Hockey Camp

my older brother used to beat the shit out of me all the time growing up before i went to boarding school. all the time, every day. he used to throw me in the dryer and turn it on, used to tie me to trees and leave me there, etc. etc.

so one night, when i was 9 and still in the deep end of a military fascination, i decided enough was enough and it was time for a change (RIP Blue Blazer). at the Norwalk army navy store in the late 80s they used to sell hollowed out hand grenades to use as paper weights and shit. mom bought me a few and i used to have little reanctments of the Tet offensive and shit in my back yard. enter: evil genius heady.

it was the night before officer heady (my brother) was going to fly to Can/Am hockey camp in TO (Bobby Carpenter was the NHLer there). he was his usual dick self, i was my usual tired of him self. he goes to bed, after having packed. taped his sticks all special and whathaveyou (the grip movie by twisting the roll and making a little rope).   still has a sick slapper.

in the middle of the night i sneak out of bed, past his room and my parents room Army Crawl style. sliding on my stomach down the stairs head first step by step to avoid creaking, i get to the all and find his fucking EXCALIBUR hockey bag….which was to me the most ideal place to store two hollowed out grenades. i went back up stairs walking on the edge of the same stairs to once again avoid creak and smiled myself to sleep.

he goes off the next day. hugs to mom, hugs to dad, dead arm to me INTO knocking my Minnesota Northstars hat off my noggin. I go to my own hockey practice. get home, do some summer reading, take a shower and plop down for some quality quiet time knowing that now i won’t have to look over my shoulder ever 20 minutes for fear of an well thrown tape ball or floor hockey stick.

Our wall phone (what up 1987….) rings. Ma Esq answers it. I pay no mind. Then I hear her shouting. Then panic. She then is in the kitchen for 30 minutes on an extended call where I have never heard her more polite in my life. “Yes sir, no sir, i understand and we are truly sorry.” This goes on and on and finally she hangs up.

I didn’t necessarily hear her as she crossed the dining room, into the tv room, but i felt the back of a very expertly thrown open hand slap to the back of my brain stem.

“you little shit.”

pa esq hops up and yells at her to calm down. and he, of all people, defuses the situation.

“your son just cost us $X today, carroll.”
“that was JFK.”
“why would JFK call, is everything okay? did Jimmy’s flight get delayed.”
“No it took off….without him on it.”
Now mad: “What did Jimmy do now?”
“Not Jimmy, him!” *pointing and yelling*

They disappear, and come back halfway through whatever I was watching. They stand in front of the tv and turn it off. I know now I am fucked, because in my 33 years on this earth, I have never sen my dad turn off one of his shows halfway through, and this was pre DVR.

“Stevie” Thick Maine accent. “Do you want to explain why you thought putting 2 grenades in your brother’s hockey bag before he went to the airport was funny.”
“I never meant it to be funny, I wanted to get him arrested.”

Jimmy was pulled from the security line and thrown into a tiny 8 x 10 room with a swinging light bulb and an airport security director that had no funny bone. After he was grilled for an hour or two, they left him in the room by himself while his buddies and the plane left for Can Am. He sobbed like a little girl. After they finally decided on what to do they called my mom and told them about it all. The whole time Jimmy had no idea how they got there, but the security guys didn’t believe him.

He was a broken little boy when he caught the next flight and when he came home he never fucked with me to the point he did again. He realized I was a fucked up individual. He is more or less right.


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