brother Nick was studying to be a doctor. In the
later years of high school, he would bring home
extra credit. I'm not exactly sure how this came
about but one time during Christmas vacation he
brought home a pig to dissect from Biology Class.
This was essentially for him to study but I don't
think any of his teachers intended the lessons to
get so creative. However one day while we were both
off from school, Nick and I were downstairs playing
brother and I liked different types of video games.
He preferred the sports games and would proceed
to whallop the tar out of me in these games. A good
part of the problem is my inability to compete in
sports in particular, but in video games this shouldn't
matter. Since your scoring against the other team
depended on the plays that you knew, I was not very
good at this game. I only remembered one play, which
was the Joystick in the lower right corner or four
o'clock. This caused one of the blocky players to
run in the only direction I had memorized so that
I could pass the ball at him. I only tried other
plays randomly and in those, I wasn't sure how the
players ended up. My brother would always intercept
and he would get his turn. It was all over but the
after my brother had beat me in the third consecutive
game, I took a bathroom break. Now I have to say
again that the bathroom in a house of four kids
and two parents is the only privacy that a middle
child is really going to have. Even if you have
your own room, the bathroom is where you go to have
a little time with only yourself. I also enjoy reading
in the bathroom. When I read anywhere, I can get
Lost In A Book, but in the bathroom, forget it.
So I had spent a lot of time in there by the time
my brother started yelling for me.
first started saying that he wanted me to come out
to play a video game. This in itself, is amazing,
because usually he didn't volunteer to play. Beating
the tar out of your brother on a poorly rendered
football game only has so much lasting appeal. Besides,
I would play for rounds more of the arcade games
so it balanced out. So he started to call me out
of the bathroom.
I gave him the "I'll be right out!" that
really doesn't mean anything to a long-time sitter.
This is only the first warning that will essentially
be ignored. You won't actually do anything except
to sound as if you are really leaving, rustling
papers, flipping the toilet paper, anything except
actually getting up. Actual effort starts much later,
after the second call has been made.
can only imagine what he had been thinking out there.
How long can you possibly take in there? Doesn't
it hurt to sit down there for that long? [You know
actually you don't feel it. After a while it starts
to be pleasantly numb and you almost leave your
body, at least the part that is sitting.]
are you coming out or not"!? There it is, with
the second call, the clock is now ticking! I have
to get moving now or as my sibling, he may open
the door and start to taunt me, seeing as how we
are the same sex and this is fair to do and that
I am partially nude and vulnerable (especially if
there is work to do). So I get moving for real this
time, attending to duty down below and rushing out
of there. I open the door.
first thing I notice is that the basement is completely
dark. This is odd because we leave every light in
the house on all the time. "This house is lit
up like a Christmas Tree!" he would announce
when he got home most nights and proceed to turn
things off constantly, lights, TVs, toys. It was
as if he became an executioner for anything that
needed power but he could also give life to them
at any time. So we left lights on everywhere, left
appliances on, doors open.
it was dark out there. "Nick"? I heard
nothing except a rustling sound and then a high,
squealing noise. "Eeeeeeeew! Eeeeeeeeew!"
like a badly done pig imitation.
We come back to the pig. It is a fetal pig, one
that has died before birth. We had to dissect one
in class and I was always very disturbed at how
human they had looked (which is really the point
if you want to learn about the body). To top it
off, this is a gruesome sight as it is wrapped in
a clear plastic bag filled with formaldehyde. It
looks hideous, like a dead pig wrapped in a plastic
bag is what it looks like! It's just awful.
bad as this is, it gets worse. Out of the darkness,
I see a shape coming towards me. It is flying out
of the dark and is coming upwards. As it reaches
the level of my eyes, it seems to hover there. I
can see the squished up face looking up at me and
I scream (like a girl, yes) and run back into the
bathroom, slamming the door.
had taken a heavy twine or fishline and tied one
end to the bag. The other he had tied to a hook
that was connected to the ceiling in our basement.
At the first squeal, he had let go and sent this
sailing towards me, knowing that it wasn't close
enough to hit me, he was at least that kind. I had
seen the pig and it wasn't pretty.
night thereafter was filled with laughter and song
as my brother laughed at what he had accomplished
and I complained about how gross he was. I imagine
that it was a high point for my parents who must
have been enormously proud of us and how we had
matured over the years. But they have no one to
blame except themselves because they taught us the
power of a good joke and how only years of therapy
can erase its legacy.
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