Tahoe Pine Nuts: We are siblings fighting within the family
Special to the Bonanza
My older brother Tom, four years older and wiser, must have been bored out of his skull one afternoon when he saw me passing in front of him with an open-face PB&J, for he flipped it adroitly into the air, whereupon it landed face down on the kitchen floor.
Well, at that particular moment in my life I did not know the meaning of the word, “revenge.”
Still, at 12 years old, through some alchemy of ancient culture, I was inured with a new and intense emotion.
So that evening, while my brother was immersed in his studies, I scooped a handful of peanut butter out of the Skippy jar, creeped up behind him as quiet as a mouse on cotton, grabbed him by the face, pulled him over backward, and pushed peanut butter up his nose.
Then I ran like Jim Thorpe to a predetermined hiding place.
Eventually he caught me out of hiding, and as our folks were out of hearing, he pounded the crap out of me.
Suddenly I was starting to learn the meaning of, “an eye for an eye,” so I purchased a Red Devil firecracker on sale for a dollar.
With that beauty in my pocket, I managed to skinny into the crawlspace of the attic to the vent that looked down into my brother’s shower, and there he was in all his glory.
I lit that Red Devil, and let it go in the nick of time. I felt a gush of steam, and when I gazed down through the vent the shower was empty, but I could see wet skid marks on the floor that told me my brother had left for Jericho without stopping to ask for directions.
It took him a full week to catch me after that incident, and as my parents were not at home at the time, he pounded the crap out of me yet again. Now I was starting to understand the Middle East.
Subsequently, I discovered in my Boy’s Life magazine a weather balloon selling for $6. So I ordered that weather balloon and waited by the mailbox. Finally it arrived and I blew it up with my own two bellows.
This was no easy task. It took me until midnight to get it fully inflated, then, thoroughly exhausted, I dragged it into my brother’s room where he was snoring soundly.
Knowing he had his alarm set for six o’clock while it was still dark, I placed that weather balloon between his bed and the alarm clock across the room.
Then I took a couple thumbtacks and taped them to his dresser drawers, figuring the weather balloon would impale itself on the tacks, and that’s exactly what happened.
At 6 o’clock I heard my brother’s alarm go off and covered my ears at the thought of what was about to happen next.
Sure enough, he jumped out of bed, ran smack-dab into that weather balloon, and blew himself back into bed.
Mercifully, our parents finally interceded, our better instincts prevailed, and we remain friends to this day.
I guess what I’m trying to intimate in relating this family feud, is that the conflict in the Middle East does not necessarily have to go on forever. Arbitration by cooler heads will prevail; otherwise, we might be fated to fight like the siblings we are, ‘til the end of time.
Learn more about McAvoy Layne at http://www.ghostoftwain.com.
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