Saturday, 30 July 2011

A Lifelong Prick

It is one of those rare nights in Calgary that you can sit outside at night without long pants and a coat. I was just out there sitting on the swing looking around me and thinking about all of the work that I need to do on and around the house. The siding needs a good wash, the trim on the windows could use some paint and while I have the brush out that fence could have used a refresher about two years ago. The garden seems to be holding its own against the weeds, but it could really use my help. The windows need to be washed, I can get them when I do the house and I am waffling about whether to build a new picnic table or spruce the old one up. I should edge the grass around the patio and that screen door needs to be straightened out.

Now I know why I don’t sit out very often! That was all from one place and without turning my head. You know I thought that all of this would be taken care of magically once I retired. It turns out that I am the magic fairy that is supposed to sprinkle pixie dust and click my heels together three times. Well, it’s too late now to worry about it and with any luck I won’t sit out there tomorrow.

I tried to call my brother today, but either he wasn’t home or he now has call display. Either way, I left a message that I would call him sometime soon. I feel a need to apologize to him for what happened in the past. Perhaps I should start from the beginning.


Steve is my older brother and the main tormentor in my life until he left home at sixteen due to an unfortunate accident. The accident was that my mom found two ounces of pot and an ounce of hash in the drawer beside his bed. Luckily there was a 23 year old draft dodger staying with us at the time and he offered to take Steve with him to Montreal until cooler heads prevailed. That took several years and I suspect either a small stroke or the early onset of Alzheimer’s.  In an interesting side note, Steve convinced my mom and dad to let me return the pot and the hash to the “dealer” as he hadn’t paid for it. Mom and dad had seen enough episodes of “Perry Mason”, “Dragnet” and the “Naked City” to know that you don’t mess around with drug dealers. This particular drug dealer was in grade 10, had really bad acne, good grades and was a choirboy at the local Catholic church. Yep, don’t want to mess with Joey!

I was really kind of happy to see Steve leave. There was a lot less yelling and more desert for me. Sure I had more chores to do and mom and dad decided that they needed to keep a closer eye on me to prevent me from turning to a life of crime. They soon found out that it was pretty boring watching me and went back to “Perry Mason”, “Dragnet” and the “Naked City”. It was around this time that the song “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” came out and became a hit of sorts. It kind of brought a tear to my eye every time that I heard it. I would often have to smoke a joint and have some ice cream just to get over the sadness and despair that I was feeling.

So, anyway, the reason that I wanted to apologise is that this week I spent a couple of days looking after my grandson’s “Tornado” and “Hurricane”. They are pretty young still, but I saw what a pain in the ass a little brother could be. Wanting to do everything that big brother is doing. He wanted to play with the same toys, eat the same food, be in the same three square inches of space and just generally be with his older brother. I can see where it would get old very fast. Now, whether that is worth a childhood of torment, I tend to doubt, but I guess hero worship isn’t always fun for the hero.

So, tomorrow I will call my first hero and apologize for being a little pest. Do you think he will apologize for being a lifelong prick? Neither do I!

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