Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Typical Conversation With My Little Brother

Part way through making this post I started using a drawing tablet for the first this is more of a learning process than anything. [Deal with it]

Since I finished college I am currently living at home with my Dad and little brother until I get some kind of career started. (And with this economy, that could be a long time.) Anyway, my little brother is far from little, in fact he is roughly double my size and I think holds a few weight lifting records at his old high school.

Fun stats:
Me - 155 pounds, roughly 6ft tall, marathon runner, martial arts enthusiast and vegetarian

My brother may not openly admit to it, but he is actually quite stoked to have me living at home again. I suspect this is because I tormented him when I was still bigger than him, and now the roles have switched and it is time for his revenge.

When I am in my office, which is more often than not, I am furiously applying for jobs since being an unemployed college graduate is horribly embarrassing. ...or I am reading webcomics, watching stupid youtube videos, catching up on Facebook or researching whatever it is that has sparked my curiosity at the time. (95% of the time it is KITTENS)

I'm awesome like that, don't judge me! MY LIFE IS FULL OF EXPLOSIONS AND DANGER!

It doesn't really matter what I am doing, because I tune everything out and focus on what's got my attention.

There could be carpet bombing, an ambush of sentient gummy bears out for revenge, and 5 ice cream trucks out my window and I wouldn't notice.

Ian knows this is his time to scare the living shit out of me just by shouting my name as if there is a huge emergency.

At about this point I jump out of my seat and go into panic mode. I fall for this every time because next time could very easily be a legitimate reason to freak out and destroy everything! (Years of violent movies, games, and books have made me a bit paranoid that I'm always moments away from EXTREME VIOLENCE AND OTHER ADULT CONTENT)

After about 30 seconds of thinking the world is coming to an end and the house is being invaded by Vikings and Zombies, I realize Ian was just messing with my head. I sometimes yell at him for giving me a panic attack-aneurysm combo meal, but that's increasingly rare after a few months of living back at home. It's sort of like living near a mine field, an explosion happens and nobody really cares because it's so common.

He's sort of a Buddha type, makes himself comfortable and takes his time getting to the point...assuming he has one other than to push my buttons out of boredom.

If I was smart (which I'm not), I wouldn't fall into this trap every single time. We're a lot like Wiley Coyote and The Road Runner or Tom and Jerry in that the same thing happens just about every time.

1. I tell him to buzz off and that I am busy.
2. He refuses.
3. I react.
4. He goes non sequitur until my head explodes
5. He sells my bloody remains to the local dog food / pinata factory
6. Children and poochies feast upon my tortured remains

....Hyperbole is trendy.

While he spews out an array of questions and observations that have minimal cohesion, I tend to fantasize about literally shoving a massive quark in his mouth. (What good would that really do though? Couldn't he just spit it out? ...The idea entertains me anyway.)

If I respond to even one of these questions, the rest of my day gets altered based on my response.

Ian - "Heeeey do you remember Gitaroo Man?"
Me- "Yeah, I still have the game. It's on the third shelf with the other PS2 games."
Ian - "Sweet. Let's play it until our thumbs fall off!"
Me - "No, I am busy."
Ian - "Yes, you are busy playing Gitaroo Man." [inserts the disc, drags my chair (with me in it) over to the tv and happily beams about how excellent an idea it is]

...escape is impossible at that point, so I avoid it at all costs.

Instead, I tend to go with the sour grapes route. Who would want to spend time with a grumpy jerk?

Apparently Ian would.

My pitiful attempt to put an end to this before it gets out of hand and I lose my cool (and ability to concentrate for an extended period of time afterward) rarely works.

Fun fact: When I get angry or flustered, my voice gets really high pitched and I talk/yell quickly...often all in one breath. It's as hilarious as it is disturbing to see me angry...very similar to Elliot from Scrubs.

Despite being insanely strong and 19 years old, the influence Spongebob has had on him becomes evident at this point.

If I am not blind with rage or annoyed into a coma, I might start laughing at his antics.

Sometimes humoring him and just going along for the ride is a good option. I will space out of course and think about other things while he does his "pay attention to me" bit.

He catches on quickly that I am not paying attention, and therefore he's having a hard time getting me flustered. Insults ensue.

I try not to be a stereotype, but I am mostly Irish (so far as I know), so my temper flares up because I am horribly proud.

We both know he is bigger, but since he has never ran with me or watched me at Hapkido he doesn't know what I am capable of.

So I remind him. (My voice becomes increasingly higher, louder and faster)


Now he has me going and we both know it. He loves it, so he goes right back to doing what he does best. PESTERING ME TO THE BRINK OF INSANITY. Why not? After all, I was pretty horrible to him when we were kids and in a way he does kind of deserve this chance to piss me off on a daily basis.

He really does actually care and only wants to see me enjoy life. Sitting in my office, applying for jobs and getting lost on the internet isn't exactly what anyone would call a delightful lifestyle. He's had his fun at this point and typically suggests something enjoyable (usually involving food, and frequently a backhanded attempt to get me to eat meat as well).

I'm still grouchy. Time to pester me some more. Maybe he can get me to yell again?

Ian is one of the few people in the world that knows just how ridiculous it is to see me get angry. When there is nothing good on TV and he is tired of video games, the next best source of entertainment is to watch me explode and rant like a pissed off chipmunk on caffeine.

I eventually realize he got me to the point of being embarrassingly angry. I get really bummed out that I haven't outgrown this reaction, so I shut down and send him on his way. ....Kind of.

[Inking with the tablet is easy, but writing with it is impossible! It's like trying to write on the credit card swiping thing at the store, only worse because you can't look at your hand and the screen at the same time. NEVER WRITING ON IT AGAIN. From now on, I will use sharpies for the text.]

The cycle repeats until I get flustered again and explode into fits of high-pitched rage or it's time to eat.

We are mature adults.


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I got my English degree and mountain of student loan debt from the University of Iowa. I like boo berry cereal, martial arts, running and cats.
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