I recently read Cartoon Dragon's masterful retrojunk article -Murder Most Foul. Foiled?- (its a couple of pages back in the Articles Archive now) And while I found this to be a well written and entertaining article I still feel compelled to take up the case the younger sibling and show that sibling rivalry wasn't always so one sided.

In any household there is nary an occasion that this more joyful than the arrival of the first born child. However many parents, being wise enough to realize that they have not yet achieved perfection, decide to go for the gold one or more additional times and thus the lovable little tykes known as younger brothers and sisters come into being. Despite all the joy and happiness that these new little bundles of joy bring, they inevitably, through no fault of their own, evoke the envy of the reigning tyrant thus leading to a condition known as sibling rivalry.



Ah yes sibling rivalry, the cornerstone of any healthy childhood. What would we have done without our siblings? At times they served as a built in playmate for rainy days or when our other friends were unavailable; however, more often than not they were our mortal enemy thus causing us to carry on the tradition of David and Goliath in an epic struggle of Biblical proportions for supremacy of the play room and backyard.



As the younger of two brothers in my household, however, I can tell you that unlike the case in the Biblical account my personal Goliath was not so easily felled. No, the unfortunate fact of the matter is that in any household the older sibling will come out on top 9 out of 10 times. As my household was no exception to this rule I more often than not was the recipient of the wet willies, purple nurples and any other nefarious torture that my older brothers wicked mind could conceive. However, we younger siblings are a clever lot. We quickly learn that we cannot match our older brothers and sisters in shear brute force


and so we turn to more clever methods to not only defend ourselves but also to get that oh so sweet revenge.

Thus, there were more than a few times when I managed to get the drop on my older brother or to turn one of his devious pranks right back around on him. So here are a few of the ways in which I fought back and turned the tables on my big bro:



I will start by sighting an old tried and true method of chemical warfare involving the very deadly chemical Hydrogen Dioxide, H20 (that's water just in case you haven't caught on yet).



Yes, what older sibling would not have his/her confidence shaken knowing that around any corner he might come face to face with this


or this



or perhaps it would be an assault from above



with a few well placed water balloons from the roof. Of course in this strategy it is important to pull your ladder up behind you lest your older sib join you on the roof and you find yourself being thrown off of it. One need not be rich to engage in this aquatic offense, if you didn't have any balloons or a water gun a clever little sib could always find a way of lure his older bother or sister outside for a good old dousing the garden hose.



Another useful tip bit to know when growing up an older brother is that they, like all boys, can be mesmerized by the home video game system.



What you see above is the common everyday quilt. Now your probably asking yourself what could this possibly have to do with video games or with getting revenge on a bullying older brother? Well I'll be more than happy to fill you in. Whenever, my brother was about to achieve the high score on Yar's Revenge or Keystone Kapers,


I would stealthy sneak into his room and throw a quilt just like this one over his head. This distraction would provide adequate time for the squiggly lines that passed for video game bad guys in those days to utterly destroy him thus preventing him from achieving that coveted high score. When utilizing this tactic it is very important to have your trusty bike set up just outside the front door. It was always a risky maneuver but if you pulled it off just right you could be half way across the neighborhood before he got himself untangled from the blanket and began to pursue you.

Now would you look at that,



looks like this poor chap has got himself a pretty nasty sunburn. This man is not my brother but it does remind me of one of those times when I managed to get the better of my older bro. It occurred one day when my brother was at a local swimming pool sunbathing. Unfortunately for him my best friend and I happened to be at that very same pool. While he was lying on his stomach my friend and I took turns running up and smacking him as hard as we could on the back before disappearing safely into the crowd. I don't know if he was sunburned or not at the time but we did marvel at that fact that each time it momentarily left a white imprint of our hands on his back. I think we did eventually take a beating for that one, but it was so worth it. The image of those white handprints is still burned into my memory just like they were burned into his back. Hilarious.

But my most proud moment in the big brother revenge business involved one of these little puppies (no pun intended)



That's right common run of the mill beef jerky dog treats. It all happened one day after my mom had been the grocery store and purchased a large can of beef jerky. I grabbed one and began to much as I made my way back to my room. As I was walking through the den, however, my brother saw me and thinking he was cock of the walk demanded loudly -Go fetch me one of those!!!!- It was quite ironic that he used the word fetch because I went back to the kitchen, grabbed one of the dog jerkys and promptly delivered it to him. I was long gone before he ever realized what he was eating; I just remember beginning to hear his screams of disgust as I made my way out the front door.

