Everything I Ever Needed To Know……

I had a flashback today.

I don’t really remember what was going on at the time that made me even think of such a pivotal moment in my youth.  None the less, the memory was suddenly there.

As potentially embarrassing as a recounting of the event could be, I feel it only necessary to report it so I can bring that whole minute long instance full circle and resolve the matter once and for all.

I didn’t always have a little brother.  In fact for the first 21 months of my life, I led a care free life where the only competition I had was a border collie spaniel mix who had a thing about scratching the cheeks of one year old boys who perpetually tested the premise of canine patience.  Name a dog after a Dickens malcontent and that’s what you get.

At some point before I doubled my age from one to two, my little brother was born.  Since we were born within a few years of each other, we were always pretty close.  Mom used to dress us in the same shirts and haul us down to Sears every year whenever the photography studio contracted by the retail giant was in town on their annual visit.  That’s a pretty strange concept nowadays, what with a portrait studio in most of your retail stores coupled with an abundance of digital photography at our disposal.

One of the biggest regrets I ever had about that kid was the fact that it was always very difficult to maintain a Svengalian hold over him.  I don’t know if it was because we were so close in age, or the mere fact that he bore ill will against me about that whole cesarean birth thing.

You’re wondering about the cesarean birth thing, right?

I don’t know what the common mindset is today, however back in the Johnson and Nixon years, if one kid arrived in this world via cesarean birth then all subsequent kids from the same mother would be born the same way.  Whereas I was born via c-section, so was he.  Add to that the fact that he was born on a Friday the 13th.

Even though I tried to boss him around a bit while at the same time passing on big brotherly wisdom, it usually fell on deaf ears.  One time when we were old toddlers but not quite grade schoolers we were playing around in the back yard and came upon a freshly deposited pile of something the dog had left on the ground.  I pointed to it and told my little brother “Don’t step in that.”  His response was probably the first in a series of snapshots throughout the next ten or fifteen years which showed that he really wasn’t of the mind to lend credence to my words of wisdom.

Let’s get back to my flashback.  It involves my brother, however not to the extent that he never listened to me.  I just wanted to tell the story about how he stepped in poop at least once on purpose.

As I remember it, I don’t think we were more that ages 5 and 3 when it all happened.  At that age, young boys are discovering stuff.  My brother and I were no different, and as a result things were apt to spring up every once in awhile.  Whenever these things came up, I felt I had a pretty good understanding of the cause and effect of things, along with the remedy.  Being the know-it-all that I was, I felt it was only necessary to pass my words of wisdom on to my little brother.  When applied correctly, such a wealth of knowledge could only make life much easier.

Out of the blue one day, I offered a little tidbit of brilliance.  “Hey Bobby, guess what.  You know when you wake up and your tee-tee is standing straight up?”  At that point, I caught Mom’s head perk up from behind a newspaper and look over at me out of the corner of my eye.  I’m sure she was quite relieved that I was passing such valuable information on to my little brother so she wouldn’t have to.  “It’s standing up because it’s full.  You’ve been asleep for awhile, and that’s your tee-tee telling you to go to the bathroom.”  Mom appeared to be in agreement, because she didn’t say a word.  She went back to reading the paper, however I never could understand how she was able to read it, what with all of the shaking and giggling she was doing.

Now that I’ve gotten that piece of my formative years out and in the open, I feel a lot better.  I can only guess what potential mental torture I could have succumbed to if I had kept that one bottled up inside.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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