Posted by: dougery | April 19, 2011

Bash Brothers

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I rarely write about stuff on here that really matters to me. Or rather on a visual spectrum, my output falls into:

12% stuff that annoys me.
34% stuff that just happened and was pretty cool or at least didn’t suck.
40% stuff that is probably boring.
16% other stuff that doesn’t really matter.

But there’s a ton of stuff that actually does seem important that never makes it up here, probably because in my heart I’m a jaded hipster who doesn’t want his actual thoughts and beliefs criticized and quantified. So I run my mouth about James Bond movies (btw, a review for the mostly hilariously bad Diamonds Are Forever should be up later this week) and indie bands that .02% of the world knows and even less than that care about. Before this post gets bogged down any further in made up percentages I will turn to something that genuinely matters.

I miss my brother.

It has been a while since we lived together. A decade at least. And for much of that time I lived in Chicago while he did his thing in Pittsburgh and eventually, Cape Cod. Growing up, even though there was a significant age difference (differences being magnified more when you’re younger, as only a few years are needed to put you into entirely different schools which might just as well be placing you in different counties) he was my best friend. We shared a room for a long time, even did the whole bunk bed thing for a while.

I remember spending countless hours staging vast ‘wars’ with him. We would pile all of our toys together in a massive mound, largely composed of several types (G.I. Joe figures, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Battle Beasts) and then have a kind of draft where we each of us chose a figure to join our team until all of them were gone or at least until neither of us wanted any of the remaining terrible, misshapen, broken or otherwise uncool toys.

Then we would gather our forces and select a ‘base.’ These would be geographical regions of the house we grew up in such as ‘The landing on the stairs” or The screen porch.” Alone at our base we would establish hierarchies, deciding who would be foot soldiers and cannon fodder. There was always a semi-invincible ‘Boss’ character who we would never ‘take out’ because we thought they were too cool to lose. Eventually we would lead forays out from our base and encounter the enemy in the field, usually with flying or swimming figures (there was a whole ‘team’ of water Transformers called the Seacons [all of the evil Transformers, or Decepticons, had ‘con’ suffixes] that could merge to into a badass dude named Piranacon) making the trek out. Skirmishes would follow, with the ‘dead’ being reclaimed and laid to rest back at their base (but sometimes their weapons being stolen by the opposing team).

Usually there was a massive battle that ended things. I can’t ever recall a time where one of us actually won anything. There was always a true Eschaton level End of Days extinction event. One memorable time a character’s death scream echoed all over the ‘world’ killing any would be survivors (Cobra-la-la-la-la).

Later on it was video games. Its safe to say that you could count the number of ‘battle mode’ Mariokart games we played well into the thousands. Goldeneye was another big hit, with Rampage, Bubble Bobble, Mortal Kombat and Cruisin’ the USA following behind.

Anyone who knows me can rightly guess I wasn’t the most popular kid in highschool, but having a brother like mine made it easier not having many school friends. I would look forward to riding my bike to his little league games during the summer, buying the $.01 swedish fish in those tiny paper bags and more often than not watching his team win.

Nowadays its harder to hang out, even if we are much closer than we’ve been in years. Being down the ‘pike from one another has worked out, I’ve seen him several times already and hope to a few more before he makes his next move. But more on that when the dust settles.


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