So as you can see, or more likely as you remember we younger sibs may have been out classed in physical prowess but we were not as helpless as some want to believe, we had a few tricks up our sleeves. But there is one more thing that you must realize, while you older siblings were strutting around, flexing your muscles and thinking you had your younger sibling under you thumb it was actually we, the younger sibs, who had the advantage all along. And we knew it, oh yes we knew it. You see while our victories may have been fewer they were always so much sweeter because the frog in the thigh and the purple nurple only hurt for a moment but the sting of being bested by someone younger, smaller and weaker than yourself lasts a life time. So no matter how many Indian burns and wet willies you administered it is for the reason stated above we, the younger sibling ultimately come out of top.

When it was all said and done, however, there were no hard feeling between my brother and me because it was this intense rivalry that made us into the strong individuals that we are today, it also always gave us something to do, something to focus our minds on so we didn't get bored. Honestly, I don't see how the only child makes it to adulthood without going all Jack Nicholson from The Shining.


Moreover I don't see how they survive the high school or even the college years without having had a malicious sibling to teach them how to defend themselves against physical and verbal onslaughts of all sorts. So, all the wet willies and purple nurples aside, I must admit that my childhood was much richer for have had a brother to share it with.

However, if all you older sibs out there want to see how you stack up just rate yourself on the following scale (this is based on the average 1 in 10 battles that an older sibling loses to his/her younger sibling). Keep in mind that the higher the score the worse off you are (and that this scale is all in good fun, don't take it too seriously). If you are

An older sister with a younger brother.
-During your childhood you were bested by someone smaller and weaker than yourself roughly 10% of the time. However, you were also bested by a boy. Since in this society it is always frowned upon when a male beats up a female you pretty much broke even. 0 Points.

An older brother with a younger brother.
-During your childhood someone younger and weaker than yourself got the drop on you about 10% of the time. C'mon now you should be able to hold your own better than that. 1 point.

An older sister with a younger sister
-Pretty much the same deal as Younger Bro. vs. Older Bro. You really ought to be able to hold your own against someone so much smaller than you. 1 point.

An older brother with a younger sister.
-For shame! You have not only been bested by someone younger and weaker than yourself but also you have been beaten by a girl. Sure it was only about 1 in 10 times but thats still not very good odds. Don't worry your future wife will hem up your skirt for you, RIGHT AFTER SHE PUTS ON THE PANTS!!! 3 points.

Now take your points and add them to the age difference between yourself and you younger sibling to get your total score.

0-3 points you are a Cowardly Lion:


-You liked to strut around and show off your fierce teeth and claws by picking on someone smaller than yourself. However, you really aren't all that bad a person because your sib was not that much younger than you so you more or less always had a fair fight. So while you never entered into a fight without having that slight advantage, underneath it all there probably is a very brave person after all. There is a good chance you turned out all right.

4-6 point you are Scut Fargus (that's the bully from A Christmas Story)



-You really enjoyed picking one those who were smaller and weaker than yourself. Sibling rivalry is a natural thing but you took it to an extreme, you enjoyed it just a bit too much. Unfortunately for you, you were so secure in your supremacy that you never saw it coming when you finally got your comeuppance from one of your smaller adversaries. None the less, while you were a bit wild as a child there about a 75% chance that you actually grew up to be a decent person. Kids will be kids after all.

7-9 points you are Ralphie in a Bunny Suit


-You never entered into a fair fight in your life. In fact the word fair had absolutely no meaning to you. You made a habit of taking out your wussy aggression on those who were much smaller than you and really had no defence. Sure among your much younger siblings and yourself you were the big cheese but as far as the rest of the world was concerned they mostly mistook you for being not only perpetually four years old but also a girl (if you weren't one already, no offense to all you older sisters). I can only hope that one day you finally decided to try picking on someone your own size and got your comuppance. Or at least that you eventually grew out of it. I guess there is about a 50/50 shot that you actually turned out to be a decent person, but frankly I hope you get your tongue frozen to a flagpole.

10 or more points your are Hannibal Lector


-If you really enjoyed picking on someone who is 10 or more years younger than yourself then you are obviously a deranged psychopath. Really now, by the age of 13 any decent person should understand that picking on a 3 year old just aint cool. There is no hope for you; today you are still that same deranged psychopath. I'm going to shut up now because frankly you scare me.


A few disclaimers (just so nobody is offended)

*Yes I know this post had some sexist overtones but its all in good fun, and I don't mean a bit of it. I'm as liberated as the next guy and wholeheartedly believe that there is no shame in being beaten by a girl.

**I realize that its never too late for the older sibs of the world to administer those Frogs and Purple Nurples, so I want to assure all of you that there is no malice intended in this post and that this is all in good natured fun.