Friday, September 24, 2010

My Brother And I

I was nine and my brother was turning seven.  Our parents brought us to the zoo.  We had the notion that if we bugged them enough we could get them to take one of the animals back home with us.  Lions, tigers, chimps, kangaroos, koala bears, coyotes...we hounded them endlessly for them all.
By the time we reached the zoo gift shop. the idea of each getting a stuffed animal was much more easy to accept by our parents in light of the constant animal demands we had made earlier.  I got a zebra and my brother got a tall giraffe.  On the long car ride home, my brother and I played with our own newly acquired animals.  My brother was proud of his long-necked giraffe which took up a lot of space in the car.  He took every opportunity to wave it around saying it was better than my zebra.
He started picking on my zebra.  That giraffe became the boss of space and things in our car ride and there was nowhere that my zebra could hide.  Regular attacks coupled with my brother's taunts that his giraffe was king put me in a deep state of misery.  My father decided that before we got home, that we would go through the car wash.  As the car went on the assembly line to be washed by the heavy clunking machinery, I leaned over to my brother and told him that his giraffe's head was stinky and that he needed to be clean.  My brother looked out the window, saw the spritzing and flying soap everywhere and decided to give his giraffe an instant shower.
Without warning he lowered the window and poked his giraffe's head out into the car wash chaos.   The giraffe's body convulsed and my brother instinctively held on to it.  A storm of soap and water entered our back seat of the car and all hell broke loose.  My parents yelled, I was getting soaked and yelling, my brother was yelling trying to save his endangered giraffe.
My father put it in gear and sped through the car wash.  The car came out of the car wash covered in soap because we skipped the rinse and dry cycle during all of the chaos.   However, the real drama unfolded when my brother finally got his giraffe back in the car.  THE HEAD WAS GONE.  He shrieked in a mixed form of terror and sadness while I laughed my ass off.  The harder he cried, the harder I laughed.  My zebra suddenly became the prominent stuffed animal in the car as I proudly waved it everywhere while my brother continued to mourn over his headless animal.  My parents drove on in the front with a wish to get home and a sense of disbelief from what had just transpired.  My brother tried to convince them to go back and get the head.  Out of the question.  The mere thought that my father would have to go through a middle of a car wash, find a soaking mess of a giraffe's head just to bring it home and have to figure out how to sew it back on was too much.   My parents did the only thing they could do.  They arranged a small stuffed animal funeral and buried the headless giraffe out in the back yard.   I am sure that many years later when new people moved in and started to dig up the earth for a garden and came across a headless but buried stuffed giraffe, the house would probably go up for sale soon after.

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