That Time We Got In Trouble


I may have been raised as an ‘only’ child by my grandparents but I was really close to my brothers growing up. Actually, I was kind of close to them in different ways at different times. Early in life I was close to my brother Thomas, the oldest as we would play D&D, write comic books, come up with characters, talk about games, and of utmost impression on my future geek, listen to Dr Demento.

My brother James, the middle of the 3 of us, would geek out to movies and music. He taught me all I needed to know about classic rock, Stephen King and Spielberg, SNL (when it was good, then when it was bad, then when it was good again), and Seinfeld. He also inspired me in my quirky form of writing and looking at life.

I cherish those times we had together growing up especially the times after my nana had passed on and they were around at various times to help fill that void.

But way before all of that my brother got me in trouble with my nana. And that is saying a lot since I never got in trouble with her. I respected and feared my grandmother. She grounded me once for an hour and slapped me once (Another story to come) but other then that I stayed on her good side. Yeah, total goody-two-shoes.

When he was younger, my brother James loved to take walks. At some point he got away from it and ended up with a weight problem for many years. One day, later in life, he decided he didn’t want to be overweight anymore and started walking and eating right. He lost weight in no time. It was very inspiring to see. Unfortunately it wasn’t inspiring enough to get me to lose weight. One day… one day I will.

Anyway, we are talking about the younger self. He wanted to go walking and, like any annoying little brother, I wanted to go anywhere he went. Well he convinced Nana to let me go with him but we could only go down the block, and then turn and go up the hill. It would be about a mile up and back and that was as far as I was allowed to go.

Half way up the hill my brother started talking about walking down to the Lock and Dam on the River near us. It was about 4 miles away and definitely NOT the direction I was allowed to go. I put up the goody-two-shoes fight but he talked about how cool it would be to go watch the ships go through the locks and we’d be back before she even realized we’d gone anywhere else.

About an hour and a half later we start walking back to the house and all he can say is, “Wow that took a lot longer than I thought it would.” When we got near the trailer we could see my nana’s car was gone and I started to panic.

My papa told me she had gone to look for us and was really mad. James convinced me he’d get us out of trouble and I should just go act natural. Her car pulled up and I ran to my room and started playing piano. What’s more natural than practicing piano after you find out you’re in trouble?

James started to plead his case to her when she walked in but I heard her blow him off and bolt right for my room. All she did was look at me and I broke down crying. Don’t get on my case, I was like 6. Anyway needless to say I blew our cover and the whole story came out.

So she punished us. What did she do? She made us stay up late playing game after game of Skip-Bo with her. She told stories about when she was growing up and tried for the first few games just to calm me down. I know it doesn’t sound like a punishment but when you’re 6 it’s REALLY hard to stay up until midnight. I slept well when I finally got to go to bed.

Years later James would tell me she just wanted someone to play some games with and to talk to. She was only mad because she was worried about me but I still gave him crap for getting me in trouble and he still gave me crap for ratting us out.

What are brothers for after all?

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