A Little Perspective From Tom Church

For Summer, my parents decided to take us kiddies to Maine.

I used to live in Maine as a kid, and I loved it. You could literally *tunnel through snow*, which Erin admitted was, and has been, one of her childhood dreams.

I was like, “been there.”

I’m gonna drag her there someday.

Anyways, Maine in the Summer is nice, I like it better in the Winter, but that’s not the point. I like Maine, period. It’s huge. And incredible. And everywhere you look there’s water, trees, and sky. It’s completely breath-taking.

What sucked was the drive here.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure roadtrips can be fun.

But I’ve never actually… had a fun roadtrip. Ever.

All of my roadtrips have been with my younger brother Brian. He’s *bad* to be in a car with. Horrible. He gnaws at your flesh with his words. And his teeth.

At first, it was okay. I sat in the back with him for a while, a seat apart. In the middle sat my backpack, holding my laptop and my books and such. I fell asleep with my iPod on shuffle.

When I woke up, it was to Brian. He was bouncing around in his seat to some song, slapping the sides of the car and humming.

He’s eleven, mind you.

“Shup,” I mumbled. “Bri, shup.”

“Shutup, beeyotch,” he said. Then he hit my leg. I carefully noted everything he did starting then, so I could write about it later.

We stopped for food. I got out and stretched my legs, and we ate at Burger King. When we went to go get drinks, Brian said “Oh, can you pick your own drink?”

Like he’d never seen a drink fountain before. It was so weird.

When we got back to the car, we sat back down, and for some reason, Brian refused to sit one seat apart. “No, Tom,” he said firmly. “I’m not moving. There’s too much freakin’ crap in that seat, and you need to stop being such a freaking idiot.

There was a notepad in the seat I wanted him to move to.

He took out his Burger King toy and started using it to shoot little cardboard discs with pictures of food on them. The toy was themed “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.” I took every cardboard disc he shot at me and dipped it in barbecue sauce so he couldn’t shoot them anymore, and then tossed them in the Burger King bag.

He took Henry’s toy, which was identical, and started using it, too. Before long, the car was pretty cluttered with cardboard food discs, and I felt claustrophobic and freaked out. I unbuckled (the car was going 60 or so mph) and started picking up and dipping in barbecue. I cleaned up all of them. Brian took no notice.

He still refused to move. My parents finally resolved it.

Later, Henry told me something rather interesting: “Tom, I figured out how to get Brian to do what you want. Okay, you keep patting your hair, just keep doing it. And since Brian’s a control freak-”

“Oh, I see.” I said. I already did. It was something Brian would want to control but couldn’t. He couldn’t just get you to stop something that simple and unoffensive. After a while, he’d make a deal. You get what you want, and he gets you to stop something that really doesn’t matter.

Another weird thing that happened was that Brian proposed a “game.” “You guys make fun of me and try to get my anger meter high. When it gets to the top, you win.” At first, we were skeptical. What did ‘win’ mean? Did you… die? Did Brian rape you or something? We didn’t really know, but we started.

“You smell bad,” said Henry.

“You have a fat white ass,” I chimed in, excited, because instead of getting angry at Henry, Brian just made an addition to his anger meter he was drawing on a Skittles wrapper.

His anger level rose.

Henry and I kept telling him all of his faults, and he just kept scribbling. Sometimes he’d say “Good, good,” and other times he’d say “More. More,” and wave his hands for emphasis. “I need them to be personal. Make it critical.”

Henry was better at it than I was. I lost. I was disqualified.

When we got to the hotel, I set up my laptop and Facebooked and watched The Whitest Kids U’ Know (which, if everyone watched, the world would be a better place). Then I scoured the room for free things to take with me. I found mouthwash, pens, and notepads. And popcorn.

Brian went to bed before us, but in the morning, he was himself again. He woke me up by slapping me with his dark blue baby blanket. “Get up,” he said. “You need to eat breakfast.”

As it turned out, we were too late for breakfast. I managed to get coffee. Brian wanted a taste, and naturally, I was disgusted. I let him sip through the straw, and then threw the straw away. Brian doesn’t need coffee.

After parkouring my way to the bottom of the hotel, we got in the car and left. We drove another four hours. Brian was terrible.

-Thom

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Comments on: "Roadtrips With Brian (Thom’s Thoughts)" (2)

  1. That was excellent, Tom. And he peed in a cup, didn’t he?
    -Erin

  2. Maine is amazing! But, alas, the car ride is SO long. Especially with siblings they just irk you so much. It seems worse in a car though. Maybe it’s because we are all so edgy for being uncomfortable. Have fun in Maine Thom!

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