Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Pick Of The Litter
I've mentioned before that I have two sisters, one older and one younger, a scant year between us on either side.
No no, don't leave. This has nothing to do with anyone's anatomical augmentation. It's safe, at least in that respect. In all other respects you takes your chances, but that's nothing new here.
Maybe it's because I was the only male child, or perhaps it was my obvious superiority to them in every conceivable way as a human being (did I mention they don't read this?), but I don't remember a lot of sibling rivalry in the house. Sure we would fight, but usually only for money in front of a crowd of my mom's friends. No fish-hooking or eye-gouging, but past that it was no holds barred, winner take all. I took my lumps for a few years, but once I turned 11, I dominated. Dominated. Thank you Y chromosome for the superior muscle density and upper-body strength you gifted me. I bought a bike that year, I remember.
Most sibling rivalry, from what I understand, stems from competition for the attention of one or both parents. In our house, my mom was young, divorced, working and going to nursing school. She wasn't abusive or anything, we're just talking about a World Record bad mood caused by lack of sleep, 1977-1995. The competition between my sisters and I wasn't for attention; it was more like a constant replay of the scene in every crappy army comedy movie where the sergeant asks for a volunteer and everyone takes one step back in unison, leaving one poor bastard standing alone in front, condemned by a failure of guile. There are some kinds of attention you just don't want.
Being the father of three sons, I see that the dynamic is somewhat changed. Maybe it's because they're all the same gender or maybe it's because--even though I'm a foot taller and have a much deeper voice--I'm infinitely less frightening a figure than my mother ever was, but it's Lord of the Flies around here most days. My boys, especially the oldest two, spend all their free time walking around each other in a slow circle executing a complicated series of feints in order to make the other commit so they can then scream "Daaaaaaad, heeeeeee staaaarrted iiit!" before commencing with the pummeling.
Violence can and does erupt with just the slightest provocation. We're still recovering from the wreck that was the He Got More Chips Than Me War of early April 2005. Blood on the walls, plastic army men shot an inch deep in solid concrete out back, the dog crippled by PTSD... it was ugly, but sadly common in my house.
Like I said before though, I have no idea how common that level of intensity is among siblings the world over, but if we're even talking about measuring it using the same scale, it has to be intense.
That's why I'm so disturbed by this picture:
It's been featured on several blogs before, usually with a funny caption, but I'm just overwhelmed by it. Dude in the hat is obviously the Pope, B-1-6. Dude in the pink shawl and white lacy number, his face contorted by what can only be called bloodlust, is his older brother Father Georg Ratzinger.
From everything I've read, it's Father Georg. Not Cardinal, not Bishop, not anything. Just Georg Ratzinger, priest. And here comes his kid brother, all Poped out, mom's favorite. Look, that fucker even blessed him. That's cold. You can't see his face, but you know B-1-6 is winking or some shit just to rub it in. Meanwhile Georg has to sit there and swallow his bile. Even if he could get past the Swiss guards, there's a better than average chance the next purple nurple or indian burn gets him excommunicated.
I bet he didn't even have to wear that pink-and-white outfit. He's a priest, they wear black with the little white collar thingy usually. I'd lay even money that the Pope's first request after accepting the job was that his brother, the lowly parish priest from somewhere in Bumblefuck, Bavaria, be made to wear the dress with the carnation-colored poncho in front of--literally--God and everybody.
If there's one thing I know about my boys to this point in their lives is that there is no limit to their capacity for cruelty to one another and that they never--ever--forget.
Here's hoping none of them ever become Pope. It hear the pay sucks anyway. Although you do get a company car...
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.8