Something or other about my brother


Today is the 27th day of the third month in the year 2020. To most people this seemingly pointless date would just be another day stuck in quarantine. However, in my family, this date is so much more.

On March 27, 2001, a rather average infant entered the great wide world. He was of normal size except for one thing: his block of a skull. After having an experimental device used on his head so he could be born, he looked like one of those aliens from “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

This blockhead of a child was named Joshua Donahue Johnson. Joshua, like my name, was the only title my parents could agree on. He got the Irish name of Donahue to honor our grandmother’s memory, and unfortunately, he kept one of the least creative last names possible.

Josh was taken to his home in Michigan. He falsely thought it was his kingdom, and his “loyal” subjects included slobbery bibs and ruined cribs. However, his reign would only last for less than two years. A new constestor for the crown was soon to arrive.

Enter moi. Once I successfully infiltrated the Johnson Homestead, I dethroned my brother by my overwhelming cuteness. He didn’t even stand a chance.

However apathetic I seem towards Josh, I do love him. After all, he’s my older brother, and a close mentor. We’ve made plenty of entertaining memories together, and it only seems fitting that today of all days, I’ll list some in his honor.

After his three year long occupation of Michigan, we moved to Ohio, the state of false hope. It was about time we explored the world around us, so we started in West Akron. Here, our neighbors had a plastic seesaw in their backyard. Part of their lawn was just pebbles because nothing could grow there. It was almost like even the plantlife hated Ohio.

Naturally, my brother and I, being the “geniuses” we are, decided it was time for a science experiment. Just how far could pebbles be launched into the sky? I would take a handful of pebbles and set them on one seat of the ‘saw and he would shove the other end into the ground.

He kept being selfish and wouldn’t let me launch the meteors back into the sky. To prevent him from sending more, I leaned over my end of the seesaw. Surely he would stop the process and let me have a try? Nope, not at all.

The next thing I knew was blood rushing down my cheek and I started screaming. My parents came outside and my mother, a nurse, quickly put a washcloth over my eyebrow. There was a pebble embedded right above my right eye, so we went to the emergency room and got stitches. I also copped some pretty good popsicles and a cool scar from the incident.

Surely my brother and I would have learned our lesson. If only that message would have gotten through our thick skulls sooner.

In our house, we had a rolling ottoman. I, directly against our dad’s instruction, would lay on the right in front of the TV. I was so close, it was like I could feel the images.

My brother has always seen himself as some sort of warden, an enforcer of law. So he tried to pull me back away from the TV. I held onto the dresser. I was winning for a while, until Josh lost his patience. He shoved me forward into the hard wooden furniture and I bit my tongue. Once again another journey to the ER.

One night, my mother had awakened to the sound of scraping metal. She went outside to find out the source and there it was: a starving pitbull dragging a broken chain. My empathetic mother quickly escorted the dog into our house for safety and nutrition.

We fostered this dog for a little while until one of my dad’s friends adopted the sweet baby. We still go to visit Sam and catch up.

During one such visit, our parents left us on our own while they had pleasant discourse. I was busy playing with the pittie while my brother lazily watched. Having only grown up with Labradors, playing with the pitbull was a surprise. This dog was a bodybuilder compared to our dogs. This shredded pup could hold his own in tug-of-war and I was having a blast playing with him.

Of course, my jealous brother, too lethargic to play, attempted to trip me while I was running about. Eventually, Josh got me. I quickly fell into the corner of a coffee-table. Immediately, blood started to gush out of my head. I was a walking squirt-gun.

Our parents took us to the ER, and after the bleeding had stopped, I got stitches.

Thanks to my brother, I now have some unique battle scars and stories to tell. Here’s to you, Josh. Happy birthday big bro!