Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Brother, The KING Of All Pests

Not that he'd ever read this, but I feel a homage to my brother, the birthday boy, coming on just the same. 

It's amazing my brother and I are even friends.  He drove me BANANAS when we were kids.  I think I owe my hotheadedness and hair-trigger temper to his constant mental torture. 

Here are some of the more memorable incidences growing up with my big brother:

* We used to walk to school when we were kids.  Yeah, okay, but how many kids walk to school these days???  When I was in grade 1, he was in grade 6, he came up with a fun way to get us to school faster:  he used to say; "I'm gonna make you run," and then he'd put his hands on my back and start running.  Of course I was younger, chubbier, and much, much shorter of leg.  I started to really dread this ritual.  He finally stopped for good after I flipped and hurt myself.  It's debatable whether I actually allowed myself to fall or not. 

pestering was nearly CONSTANT:

P:  "I'm going to pour the rest of my cereal milk on your head!"

Me:  "MOOOOOOOOOOM!!!  P says he's going to pour his milk on my head!"
Mom:  "STOP BELIEVING EVERY stupid thing he tells you!"

* A horror movie came out in the 1970's that some of you may remember called "It's Alive"  (seriously, click HERE to watch the trailer.  This commercial used to drive young karen completely MAD WITH TERROR, and now I just laughed out loud).  So, P decided it was hilarious to always fit "IT'S ALIVE!" into any random, ordinary conversation:

P:  "hey karen, I'm not feeling very well, because IT'S ALIVE!!!"

He also did this for another movie out at the time called "Magic"  (click HERE for trailer).  So that meant he was always saying; "LOOK karen!  It's MAGIC!" and then he'd make his eyes roll up into his head like the dummy. 


I should also note that P had a magazine ad for "Magic," with a picture of the dummy on it, and he would threaten gleefully, and constantly, that as soon as I fell asleep, he was going to tape it to my bedroom wall. 

* he wrecked my Holly Hobby doll by swinging her around, like a maniac, over his head until the arm tore away from the body. 

* He sat on my chest, dangling spit over my face, but OOPS! the spit somehow fell right in my eye. 

P:  (laughing hysterically) "DON'T TELL MUM!  DON'T TELL MUM!  PLEASE DON'T TELL MUM!"

* the basketball he was winging around upstairs one day, hit my Sindy House and the cheap, cardboard third floor caved in.  Horrified, he hastily put it back in place as best he could, and set up the furniture again.  Young karen came upstairs to play in her doll house, and as Sindy was about to sit in her living room, the floor caved in, spilling all the furniture onto the floor.  Young karen said; "DAMMITT!!!" P happened to be in his room, and gleefully overheard the SWEAR WORD.  He then blackmailed karen with it for a long time

* P also blackmailed me for AGES after I told him that Mom was a "b*tch."  I had gotten in trouble for something, and I was a little hurt and angry.  He gasped in (mock) horror and said "I'M TELLLLLLING!"  I begged him not to, and he lorded that over me for a long, long time.

* After discovering that P was the one who had ruined my Sindy house, I became infuriated and flung his "Mr Spock" at him (or did I throw Captain Kirk?  Maybe it was Spock, whose arms I pulled off).  I missed, and hit the model boat he'd been working on for AGES AND AGES, carefully assembling and gluing the million little pieces it came with.  I felt pretty bad.

* we were both convinced for YEARS that "farts don't tape." While recording our "radio show" together one time, P, well, farted.  We were kids, and thought this was hilarious, but when we rewound the cassette tape, we couldn't hear the fart, so we concluded, scientifically, that they must not record.  A few years later, at a sleepover party, my girlfriends and I were all recording ourselves, and one of the girls let one go.  When we played the tape back, there it was, recorded for all to hear.  I could hardly wait to tell my brother the news.  We were both astounded.  "What did it sound like on the tape?!" he asked, incredulous.  "Kinda like a clapping sound," I said.  


* He wasn't a total monster:  he'd always stop bugging me when I started crying :)

* when I had, typically, left a HUGE essay till the last minute, in highschool, he stayed up nearly all night with me, taking turns typing it up into "good copy" on the typewriter, after the computer printer ribbon ran out of ink.

* My maternal Polish grandmother, made horrendous, HUGE, heavy, dense cakes, and if she cut you a piece, it was a BIG ONE, and she was offended if you couldn't finish it.  Nevermind that you were only 8, that was no excuse.  So, while my Mom and Grandma were chatting in the kitchen, I told my brother in horror that I couldn't eat the whole thing.  He finished that piece of mocha cake for me.  Aw, now I'm all choked up.  

* My paternal grandmother thought FLAT POP was better for your stomach and digestion than pop with any kind of carbonation in it.

Nanny:  "would you like a drink, honey?"

Me:  "sure,"
Nanny:  "there's a bottle of pop in the fridge, help yourself."
I think one bubble rose to the surface as I poured it.  This was the most horrendous drink I'd ever had, but because my brother and I were ridiculously polite kids, I didn't think I could say anything.  Well, he drank it for me.

