Sunday, February 22, 2009

Salt and Battery

While America and the Soviets were equipping themselves with weapons of mass destruction, my brother Roy discovered the most subtle and affective of chemical weapons: NaCl, simple sodium chloride, otherwise known as TABLE SALT. Mere salt can be an awesome weapon when it falls into the hands of the evil and ruthless.

When we were kids, my oldest brother Joel would occasionally go to the kitchen cupboard and abscond with the sugar bowl. He'd then go to the living room and plop down on the couch for some mindless entertainment courtesy of Buffalo Bob. With the sugar bowl in his lap, Joel would lick his thumb, jam it into the sugar and then suck the sugar from his sugar-and-spittle-coated digit. He'd usually repeat this lick-dip-suck process until the bowl was empty (though on a few occasions I wisely opted out of sugar on my cereal upon finding Joel's tell-tale deep thumbprint in the white crystals).

One day Roy got the inspired idea of replacing the sugar in the bowl with salt. Later that day during a commercial break, Joel snuck into the kitchen, nabbed the sweetness-filled urn, retreated to his place on the sofa in front of the idiot box, and then (with eyes fixed on the tube) he distractedly poked a slobbery digit into the crystaline goodness and brought forth his snow-white thumb.

Roy and I were also watching TV, but Roy had taken note of Joel's slipping off to the kitchen, and when he saw Joel returning with the saccharide vessel, he leaned toward me -- his eyes motioning toward Joel, he whispered, "Watch this."

So while Joel's eyes were glued to the TV, Roy and I had our four beady eyes sharply focused on the granulose thumb that was moving from bowl to mouth. As Joel's lips formed a tight o-ring on the base of his thumb, his entire face seemed to pucker and his eyes squeezed out tears that suddenly flooded his cheeks. Even quicker than his face had imploded on itself, it exploded in rage: "Who put salt in the sugar bowl?"

We roared with laughter and Joel immediately recognized his nemesis: "Roy, I'll get you for this!"

Mom of course heard the uproar and came into the living room from the laundry, but (for reasons mysterious) she seemed unsympathetic to what Joel felt was a great injustice done to him by his younger brother. In fact, Mom even went so far as to seized upon this as an opportunity to lecture on proper hygiene and family policy regarding the filching of sugar.

Once again the forces of evil had triumphed ... and as always, with the full blessing of those in authority.


Jerry said...

I was chuckling as I read this and your sister said "What's so funny?" I mentioned that she should read your blog, since you were "telling on your brother Joel". Without missing a beat she said, "The sugar bowl?"

I confirmed with her that she had not yet read your latest entry.

I guess that some family hijinks are more memorable as others.

Jerry said...

Last sentence, should be "more memorable than others".

JAMIE'S CREW said...

Great story! I was an only child, but my hubby and his sister always re-hash all the funny family stories when they get together.

joyce said...

And only in El Paso could you get away with keeping sugar in a bowl. My grandma kept salt in a bowl. But, in our humid part of the world, a bowl of sugar would attract ants, and a bowl of salt would harden into rock salt.

Bag Blog said...

Family stories are always great. So did Joel get his pay-back on Roy?

America's Next Top Mommy said...

Great idea. Let me guess, he never ate sugar from the sugar bowl again?

One of my best friends had a little brother who would always steal our candy. He loved the chocolate and one day we switched his chocolate for a piece of ex-lax. We were only about 5 at the time but we knew that it would thwart his least for a few hours.

He never did it again :-)

Bou said...

I can tell I'm going to be telling people this story. That's really funny!