A heavy dose of truth, humor, and political activism.

Location: Phila, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


THANKS FOR THE NEW TOY MOM AND DAD! WHAT'S IT CALLED? A BROTHER? It drives me nuts when I see a little toddler with big diamond earrings or gold chains. When you're a little kid, you don't care about stuff like that. If you really want to get a flashy piece of bling for a youngster, try a sibling. When I was almost four years old, my brother was born. My parents had given me the gift that keeps on giving. These days my brother and I are very close. He's a great guy and I'm thankful every day to have him in my life. Things weren't always this way. As any older brother can attest to, a large part of my childhood was spent entertaining myself (and often my friends), by finding new and creative ways to torture my brother and his friends (although I like to think I did some nice, loving things for him as well). In order to cleanse these wrong-doings from my adult life, I now present to you, Tales of Older Brother Shenanigans. THINGS AREN'T GOING SO SMOOTHIE: One hot afternoon, my friend Dan and I decided to make strawberry-banana smoothies. We blended up some ice, strawberries, bananas, sugar, and milk and made some delicious frozen drinks. We were enjoying them when we decided we could make a few bucks by selling them to my brother and his friend who were playing upstairs. My brother and his friend Brian were both chubby kids (like myself) and I knew they couldn't resist a cold, sweet treat on a hot day. We brought our smoothies upstairs along with a small sample cup for my brother and his friend to try. They, of course, loved the smoothies and we told them that for two dollars each, we would make them some. The money was required up front. With the four bucks in hand we returned to the kitchen to make them some drinks. With the money already in hand, the urge to do something underhanded was too hard to resist. Not only were we going to make some quick money from them, we were going to have fun at their expense. We made their smoothies just as we had made ours. Then, the fun began. Trying as hard as we could to only add ingredients that did not change the color or consistency of the smoothie too much, we added as many disgusting (although edible) items to their drinks as we could. When finished, we had successfully created what I can only imagine would taste like a vomit shake. We poured them into glasses, garnished them with strawberries, and served them to our unsuspecting victims. After one big gulp a piece the gig was up. We had charged them four dollars for a drink that we couldn't have paid them five times as much to drink. THE STOCK MARKET CRASHES: One of my brother's friends sucked his thumb much later than most children do. This, of course, gave my friends and I constant fodder to pick on him. One fall, I decided it would be a wonderful idea to create a company called No Whatley (the thumb sucker's last name) and to sell stock in said company to my brother's friends. Each share of stock came complete with a picture of an anti-thumb logo and a promise that it would double in value by the end of the school year. These kids couldn't get enough of it. Even Whatley himself bought several shares of the hottest 3rd grade commodity. My brother's friends actually competed to see who had the most shares during the course of the school year. Knowing that if I got my brother on board, the legitimacy of my company could only grow, I got him in on the plan. Together we sold countless shares of No Whatley stock to his friends who were eager to hand over their money. When the end of the school year finally came, the money having long since been spent, the No Whatley company declared bankruptcy. Shares instantly became worthless. It was a good lesson in investing for those kids though and I was glad I could provide such a valuable service. I like to think sometimes that at least one of them is now sitting in a big office on Wall Street putting this life lesson to good use. THE MONEY WOES CONTINUE: I relied on my brother and his friends a lot for money in my younger years. If it wasn't a sham company or a doctored smoothie it was often something else. When the simple raiding of his piggy bank became difficult because he started hiding it from me, it was time for the irresistible allure of a casino. My brother and his friends loved gambling. My brother had a little at home casino complete with a roulette wheel, craps table, and numerous card games. In order to stack the deck a little more for the house (aka myself), my friends and I took to inventing our own games. We would set up numerous betting stations in my bedroom and then charge my brother and his friends to come play. Once they paid the door-fee to enter the room (this fee was charged every time you entered my room so a trip to the bathroom was going to cost you) there were many games to play. The scam was simple, the first person to play a game won some money. This enticed other people to play (and then quickly lose). We didn't shuffle cards so pre-arranging the deck for our benefit was easy. We also had rules that were complicated and the younger kids often found themselves not understanding why they had lost their chips because the reason we invented was absurd. Every time they got fed up with one game we would introduce another. Often times they lost all of their money and had to return to my brother's room for more (we always reminded them to make sure to bring enough to pay the re-entry fee). When we had exhausted their spending, we often quickly closed the casino and took off with the money before they had time to argue. