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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wherein Karen, In "Having My Back", Leaps Upon Someone Else's.


Still without an internet connection, the next few days were loaded ahead of time.  Indigo, this one is for you and your recent Rush ticket purchase...


“WHAT?”

“THE VAN’S IN THE FAR LOT!”

“HUH?! Oh, YEAH! COOL!”

We have to shout for days after the Rush concert.

It is 1981. The night is warm and our ears are ringing. We laughingly proclaim, with the arrogance of youth, that we will probably wake up deaf, comments that are greeted, hilariously, with “what?” and “huh?” and other manner of wit.

I have bought a tee-shirt. I am careful with my money, and my having spent some is not lost on my sister.


“You bought a tee-shirt? Since when?”

“Since just now. Shut up.”

Karen laughs, a tinkling sound. Images of fairies in trees leading people astray comes to mind. She is two years younger than I am. Slender, with thick brown hair and big brown eyes, Karen is the girl that you are surprised to find is as sharp as she is pretty.

I twirl my tee-shirt above my head, smiling. Not-so-secretly in love with Geddy Lee, I have taken up the bass in the last year in the belief that somehow he will hear of this and want to meet me.

I am picturing the two of us, eight full strings of Great White North-ness, when the tee-shirt is yanked from my hand and a black-shirted blur of a thief goes streaking by me.

“Hey!” I scream. I take off after him, abandoning the others.

I may have lettered in cross-country, but I am not fast. How many rows did I run down? How many cars did he dodge in and out of? I keep my eye on the man with the tee-shirt…

“He has my tee-shirt! He stole my tee-shirt!” People turn to look but don’t step in.

“Pearl!” I hear Karen behind me.

“He stole my tee-shirt, Karen!" I am outraged. It's mine! I paid for it! "He stole my tee-shirt!”

And just like that, Karen shoots by me, legs and arms pumping. Smaller, lighter, Karen is a sprinter.

“HEY,” she barks. In sleek moves I can see to this day, she steadily gains on him, launches herself into the air –

And lands on his back. He whirls around, batting at her, as she wraps her legs around his waist, uses her fists to beat him about the head as she screams into his ears.

"No one” punch “steals” slap “from my sister!”

The last slap catches him across the eyes. Too late, he bends forward to protect himself. She jumps off his back and picks the tee-shirt up from where he has dropped it.

She tosses it to me.

“Come to Coon Rapids some time,” she sneers at him, bending over and delivering a parting blow with both hands to his ears, “I dare ya.”

And then we run, laughing and triumphant, to the far end of the parking lot.

Where the van is waiting.

32 comments:

Chantel said...

Damn, you come with back-up girl!

Joanne said...

Oh, Pearl, this remains my all time favorite. It just reminds me of my sister, who probably will be leaving her own comment here. Thanks for the re-run; it's like a good movie.

Mitchell is Moving said...

Does Karen hire out?!? My sister socked a couple of kids on my behalf when we were young, but never a tackle and pummel. Karen is my new hero!

Dawn in D.C. said...

What a fun story. Your sister rocks!!

Hannah Denski said...

Great sister story! Just as it should be - sticking together! : ) x

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Now THAT'S a sister!!!!!

NotesFromAbroad said...

Now this is why I wished I had a sister.

vanilla said...

I usually don't do it, but I read the previous comments before I wrote this. They've got it covered! Great sister, wonderful story.

Leenie said...

Can I borrow Karen? Or share her?

Vapid Vixen said...

NO WAY! Karen is my hero!!! Well, next to you of course.

Eva Gallant said...

I love this; siblings there for each other. My sons are like that.

Symdaddy said...

What wouldn't I give to be jumped on from behind by a woman willing to slap me around ... er, I'm, er, ya know ... only joking.

I am too!

savannah said...

*sigh* as Notes From Abroad said, i wish i had a sister!great story, sugar! xoxox

Simply Suthern said...

Did you ever pay her back by jumping on someone elses back for her.

esbboston said...

I enjoyed this veRy much. I read it aloud to my wife, who enjoyed it hopefuLLy as weLL as me.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Great story, Pearl! What a terrific sister Karen is! I just remembered -- yikes! -- it's MY sister's birthday and I need to call her! Thanks for the reminder -- and the fun view of your amazing sister!

chlost said...

Wow, you have really planned ahead for being without internet. Postings to keep us happy even while you suffer. Yay! You sure have your priorities straight.
Your sister and you-what a team. You the distance runner and she the sprinter. The two of you could have taken on anyone!
Did he ever dare to come to Coon Rapids?

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! Thanks for the nod, I love this tale =) Tho of course, I'm jealous of your attending the MOVING PICTURES tour. I must hunt down a video of SHOW OF HANDS sometime. Indigo x

Gigi said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again - are you willing to share with this poor, sister-less friend?

Way to go, Karen!

The Elephant's Child said...

What a sister. I am filled with awe.

Ali - My Suitcase Full of Tricks said...

There are some badass chicks in Coon Rapids. I'll remember that. Hilarious. I'd just have stood there crying.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Pearl, this is awesome!!! I loved every single word.
xo jj

River said...

I love that Karen slapped him and boxed his ears!
My sister would be more likely to just stand there as I would, then we'd go back and get another t-shirt. We're such chickens.

Roly Clu said...

Don't go anywhere without the enforcer :)

Linda O'Connell said...

karenis as effective with her fists as you are with words :)

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Girls just want to have fun - and don't get in our way!

the walking man said...

A Glock would've been faster but I personally prefer a .45 for that knock down punch.

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Wow, Pearl, what a cool sister! That's what we call just retribution, a grubby little thief getting knocked down, smacked and whupped by a girl,from Coon Rapids. For a Tee-shirt yet. Too funny!

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Karen=totally badass.
Mary=totally badass.
Pearl=totally badass.

sage said...

Lesson learned: Don't mess with Pearl because her sister will beat the hell out of you... I had to chuckle. I too an internetless, except for a daily stop at a coffee shop.

Diane said...

Hmmm . . . I think you could market her DNA . . .

NellieVaughn said...

I was introduced to Rush by a pair of Mormons who were put on probation for taking me to a movie while on their Mission.