Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How I Broke ...

It is time for Mama Kat's Writer's Challenge once more. This week the prompts are:
  • If you were starring on American Idol TONIGHT and HAD to sing, what song would you choose and why.
  • Take a picture of yourself right this minute without primping and explain to us why it is you have not washed your hair today.
  • I just asked Pat to help me with a writing prompt so here's his: "What do you think about the NBA All Star game"...blech.
  • What's your number one pet peeve? Develop a punishment for anyone caught in the act.
  • Write about something mean you did to a sibling growing up.
I chose to write about being mean to a sibling. It's the obvious prompt for a pair of brothers. But first a bit of background:

My brother and I survived childhood without once killing each other. That was a miracle in and of itself. We were OK with battling each other to the death over trivia but were there for each other when someone else tried to horn in on the fun. Pretty much the standard sibling stuff carried to the extreme. Part of the issue was that my brother is only slightly younger than me. We were close enough in age to practice sibling rivalry as an art form. The other was that we were diametric opposites forced to share a room as we grew up. He was a slob, I was a neatnik, etc. Because we both were very bright and enjoyed games, we were competitive to the death with almost any game. We'd quickly eliminate the other players and then concentrate on getting each other. That led to Mom banning many a game from our use because it led to spats between us. It wasn't until I had been away at college for a bit that my brother and I became closer. That distance and freedom from each other was important to both of us in becoming more tolerant of each other.

With that dose of background, you are ready to hear

The Story Of How I Broke My Brother's Arm

One Sunday we were out playing in the yard after a family event. There were a few cousins and others about, even my friend G from here and here. My brother and I have never lacked for the ability to come up with some new game utilizing the items we found at hand, especially if it was a bit off-beat and allowed head to head competition. This was to be no exception.

We invented a game using a couple of cinder blocks and some lumber sitting around the yard. It amounted to a game of see-saw chicken played on top of the concrete slab in the yard. We put the lumber across the cinder blocks like a teeter totter and then the two opponents stood on each end of the wood beam that formed the teeter and gyrated to make the other player fall off. One of the "legal" moves in our set of ad hoc rules was that you could jump off the wood beam and if your opponent then fell, you won. However, if the opponent rode the wood beam to the ground and didn't fall, you lost. We didn't like to leave victory to a chance vagary of rule interpretation, so we covered all eventualities in a similar manner.

Of course my brother and I were eventually matched as opponents. Through the first few rounds we were about even, one or the other of us touching a foot to the ground from time to time and losing the "joust". Finally it came down to the final joust: my brother versus me for the championship. We both wiggled and feinted and jerked and faked. Then I made the fateful decision to dismount and see if my brother could ride the beam down. He tried valiantly. Unfortunately he lurched off the beam crookedly and fell hard on his arm. Really hard. Really really hard. On concrete. Not good.

None of us kids wanted to get in trouble, so we were trying to convince my brother to hold it down as he is sitting on the ground howling. After a while that plan of action was dropped as futile and we journeyed into the house to expose all to Mom. (Or at least the minimum amount of information we could get away with. Pain and injury was one thing, being in trouble with Mom was an entirely different beast.) Off to the hospital Mom and my brother went. Broken wrist was the emergency room diagnosis.

There you have it. How I broke my brother's arm without really trying. Don't you wish you had boys like us?
(And you don't even want to hear about the episode wherein my brother ate a minnow cooked over a match in the outhouse on a dare when we were aided and abetted by the older neighbor boys.)

Edited to Add: Mom reminded me that it was not a Sunday, but Thanksgiving day the this transpired on. She remembered because we were supposed to go to Uncle H and Aunt O's house that evening and instead of the ER. Even better.

ASIDE: I plan to remove and recreate anew the feed for this site sometime Saturday to try and clear up the reported problems with the site not showing up in dashboard and/or some readers. The problem seems to be related to having two feeds as a result of some template changes a while ago. So on Sunday (or Monday), please resubscribe in your reader after deleting the old subscription and/or if you are a follower, unfollow and then follow again. Hopefully this will clear up all the problems. Thanks.


  1. Fabulous story. Accidents happen. That wasn't even mean... it was just bad luck. Now, what about the minnow cooked over a match in the outhouse?

  2. Great story Dan :) I have to tell you that I really want to hear the outhouse story now...

  3. Sounds like you boys were quite the trouble-makers! I don't envy your mother. :)

  4. Ahh, you may have HELPED him break his wrist, but WOOT WOOT! You won!! Don't even tell me that didn't cross your mind... lol

  5. Great post. Came over from Rhonda's blog. Now come on, you broke his wrist! But all is fair in love and war right? At least you were outside being inventive and not sitting in front of computer games as they do today. Yes I sound so much like my late grandmother - it scares me sometimes.

  6. sound a lot like my brothers with the injuring each other on "accident." My older brother nearly cut off my younger brothers toe while riding double on his dirt bike and he accidently hit him in the forehead with the back of a hammer.

    Funny, my sister and I never drew each others blood. :)

  7. Great post! Little brothers can be such a bother! {{wink}}

  8. He ate a minnow? Ick... boys!

  9. Great story of sibling rivalry. I have nieces are are only 16 months apart in age ---and they seemed to have more rivalry than my sister and I did growing up. Like you said, the closeness in age may have made you & your brother more likely to challenge each other.

  10. Hey you did nothing wrong... you played by the rules... You are both still alive. That sounds like a fun game too. If I had a sibling I liked I would play it with them.

    My kids are all 18 months apart... maybe that their prob... it couldn't possibly be my parenting.

  11. I love the fact that the first reaction is always to try and cover up what happened as much as possible, rather than the well being of the sibling in question!

    Luckily, I was the sister to two boys, so generally they didn't go rough on me. :p

  12. Ok, that wasn't really your fault so I can't be mad at ya.

  13. Wow. I knew this would be good once you listed the items involved in the game. I thought "Wow what could go wrong here those sound like safe kid friendly things"

    Nice story. :)

  14. My husband has three brothers, so I know all too well what was it like for you to grow up with your brother... All I hear from my husband is how they used to fight and trash their own home. LOL... Poor my MIL..

    Great post!

  15. Nice post! My brother broke my sister in Disney, it was not fun, not fun at all.

  16. I broke my sisters arm on accident too--helping her do a penny drop off from the jungle gym. I pulled too hard, she went flying and BAM...

    no one ever believed it was an accident, but it really was.

  17. Technically I wouldn't have considered it your fault. You both were being stupid.... I mean boys.

    The minnow thing..... uhh gross. Girls just don't go there!

  18. See why I want to have all girls from here on out??!! :) Thanks for stopping by (and following) my blog. I agree that it is not totally your fault- hey, if your brother wanted to play the game, then he had to accept the consequences!
    I will begin following you on Monday- you crack me up!

  19. I never broke my brother's arm, but I probably used psychological means too much with him.

  20. All the great memories of childhood...where would we be without our siblings? Fun post.

  21. This is great! Now I'm dying to hear more about the minnow over a match!


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