Adoption Papers & A Blue Light Special

My brother is a Superstar with a capital ‘S’.

He has accomplished much in his career and continues to shine. The man is in high demand—the real deal—a busy, busy guy. Why am I bragging? Well, to be honest he was a taaaaad clingy when it came to the women of the family. As the baby and only boy born to an Irish mother, it’s truly amazing he didn’t turn out to be a 40~ish loser still living with our Mumsie (though she’d love it—NO doubt about it).

At this stage in my brother’s life, I felt he needed to be toughened up a bit. And who better to help him along in his life’s journey than me, his sometimes-evil minded middle sibling. In my defense, I come by it honestly. There’s a mean streak gene that runs through our family like shit through a goose and it pops up unexpectedly. I have a lid on it as an adult, but as a kid–well, let’s just say I wielded it with glee. Most of the time it manifested itself in other harmless deeds (I won’t go into for legal reasons—ha ha just kidding. Maybe. Well, no. Not really).                     

Anyway, there was a time in my brother’s childhood he had been convinced he was adopted. I should have felt remorse for such a cruel lie and I did (mainly for the trouble I got into more than the Graham Cracker Kid’s hurt feelings). Still, you’d think after more than a few pranks pulled on him, he’d realize I really couldn’t be trusted. I will say this though—my con jobs did tend to get a bit more sophisticated over time—simply because he didn’t take me at my word anymore. I had to produce evidence. See? Kid was learning. Which is why I created fake adoption papers.

By all accounts it looked pretty legit—to a kid anyway. But, the kicker and stroke of genius on my part was slipping it into one of the top drawers of the roll-top desk. This was the desk where Mumsie paid bills, made grocery lists, figured the monthly budget—anything to do with running a household. However, the top row of drawers belonged to my Dad and was strictly off limits. Cue up Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D minor!

Anyway, when I informed my brother he was adopted, he didn’t believe me. When I insisted, he told me everyone said he looked like Dad—not true, everyone thought he looked like a girl. At least until the age of ten. Poor kid was even misidentified as such (on the front page of our local newspaper) when a group of us kids were photographed building the season’s first snowman on the frozen lake by our house.

But I digress.

I knew he didn’t want to believe even as he followed me into the dining room where the desk resided. As I reached into the forbidden top drawer his eyes became round as soccer balls. With a flourish, I retrieved the document, shook it out and began to read. When I was finished, he didn’t speak. A few minutes later our aunt pulled into the driveway and we went out and piled into her car. Then the floodgates opened and my brother cried all the way to Kmart. He wailed so loud and long my aunt was ready to dump him in a ditch (which would have horrified Mumsie, who had a ditch fixation and worried her kids would wind up dead in one). As we meandered around the store our aunt finally persuaded my brother the papers weren’t real and made me admit the truth.

Having been properly contrite our aunt happily dumped us in the nearest toy aisle to continue her shopping unencumbered. And that’s when I dragged my brother over to the ‘clearance’ corner and revealed he was purchased during a Blue-Light Special.

Photo credits/copyright: S. Romagnoli & Kevin F Campbell 

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