Gut Rumbles
 

May 31, 2007

My smart brother

Originally published April 14, 2006

My brother is a high-octane attorney. As a formidable litigator, he tools around town in a BMW convertable and he strikes fear into the heart of the opposition when he walks into court.

But he's still MY little brother, and I'm about to tell you a true story about him. Picture THIS if you ever meet him in court:

I think I was about 12 years old, which would make my brother about 10. I had been out playing ball with some friends one day after school. I came home an hour or so before sunset and discovered my brother stretched out on the kitchen floor and holding a string in his hands as he peered intently through the sliding glass doors into the back yard.

"What in the world are YOU doing?" I asked.

"Shhh... I'm gonna trap a squirrel," my brother replied.

Sure enough, he had set up a trap--- a wooden box with a stick propping it off the ground and a string tied to the stick. He had baited his trap with a handful of peanuts and he was watching a couple of squirrels in the yard as they worked up the nerve to sample the peanuts. I sat down at the kitchen table to watch.

The squirrels kept inching closer to the trap. They were eyeballing the peanuts and wondering why something just seemed wrong with this picture. But one of the squirrels finally said to hell with his fears and stuck his head under the box. The peanuts were too great a temptation, and he crawled under the box to feast.

My brother yanked the stick away and the box fell, trapping the squirrel underneath. "I GOT him," my brother shouted triumphantly, and he ran out the door to retrieve his prize.

Like a complete dumbass, he stuck his bare hand under the box to grab the squirrel. The squirrel, panic-stricken and filled with fight-or-flight instincts, went into full attack mode and latched onto my brother's hand with fury of fang and claw. My brother yanked his hand out from under the box with the frantic squirrel still attached, and for a moment I didn't know who had who.

My brother screamed like a girl. He fell back on the ground and started rolling around, trying to detach the biting, clawing squirrel. The squirrel finally turned loose and hit the ground running, scampering like a rat with its ass on fire across the yard and up an oak tree. My brother staggered back inside the house with blood running from his hand and arm.

"It worked," he said proudly. "I had him for a minute there."

I thought, "Yeah, you had him, all right. That's the reason he's munching acorns in the oak tree right now and you're the one bleeding in the kitchen sink." But I didn't say that. I said, "You might want to think about wearing a glove next time."

I don't believe that my brother ever tried to trap another squirrel. Once he proved that his trap functioned as designed, he had no desire to try it again. Besides, he was better at figuring out exotic ways to kill frogs and THEY didn't bite.

Want to throw some serious disconcertion at my brother in court? Just sit there and make squirrel noises at him.

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