Thursday, January 20, 2005

Kelly the Extortionist

So I'm talking to my brother last night. I wasn't paying attention to him as I was reading Poppy's blog, and her drive to give everyone deserving a Tall Poppy name.

I had posted some of the suggestions for my Tall Poppy name from people on my blog, and through email. There was Blonde Poppy. Bobette the Builder Poppy. Barbie Poppy. Michele suggested Raving Poppy.

"Are you listening to me?" he asked. "Ummm yeeah, well no, not really," I told him.

So I explained in a half assed kind of way that I was picking out my Poppy name.

"You should be Extortion Poppy," he said through years of bitterness.

Don't you just hate it when shit you did when you were like 6 comes back and bites you in the ass?

You see, as a child I was "precocious". That's what my Mom called it, but probably most people would say I was a freakin' brat. I had too much brain power for a small child, and was way too good at figuring people out at a young age.

My brother is 4 years older then me, and my sister is 8 years older then me. I was also rather street smart very young, as one must be to survive as the baby with siblings so much older.

Our Elementary School was within walking distance, so we were "walkers". It was my brother's responsibility to get me to school on time, as I had a tendency to dawdle and basically fuck off on the way to school. In kindergarten my Mom took me, but when I went to 1st grade she started working again, thus leaving my getting to school or lack there of in my fifth grade brother's hands.

Needless to say, this was not an easy task for my Mom, much less a fifth grader.

So after the first couple of notes came home saying how many days I was tardy, my brother got the old talking to about responsibility and he was the older brother and he was in charge and he was the one that was to be sure I made it to school on time.

If I didn't get to school on time, there would be consequences on his part, and consequences were not good at my house. Now consequences didn't equal child abuse, but sometimes a good whippin' would have been better then what they did. If we were grounded, we were grounded. No nothing. Or, we would have to do book reports. As a result, I had my college reading list done by 7th grade.

But I digress. My brother decided to rise to the challenge and get me to school on time, so that he could see daylight that year. We did good for about 2 weeks, as he just started leaving a good 20 minutes early in case I was "distracted" on the way to school. It usually ended up with him giving me a piggy back ride/race the last couple of blocks to school to make it on time.

So my parents were happy that he was taking his responsibility seriously, and my teachers were happy that I was getting to school on time. Everything was going all fine and dandy and then something bad happened.

I couldn't find my lunch money when we were about half way to school one day.

"I need to go get my lunch money," I told him. "You can just charge it. COME ON."

I sat my ass down on the curb. "I need my luuuuuuunch mooooooooney," I wailed. So, being the responsible older brother, he gave me his. Oh I so smelled the panic on him.

When I got to school, I realized that my lunch money had just made it's way down to the bottom of my Sean Cassidy book bag. Hey, now I had extra lunch money....The wheels started turning in my little brain.

The next day, once we were away from my house, I sat my ass on the curb again. "What are you doing???" he asked. "I'm not moving till you give me your lunch money."

And on and on it went. He gave me his lunch money every day. We even got to where we didn't have to leave early. If I didn't dawdle and got to school on time, I'd get his lunch money. Seemed like a fair deal to me.

It didn't, however, seem like a fair deal to the school. You see, my brother didn't skip lunch or pack one even though he knew that I was going to extort his lunch money. He just charged it.

Needless to say the parental units were not happy when they got the note saying how my brother had charged his lunch for a month and a half and could they have their money please?

The gig was up. My brother, being the little bitch that he was, told on me. My parents demanded to know where all the money was, and being the good little saver that I am it was all in a very stuffed piggy bank. I knew I couldn't put it in my savings account as my parents would question where it came from.

My God, I was the anti-Christ.

I think this is when I kind of lost my innocent little baby status. I think this is when my parents realized what a freakin' monster they had on their hands.

So the consequences were doled out on me, and my parents figured if I was smart enough to extort $22.50 from my brother, I was smart enough to get my happy ass to school on time.

This taught me a valuable lesson. Never extort money from someone that isn't smart enough to have a back-up plan...

So I stopped extorting money from him (lunch money anyway, but this post is already to long as it is), and now had the responsibility to get myself to school.

Since I was only 6, I don't think I should be labeled as "Extortion Poppy". I'm leaning more towards Michele's pick, "Raving Poppy". Don't tell my brother though. I think it may ease some of this traumatic childhood memories to think I'm getting a cosmic payback for taking advantage of him so many years ago...

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