I write this article knowing I have limited funds for birthday gifts, and two brothers who have birthdays within ten days of each other. This article should help me hash out who deserves the better gift, and frankly, more of my love.
My brothers and I have a very complicated history. By complicated I mean we love each other, but neither has this love prevented us from trying to murder each other on many occasions. Generally, it has been a good thing that our failings as individuals carries over to our ability to plot and execute murder.
Why is this a good thing?
First, it is a good thing because none of us are currently in jail.
Second, I hate moving furniture and it would be exponentially harder with just me, or down one of my three brothers. It would make for an odd number and inevitably one of us would just be sitting around.
Third, over the years I have found my brothers to be very humorous people and I wouldn't trade those laughs for less than a million bucks in cold hard U.S. cash. Or Canadian currency otherwise known as maple syrup.
But before all of these great reasons to not murder one another, in the ignorance of our youth, we decided at various occasions that one of us must go.
Here are some quick examples:
1) As far as I know this was our first attempt. Chris and I are the eldest. Chris is older than me but I don't think he honed his fratricide skills yet as I grew into a stellar toddler. By the time he had, it was too late to try and "off" me and he made me an accomplice. You see, quite unexpectedly, to us - probably not to her, my mother shot a third child from her womb.
There were three bedrooms in our house. Our parents shared one. I had one. Chris had one. Some quick math told us that this new addition had to be subtracted.
Enter phase one of our plotting.
My mother owned a collapsible stroller. I remember it vividly. Even though I was about three years old, I remember it. Adrenaline coursing through your veins as you plot the demise of a sibling has a way of solidifying your memory even at a very young age.
We took the stroller with its yellow and white flower pattern (it was the 80's folks) and we placed our brother Rob on the stroller. He was one. Maybe a hair older.
Chris, at five, was like our household McGyver. He knew we had stairs, a baby, and a stroller.
So when our mom was asleep or otherwise distracted, we loaded up that bundle of joy known as Rob into that flimsy stroller, lined him up on the stairs and gave a nonchalant shove.
Clunk! Clunk! Clunk!
We heard a yell. My mom came running around the corner.
Everything happened so fast.
MacGyver, the Swiss Army Knife of 1990's T.V
Chris, murderous Wunderkind
The stroller had gone down an entire flight of stairs, into the basement, and landed upright on all four wheels.
Wile E. Coyote couldn't have a more disastrous ending.
And life went on.
And the murder plots and destruction continued.
2) This could have resulted in at least the loss of an eye so I am including it. My mom came in the room just in time to see Chris cutting the eyelashes from my eye because my grandmother made a comment about how long and wonderful they were. I went the next six weeks growing them back on one eye.
Yep. One eye with lash. The other eye without.
3) A few years later I took a Lego to the head from a slingshot pointed by Chris as I opened my bedroom door. The bastard had lain in wait. It was a heck of a shot and took me directly between the eyes. I remember the sound more than the shot and the throb just above the bridge of my nose. As the light came back into focus, Chris stood there in the corner of the bedroom. He looked shocked that he shot so straight and so true. Even more shocked that the perfect aim hadn't resulted in my death.
4) Several weeks later, I served up a dish of ice cold revenge as I took a dive off the top bunk onto Chris' head doing my best Sargent Slaughter foot stomp circa W.W.F. in the 1990's.
Come to think of it, most of these murderous endeavors were undertaken by Chris and myself.
Hmmm. Maybe Rob was just better at it and never got caught.
As I sit here thinking which brother deserves a better birthday gift from me, I have to tell you I am leaning more towards Rob now. I don't know if I owe it to him for years of attempted fratricide or if I owe it to him for not hatching evil plots on his older brother.
My only memories of his big fights were with Alex, the child born after him.
Perhaps true fratricide rolls downhill.
Either way, Chris looks less likely to get the good present this year.