Two year olds seem to attract head injuries like jam attracts wasps. 'Serious head injury' normally equates with '1 inch cut to the forehead, not bleeding very much at all”.
As I was a late developer in the fine art of injuring myself, I needed some practise. Which I think, dear reader, you will agree is what little brothers are for. They are of course good for a great many things, including but not limited to…
* Eating strange plants so that you can tell if they are poisonous.
* Making good use of hand-me-down clothing.
* Taking the blame for the broken vase that mum really, really liked.
* Getting paid much more than me, for much less work and never failing to rub it in after a childhood spent eating strange plants.
However, 'bruv' did serve as a good way to cause injuries without actually hurting myself.
I started early, by persuading him to jump from the very-safe-children's-climbing-frame that was at Blackpool's pleasure beach (long since shut own after a string of fatal repeat incidents* I mean, there was sand at the bottom, just that underneath this very thin layer of sand (about three grains deep) was a concrete floor.
But my piece-de-resistance was providing bruv with a nice little head wound of his own.
(Insert your own 'flashback' visual/sound effect)
Around the back of our house was a bit of waste ground, and like all waste ground, children will play on it. Mum considered it dangerous on a par with some Eastern European minefield, we were forbidden to climb over our back fence and play there (where she could see us from the bedroom window), and instead was made to go halfway across town to the local park.
Obviously this park was incredibly boring, and I suspect was considerably more dangerous than 'our' land.
So, of course we would play there – digging around in the things that people had dumped there (we even gave it it's own name, “The Dump” – original I know). The Dump was a treasure trove of old bikes, bricks, radios, planks of wood and bathroom tiles**
I had a schoolmate (let's call him 'Welly'), and he was allowed to play over the dump, which made us think that his mum was great.
Now, at the time of the crime I had just been caught playing in the Dump and so had been banned in even stronger terms than normal – but how could I miss out on all the great junk that was laying behind the back garden's fence. The solution was simple – get Welly to throw interesting stuff over to us, so that my brother and I could catch it and use it in our 'experiments'.***
This worked well until Welly found a car battery.
“Shall I throw it over”, he asked uncertainly.
“Sure” I said, in blissful ignorance of the terror ahead.
So it came flying over the fence, and, with the sort of slow-motion that only happens in really good Westerns, struck my brother in the head.
(that was me, bruv was too young to know how to swear)
(that was bruv)
(that was Welly running away)
“Bruv, don't cry – or mum'll find out”, I was to put it mildly shitting myself.
But no, would the little git keep quiet? We could have kept it hidden, washed the blood away, combed his hair over the wound, and given him sunglasses so mum wouldn't realise that one pupil was bigger than the other.
I'm not sure how we could have hidden the sudden loss of function down his left arm.
Instead he went running into the house, leaving me with a few seconds to decide what to do.
So I ran around in circles, only slightly more scared than when mum asked me to cut an inch off her hair, and I cut it so there was an inch left.
I'm afraid this is where the story gets blurred, the memory blanked out possibly due to the huge amount of trauma that my backside sustained a short while later…
Bruv managed to make a full recovery (in retrospect the injury might not have been as bad as I remember it), and to spite me has lent me loads of money that, with his “special” interest rates I'll never pay back****
So now – when I see kiddies with head injuries I just turn around to the mother/father/auntie/cousin and tell them “It's what kids do – just wait until he gets older”.
* – Not true, but a nice thought I think
** – For which I enjoyed a brief celebrity in being able to smash them over my head without apparent hurt – which, come to think of it may explain the blurred vision and constant headaches I have…
*** – Our experiments never involved hurting animals, just one more way that my brother has changed from childhood.
**** – To be fair, no interest rate, just something that he can hang over me when I ask him to make me a cup of tea
This 'Scaryduck' style post was really hard to do, and I don't think it's worked too well – maybe I should have written about things I've seen up people's arses.