Sunday, January 9, 2011

Squeezing The Juice

My friend Chris over at Knucklehead invited bloggers to join his, "Knuckleheads Blog-Off" 2011 a while back, and I decided to join in. Chris is an amazing writer with an amazing writing style and a whiz with detail, so I am stoked to have the opportunity to represent in his contest...even if he is a Jets fan. (BRING IT)

So, having said that, this is my entry for the Knuckleheads Blog-Off 2011 where the Round one topic is, "A Childhood Story".

This contest runs through Sunday, Jan 9th, 2011 to Wednesday night, and voting takes place on Knuckleheads blog. Results will be posted on Thursday morning, along with a new category.

Lets just say I hope I get the chance to go with a new topic. So vote for me bloggers, if you like my story....

I grew up in the seventies. The youngest of five, my two sisters arriving first in the birth order, then my two brothers, my mom says a girl was a welcome addition to the brood. Since my sisters were already grown and gone when I reached my younger, formative years, my brothers became my closest playmates and as such, their world became mine. Safe to say that sports was at their epi-center. Cute, and pony tailed, if I wanted to hang with the boys, I had no choice but to become malleable and go with THEIR flow. I knew no other way and I lived to hang with them and do what they were doing. My brother, closest to me in age, was five years older and since I came into the picture, he made it his job to terrorize and torture me. To him this was almost better than anything, making his baby sister perform at his whim, and like a trained seal, I complied with his every command.

If we were playing hide and go seek, he would grab me for his team, hide me in the toughest of places, vowing I would never be found by our opponent, and then leave me there.... For what seemed like an eternity.... Eventually I would find my way out of the middle shelf of the closet, covered by the bath towels and perspiration and seek him out. Crying and angry, I played the only card I had in my deck of one. "I'm telling mom." It was like a magic "be mean to your sister" antidote and my brother would then turn on the charm and vow to never do it again.....until the next time I trusted him. Which usually wasn't very long after.

One of the games we used to play together he called, "The Juice", which is ironic because he killed me every time we played it. "You are The Juice, and I am the defensive line," he would say coyly. "You have the ball and you have to get through ME to score a touchdown and win the game." And I bought it, hook, line and sinker. I couldn't believe my good fortune! I get to be the star running back and win the game. I figured it wouldn't be too hard as I had seen it happen lots of times on TV, and my brother was playing with JUST me. What luck!

I'm sure I don't need to tell you that The Juice got knocked down more than a Mike Tyson opponent during his championship years, but I always got up and went back for more, ever unsure of whether or not I liked this particular game. I never let on and I continued to play this game for years, bruised and battered, never utilizing my Ace in the hole when mom asked where the bruises came from. Looking back, I really have to thank my brother. Not only does my love of sports supersede every other girl I came in contact with, but this little game we played every so often made me tough as nails. Although I never knew it until years later.

Flash forward, we are now in our twenties, and although much more mature, the big brother power he held still reigned. I'm not quite sure what we were arguing about or why, it seemed to be something having to do with Ramen Noodle soup and the microwave, but that detail is not important. What I remember clear as day, is the sheer terror of my brothers anger, directed at me and my running away from his clenched fist in the heat of the argument. By that time we had moved from the sprawling home of my formative years, one that housed five children, to a smaller more modern home with much less running room.

My brother chased me and had me cornered in our tiny bathroom downstairs and he looked to me like Ferdinand the bull, steam escaping from his flared nostrils. I had painted myself into a corner and I knew one thing for certain....I was gonna die if I didn't think fast. With no where to go, trapped like a rat, as they say, I turned around and clocked my brother square in the chin with MY clenched fist. The sound of imaginary bells began ringing in my head. I think my brother's eyes turned into two black x's and I might have even seen a tweedy bird or two fly around his head, but the chase stopped right there and so did my brother's reign as dictator.

The Juice was no longer ripe for the squeezing, and my brother and I ate the Ramen Noodle soup in silence. I think we both learned a valuable lesson that night. With every teacher/student relationship, eventually the student becomes the teacher. I don't think my brother has ever looked at a glass of orange juice with the same confidence again.


Anonymous said...

Hey I watched that cartoon too! The black x's, the tweety birds.

I remember!

Oh wait, you're saying this REALLY happened.



That was a hoot!

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

You're saying that instead of cops and robbers, your family played "OJ Simpson"?

Explains a lot, actually.

I was the oldest of four kids, we tormented the younger ones. Constantly.

Eva Gallant said...

Good one!

vickilikesfrogs said...

Bwahaha...The Juice was no longer ripe for the squeezing...priceless! Loved it!

Pat said...

Well written and a great story! And let's hear it for the girls! Yeah!

Homemaker Man said...

Love a David fells Goliath tale.

Pastor Sharon said...

Oh wow. I remember my little sister, five years younger than me clocking me like that.

It was the last time I terrorized her too!

Yes, that student/teacher relationship can shift at the whim of a little sister's punch in the face.

Great post.

sybil law said...

I had so much power with that, "I'm gonna tell!" line - damn. If he really pissed me off, I'd just yell, "Dad!", and he'd get into trouble. My dad wouldn't even ask what happened.
I was such a little bitch!
Going to go vote...

Lazarus said...

I love that name of the game "The Juice." How ironic, as you point out. Very funny post!

Furtheron said...

interesting post.

Never really had that kind of behaviour in my family we all got on really well most of the time

Joanie said...

Good for you for finally getting your chance! I never got the chance to clock any of my 4 brothers. Wish I had though. When I was 21, 2 of my brothers pulled down my slacks and shoved me out the front door. sigh.

Tarheel Rambler said...

With two younger sisters, I was on the receiving end of "I'm going to tell..." so many times it was just a foregone conclusion. But in my case, the receiver of the finkery was my father. And with my sisters it was rarely an idle threat.

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

My brother tried to stove my head in with a baseball bat once. He missed, and put a huge hole in my bedroom door, which I locked to keep him at bay until my parents arrived to save me.

Good times.

Nice post, too. Good luck in the contest.

cardiogirl said...

As the youngest of six I can totally relate to being the gullible kid who wanted to jump into the fray with everyone else.

The only time I fell for something just once was when my brother asked if i wanted to play a card game.

Hell yeah, I was up for cards.

He built up the game saying how awesome it was and how much I was gonna love it.

Then he told me it was called 52 Pickup.

And that is when he put the deck in one hand and squeezed the top and bottom at the same time so it rained cards.

I'm sure I picked all of the cards up and then told him I was telling my mom.

If I Were God... said...

That was very well written and deserves a lot more votes than it's been getting. Don't give up the ship, Candy. You've still got a full day (almost), rediscover your back-to-the-corner pluck and swing for the fences. Email all your friends, post the link on facebook and swing for the fences. SERIOUSLY, get on it!

Anonymous said...

Love the story Candy ! there's nothing better than for yor " Big Brother " to get what's comming to him. As a good freind of your brother Chris, Let's just say that there's never a day that watching ANYBODY knock him down a peg is great fun. Love him to death, but, hearing that you allmost knocked him out... makes my day.

Anonymous said...

finally came out of the closet did you?