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. NOT SO SWEET DREAMS: If the urge for shenanigans was strong during the day, it only worsened at night. If I had a friend sleeping over, and so did my brother, this meant only one thing, late night war. We were less than subtle about this fact. My brother and his friends knew that once it got late, and my parents went to bed, that they better be on guard. We would leave notes for them warning them of their impending doom. I'm sure at some point I probably stunted my brother's social growth by scaring some of his friends out of spending the night at our house. I think some of them were just gluttons for punishment. If we were actually able to stay up late enough for my brother and his friends to fall asleep, they were in for a real surprise. This often involved filling their hair with as many hair care products as we could find, coloring on them, sticking their hands on each other's butts so they would wake with a nice handful of man-cheek, and the occasional "let's see who can spit on their faces the most without waking them up" contest. Oh the late night fun. Eventually, we would wake one of them and they'd start screaming for my dad and we'd have to dash back to my bedroom, hop into bed, and pretend to be asleep before my father reached my room, ready to scream at us. We became quite good at this. Maybe we were just playing navy seals and my brother and his friends were the enemy. They didn't willingly choose to be the enemy, but then again, the enemy rarely does. I just spent a week in Madrid with my brother last month, and I would like to report that he now sleeps through the night like a baby. Way to repress your childhood little bro. I love you. CONFESS TWO SINS, AND GET THE THIRD FOR FREE While I'm on the topic of confessing my childhood sins, I might as well get my money's worth. When I got a little too old to trick-or-treat on Halloween, I found a new way to enjoy celebrating the holiday creatively. My friend Dan and I would spend days building an elaborate haunted graveyard in my front yard. We had monsters that popped out of bushes and fell from trees, chalk outlines of dead bodies, numerous grave stones that glowed in the dark, scary music, and a spooky fog that we created with buckets of water and dry ice. All the kids in the neighborhood really enjoyed it and every year it got bigger and better. The one problem was that a group of older kids often walked around my neighborhood and stole candy from little kids. One year they went so far as to come to my door and forcefully grab the entire bowl of candy from us and run away. The next year, we decided to plan ahead. We bought peppermint patties that we could unwrap and some of the hottest hot sauce they sell. It was called Dave's Insanity. It was aptly named. We covered the peppermint patties in the hot sauce and rewrapped them. We stuck these candies in a different bowl and set it aside so that if the candy thieves returned, we could switch the bowls and they would take off with candy that would make them shit fire. On the side of the hot sauce bottle it warned you not to let the sauce come in contact with your skin. While preparing this special candy, Dan got a little insanity on his hands. When we were finished, and before the first group of trick-or-treaters arrived, Dan went to use the bathroom. In doing so, the hot sauce was transferred from his hands to his penis. Insert intense burning sensation here. Not knowing what to do, he rushed to the kitchen, filled a glass with water, and stuck his penis in it. About this time, my father wandered into the kitchen. He stared blankly at Dan. "Dan, what the fuck are you doing?" Dan, frozen by fear and embarrassment, did not respond. "Just makes sure you throw that glass away when you're done with it" and with that, my father left the kitchen. I think at some point my father just became numb to the shenanigans my friends and I pulled. Later that night the older kids returned and stole the basket of Dave's Insanity Peppermint Patties. I sure hope we put the trick, in their treat. HELL HAS FINALLY FROZEN OVER That's right folks, today I, D. Jacob Miller, agreed with George W. Bush. Are the planets aligned? Is hell really frozen solid? If you look out the window can you see pigs flying by? Don't bet on it. I just happen to think, like President By-stander (thanks Bruce Springsteen for the quote) that the National Anthem should be sung in English. I'm not saying that people should have to learn to speak English to live or work in the United States. But if you want to sing the National Anthem, sing it in English. I went to Italy last November. I don't pretend to be able to speak Italian. If I wanted to sing their National Anthem though, I would learn it in Italian. I like that our country is a large mix of different people from different places with different beliefs and from different ethnic groups. However, the National Anthem was written to be sung in English. Not only that, but the Spanish version changes the words. I'll be honest. Every time I am at a sporting event and they ask everyone to rise and remove their cap out of respect for America, I don't. Not because I don't respect America, but because I don't respect what the Bush Regime is doing to it. If they start singing the National Anthem in Spanish, and I can't even understand the words, I might as well just go take a bathroom break and wipe my butt with the stars and stripes. THERE WAS A FARMER HAD A DOG And truth was his name. Spoon, Full of Truth. That's all for today folks. Want to be a web-celebrity like yours truly? Write a guest column for Spoon, Full of Truth and be the envy of everyone you know. To apply, email me at Spoonfulloftruth@aol.com


Anonymous the wife said...

You are too creative! When I was a kid, my brothers stuck to wet willies and charlie horses...it must be different between boys.

PS-you must never ever let our future children know about this stuff

May 02, 2006 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D Miller, long time reader, first time poster here...When I was a kid my brother also charged me an entry and exit fee to his bedroom. No wonder your brother and I hit it off.
Dave's Insanity...April 1, 2007 just got a little saucier. Thanks for the great idea!

May 02, 2006 3:51 PM  

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