity. Thats right, the humidity here in Oklahoma goes above the call. If our humidity was on a little league team, it’d get Most Improved every year.
We teed off on the first hole, and I actually hit a far tee shot. Into the woods. By woods I mean about 8 trees to the side of the fairway. Really not the woods, but it’s trying hard. From there on, it was a brutal day. I lost more balls than a Persain army tryna teabag Sparta. I played horribly. On the 8th hole, I hit 5 straight balls into a lake. I hate that hole. And everytime I hit a ball, The Groom would say… “That’s the water.” Douche.
The greatest point of the day would be when I hit a beautiful chip shot on the 10th. The Groom said, “I want you to know, you hit that exactly where you were aiming.” And I was thrilled! I said Thanks! And he said, “Travis, you weren’t aiming anywhere at the hole.” Apparently, I suck so bad, I compensate for it by aiming completely away from the hole. So when I hit a great shot, it still sucks. Thats retarded.
At one point I hit my ball and this…
Went further than my ball. Of course The Groom had a good laugh about that. It’s not that I’m especially horrible, because I know people that are. It’s just that I’m terribly inconsistent. If I take a warm up shot, the warm up shot is always perfect. But the actual shot will wind up making me get poison ivy, or using my “hand wedge” to get in better position.
This is the scorecard at the final end of it all…
That’s right. That’s a 116 for me. For all you non golfers out there, the amount that should have been was 70. That means it took me 116 strokes to do what it should have taken 70. That’s 46 strokes more. Or embarassing. You could just call it that.
For what it’s worth, the entire back 9 was temporary greens, and it was impossible to putt. But I suck at that too. It was also 102 outside, and the course was covered in rocks. The lake being up had destroyed 60 percent of the greens and fairways, and I’m pretty sure I had a stroke on the 4th. And the 16th. On the 17th, the green had been moved up so close to the tee box, that as a joke, I teed off with my putter. I parred that hole. My tee shot landed about 4 feet from the cup, I mess you not. It was my only par of the day.
All in all, a great Sunday.
But geez I hate golf…