Anyone that has ever watched America’s Funniest Home Videos knows what the funniest thing in the world is. Every episode involves some unsuspecting dad taking it right to the junk. Every young boy instinctively knows that it is hilarious to hit someone there. You don’t even have to teach it. Dan and I were no different. We knew it was funny. But there was someone in our family who failed to get the joke: Steve.
One day (actually several days of our lives leading up to this day), Dan and I decided to go at Steve, taking turns punching and kicking him in the nuts. He always warned us that we had better stop or else. We were never really sure what or else was, but given the extreme humor attached to his red faced bending at the waste and cussing, we decided it was a risk worth taking. Well, he had finally had enough. He beat the tar out of us on this fateful day.
I don’t remember much of what went down, but here’s what I do remember (what my mind has blocked out has been filled in by Steve). He threw us both on the ground. He would hit one of us while the other laid there waiting for his beating. He alternated back and forth, letting out years of frustration on us. Hitting, yelling, spit flying (death by drowning must have been part of the plan), and I believe there were even a few mobster kicks in there. He was very precise, as most big brothers are, making sure to hit us just so there were no marks (evidence) left for Mom to see. I pretty much remember the first couple of hits, and then I retreated to my happy place. I don’t know where that was, but my mind was gone.
Steve stormed off, leaving us crying on the floor, and went downstairs to his bedroom. After his rage subsided, he started to feel bad. He came upstairs to apologize and see how we were, and he was surprised by what he saw. There we were, still lying on opposite sides of the living room, crying. As he approached, we began to shake, fearing there was more to come. I believe there are few times in his life that he felt guiltier than he did at that moment…and he deserved it. He should have been able to take the joke. If only we had set up a video camera and handled it this way, it probably would have turned out much better…