* P was always a somewhat quirky kid; super smart--always taking things apart to see the inner workings, only listened to "Big Band" music in his early teens, telling me all about the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks when I was just a little kid and we were playing down the basement.

* he used to call me "karas Kalendis Fenjens" until I wanted to snap.  Don't ask, there are no answers.

* when I was 20, and my boyfriend and first love died from a rare form of cancer, P was extremely empathetic to my pain.  He took me for a long drive in his car, and told me that because energy can never be destroyed, Dan could never be completely gone, because his energy would always remain with us.  I don't know if his scientific 'take' on death was comforting, per se, but the sentiment certainly was. 

* the only time he ever cried while watching a movie, was when Spock died.  Yes, he's a MONSTER Star Trek Fan. 

* after our Mom died, it was P and I who were alone in that sad, sad palliative care room packing the bag with all the things Mom had brought to the hospital. And that is why, my friends, no matter what goofball things my brother may do now, or has done, NOBODY can bad mouth my brother. 

Some fast Facts

* P used to believe that raisins made him "dizzy"
* he went through a long phase of eating "Frank's Hot Sauce" on everything (well, not cereal)

* I once sliced his arm with a teaspoon after he touched a red-hot tea bag to my cheek
* my teenage friends and I once took up a collection to get him out of the house one Friday night when my parents were out
* his idea of fun, was showing me how far he could run into the back yard, in his bare feet, in the snow

* it was also "fun" to see how long we could hold a mouthful of burning minty mouthwash in our yaps
* if he has a hole in his sock, or his collar feels too tight, it actually makes him want to gag
* he loved to suck me in to play game of "GOOD ONE." This involved him tossing something to me really fast, or very awkwardly, or too hard, and when I'd miss it, he'd yell "GOOD ONE!"
* we both have an irrationally large fear of spiders (oh hell, most bugs)

So, happy birthday "Fatsy Boy" (3 year old me called him that when I was happy, but he was "Scratchy Boy" when he was bad), the coffee cake is in the oven!  I hope it turns out as good as Mom used to make it. 



  1. Girls usually make weak-ass farts...imho.

  2. Oh what a wonderful birthday post ! I loved coming to your house Friday nights to play with you two!! Grampa and the toothpaste factory (I know he will remember this!)
    Karen you where the most beautiful little girl with long blonde hair! I love this photo!

  3. It was nice hearing about your growing up...some people don't have it so good...even thought the brother was a pest.

  4. Thanks Pam, I'll have to ask about the toothpaste!

  5. Yeah, Berries, I'm really lucky--my family is great.

  6. The only really revengefull thing I did to my sister and to this day do not regret was selling her diary for 25 cents so boys in her class (grade 6) could read it. Makes me laugh still.

    Holy cow was she ever mad.

  7. you sold it for a quarter!?! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! That makes me laugh! Now that IS funny!

  8. Oh how I LOVED your brother growing up...Beam would roll her eyes at me. She would then in turn tell me what a pain he was. The storey has changed alot since those days...Beamy doesnt think he is SUCH a pain anymore and I have gotten past my crush...i think that pic of the 2 of you helped..he with those crazy pants on..hahaha...its a sweet picture. I love your family!

  9. My personal favourite is when Peter was know as Lick Monster from Lick Planet and I was the infamous Princess Ha Ha Hearing Aid.

    Great blog Karen! Keep the memories ROLLING.

    (Great cake too... SERIOUSLY.)

    xox to Steph

  10. Steph, you're hilarious! What, you're scared off by the SUPER 70'S-NESS of this picture? Oh lord, it is VERY 70's. Good story!

  11. Karen, great post!! Reading it made me laugh out loud! I vividly remember how your brother used to pester you, and all the stories about when you guys were little. I also remember him sitting on me on your living room floor, and tickling me furiously! I was laughing and couldn't breathe, starting to panic a little, and your Mom got really mad at him and said, "GET OFF HER NOW!" Then I laughed at him for getting in trouble. :) Perfect tribute!

  12. Yes, And, Mom always said tickling is a form of torture. So true! Glad it gave you a laugh.

  13. Aim, you psychic thing you--you must have been leaving this reply while I was replying to Steph, so I missed you. The "lick monster" lives on in me. The kids love it, yet fear it.

  14. Reading this makes me amazed that you ever chose to tolerate my friendship - your bro and I are incredibly close in temperment. Scary, no?

    Karen, you should be reminded (and all your followers notified) that you used to try to tell me that you NEVER farted, NEVER in your entire life. To which I suggested that you must be a mutant with a special organ that reabsorbs all your farts back into your body. Remember that one? Memory's a funny thing.

  15. Matt, I don't remember that one! That's hilarious. Also, as far as temperment goes, some of the most interesting people in the world are incidental maniacs :)


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