Friday, August 31, 2012

Brotherly Love

People always ask me what growing up with three brothers was like.  The best way I can describe it?  A mutual feeling of terror toward each other: I was scared of them because there are a lot of them and they are big, and they were scared of me because I had the ability to get them in trouble with our parents with one well-timed fake tear or blood-curdling scream of fake pain.  But fear is the foundation for any functional family, right?

Anyway, aside from living in a madhouse for the first 14 years of my life until they moved away, I came out with relatively few facial scars and a lot of great stories.  Here are a few lies I was force-fed.

The Truth About Crabs
I was about five when my brother told me how crabs attack you.  I had just gotten comfortable with the ocean and had managed to wade past my knees.  In other words, I was hot shit and I looked really good in my one-piece that year.  Anyway, I think I must have provoked my brother Matt by telling him confidently that I was not afraid of crabs pinching my feet, so he decided to tell me this:  When crabs brush by you in the ocean, they mark you with a scent so that they can track you later.  You don't know they've found you until you wake up and your legs have been gnawed off up to the knees.  I think this has contributed to my recurring nightmare of small animals crawling over me in my sleep.

Backpacking Bathroom Blues
My brothers invited me to go backpacking with them for the first time when I was still in high school.  Now, I'm pretty familiar with the outdoors, but the backcountry was new terrain for me.  As you may be aware, you have to poop in the woods when you are backpacking.  What you may not be aware of is that proper etiquette (and risk reduction of bear and sasquatch encounters) suggests you dig a six inch hole that contains that digested beef jerky and toilet paper, and then you cover it up.  WELL my brother Russell told me you had to carry your used toilet paper with you for the duration of the trip.  It was only for the sake of his nostrils he finally told me the truth.

Toothbrush Techniques
One time Matt told me your teeth were supposed to feel fuzzy.  Then I didn't brush my teeth for awhile.  I had two cavities the same year.

There were other instances, like when Tom told me it was okay to smash a cabinet to pieces with a baseball bat, or when Russell and Matt put me on the bottom of our human tower at age four, or when they told me I couldn't play Zelda on the N64 because I wasn't tall enough.  But I suppose all of these instances helped shape me into the down-to-earth woman I am today, and accounts for my distorted sense of reality.

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