Sunday, February 12, 2012
"Dad! Can I have lunch?" Bobby yelled. It was a small house. Voices carried, even down to the cellar.
Dad called up, "Are you guys in the kitchen?"
"Yeah!" I hollered back.
"Make Bobby a sandwich, would ya?"
There's no way to sugar-coat this. At the age of seven, our brother Bobby was a little shit. Being the youngest, he took a lot of crap from me and Eric, but he dished it out pretty well too. And now, with the support of our father, he had us doing his bidding. He was more than eager to take advantage of the situation.
"You heard him, slave boys. Make my lunch."
Eric and I looked at each other. "I'm not making it, not if he's gonna be a jerk," said Eric.
"Don't look at me, I'm not making that little twerp a sandwich."
"And hurry up about it!" Bobby ordered.
Eric slammed his green army hat to the floor, and stomped over to the top of the cellar stairs. "Dad, Bobby's being a jerk! Do we really have to make his lunch?"
"Just do it, please!" Dad replied.
"Yeah, slave boys," said Bobby. "Just DO it!"
Eric came back to the kitchen. "This sucks."
By this point, though, a thought had occurred to me. Dad didn't exactly say what KIND of sandwich to make for our smart-ass little brother. "So, Eric," I said. "Just what kind of sandwich do you think Bobby would like?"
"I don't care, baloney?"
"Okay, anything else you want to add?"
Eric's eyes narrowed, and a smirk crawled across his face. "Uh, yeah, I think he might like some peanut butter on it, too."
I spread a thin layer of Skippy on the one slice of bread. "What next?"
"Oh, I don't know," said Eric. "Maybe some mustard?"
Out came the Heinz Spicy Brown. We took a quick inventory of the refrigerator. Catsup. Horseradish. American cheese. Grape jelly. Hey, with a name like Smucker's . . .
By the time we finished, Bobby's sandwich was loaded up pretty good. We went extra heavy on the horseradish around the edges of the bread, so that first (and probably only) bite was going to be a doozy. Then we used lettuce leaves and a couple extra slices of baloney to make the sandwich look "normal". We put it on a paper plate, garnished it with some Lay's potato chips, and delivered it to our sickly brother.
"About time, slave boys. Now get me a Dr. Pepper."
"Anything you say, your majesty," I answered, stifling a chuckle.
Eric and I went back into the kitchen and waited.
"AAAAGH! What is this?!? This is DISGUSTING!" Ah, the joys of horseradish. "DAAAAAAD!"
Our father thundered up the cellar steps. "What's going on?" he asked.
"They made me a gross sandwich!"
We were still giggling when Dad confronted us in the kitchen. "What did you guys put on his sandwich?"
"Actually, Dad," said Eric, "it would be easier to tell you what we DIDN'T put on his sandwich. Milk."
We knew we were in the clear when Dad cracked a smile. "Okay, okay, maybe he asked for it. Can you guys make him a baloney-and-cheese-and-nothing-else sandwich now?"
"No bread?" I asked.
"Uh, yeah, bread too."
So we did. You've never seen a kid eat a baloney and cheese sandwich more carefully.