The other night, mommy was watching an episode of Law and Order Special Victims Unit. The story line followed Olivia Benson’s sort of piece of shit brother as his children were taken from him by the state because A. he got busted with a joint during a routine traffic stop, and B. there was a small bruise on his son’s forehead when Child Protective Services came to investigate the family in their home. Long story short, CPS swooped in like knights in shining armor to take the kids away, and poor, little smokey-tokey brother couldn’t do shit about it. The point of all this is, is CPS sooo fucking busy here in San Jose they can’t drop by to see that me and The Rat both look like we’ve gotten our asses handed to us in a cage fight recently? One visit, that’s all I ask. And we could blow this popsicle stand together.
For example, you all know we’ve both had black eyes already this summer. Granted, I walked into a table at Gramma Jett’s house for mine, and Leona got a little top-heavy on a concrete step to acquire hers, but it’s all about the illusion, people. All I need is a sympathetic stranger with a subpoena to take me away to create the impression that my vodka-infused mother and my apathetic father put a little elbow grease into smacking their small children around more often than not. Two weeks ago, I had no less than 417 itchy, burning bites on the back of my right hamstring and thigh that felt like a traveling-downward version of the wretched diaper rashes I used to get. These rashes were the death of me over and over again, a painful death in which my balls would feel as though they were soaking in bowl of battery acid whilst my butt-hole was itching to boot-scoot doggy-style across the bristly outdoor mats my parents have outside the front and back doors. And granted, upon finding these blistering bites on my leg, mommy washed my sheets and applied cortisone cream for three days, but still. Also, this week at the pool (mommy got brave and brought both of us by herself minus a bubba keg full of vodka, which means miracles really do happen), Leona fell three times on scalding concrete, landing on the same knee each time, until the growing mound on her knee looked like ground beef. Approximately the same time she took her third digger, I jumped into the one foot deep kiddie pool and ripped off half my big toenail, and a chunk of the one next to it. In the process, I also sprained my ankle and scratched whole top of my foot. It was sort of a clusterfuck. Leona was screaming, I was limping, leaving a trail of blood everywhere, and a family of obviously nosy Asians were ogling the scene…it was kind of awesome. We came home shortly after. Mommy gave both me and The Rat some Tylenol, and cracked a beer. Hmm, what else? Oh yeah. At Auntie Jamie’s the other day, I fell on some loose bricks bordering the driveway and smacked my chin on the cement sidewalk. Daddy barely looked up from his beer as Auntie Jamie carried me, hysterical, into the house to perform the antiseptic routine. I now have a misshapen pepperoni scab underneath my chin, but at least she gave me a sucker for my strife. Fuckin’ daddy. And speaking of a negligent/apathetic father, we can’t forget when me, him and Leona were all home Friday night and mommy was at work. Me and The Rat were digging through the diaper bag–harmless enough, right?–looking for a bottle of liquid Tylenol to try to break into. I discovered something much more awesome: a full can of spray-on SPF 50. Before I could fathom the consequences, I had turned Leona’s face completely white with it. She was not a fan of this game. She screamed louder than I have ever heard her scream before and daddy came rushing in to dump her whole head underneath the kitchen sink. A total face wash ensued, Leona did NOT shut the fuck up, and I of course spent a very long time in time-out. Which is fine by me, because I overheard daddy telling mommy the story the next day, claiming that what he wanted to do was “throw me across the fucking room.” In these particular instances, I will take the ten-minute time-out with a smile–a subtle one.
So that’s that. To my own discredit, I have taken on the role of “tough guy” in this family. I have sort of cornered myself into a place where I am comforted less for minor injuries, including, but not limited to, hang nails, jammed fingers, fell-and-cracked-my-head, sprained ankles, split lips, bruising on any part of the body, paper cuts, scratches from the wilderness, scratches from my mommy trying to catch me during a time-out evasion, bites, face-smacks from The Rat, remote control head-smacks from The Rat, etc. etc. Because I am a self-proclaimed tough guy–my mantra is I am tough! and I say it close to thirty times a day–I don’t get a whole lot of sympathy. Unless I am vomiting, fevering above 104, bleeding out my ears, ass, or both at the same time, choking on my tongue, or just plain not breathing, my proud-to-be-so-fucking-unruffled-about-a-chipped-tooth parents barely glance in a screaming child’s direction. Which is why I have to be such an asshole all the time.
That said, I haven’t been a tremendous asshole lately, because Leona is filling in the gaps. The mischievous glint in her eye has become blinding like the sun. She honestly laughs when mommy smacks her hand, yells, or tries to be stern. There’s this little wave of pride that swells in my chest for her. I’m even considering allowing her to guest blog on The Uncouth Son, but I don’t want any of my thunder to be stolen. So long as she stays aware of her rank in this family and quietly shares her Cinnamon Toast Crunch with me in the mornings whether I have my own bowl or not, I might let her speak her mind. I know she’s on my side, anyway. Maybe we should just rule the fucking world together.