Sunday, May 10, 2009

How I Became a Ninja

I learned my ninja skills early.  I don't know if my brother Gene who is five and a half years older than I am really wanted a little brother, but he always treated me like a boy.  We had wrestling matches on his bed, and the first one to fling the other one off the bed and across the room was the winner.  There was lots of blood and busted sheetrock, but I learned how to swipe kick both of his legs out from under him by the time I was six-years-old.

Gene also taught me how to fight.  I mean, fist-fight.  When I was in kindergarten, you didn't mess with me.  I could score any boyfriend I wanted because all of the boys were all scared of me.

I had a secret weapon, though.  I had an imaginary friend named "Sarah Tuff"--actually, she was more like a super-hero version of me.  Sarah Tuff could ninja-kick, fly, turn invisible, and tackle like a speeding train.  

When I was about four-years-old, Sarah Tuff came along with me on one of our family beach trips.  This was one of those trips that had a kids' club called the "Beach Brigade" where my parents dumped us off while they sipped bloody marys by the pool.  We were playing a game of Red Rover (I think it's actually been outlawed)--do you remember this one?  "Red rover, red rover, send Sarah right over" would be chanted by a line of kids all holding hands.  Then the person they called would have to run and try to bust through the line, breaking through held hands.

Naturally, they called my name first because I was one of the smallest kids there.  Gene was standing next to me, and he surveyed the line.  "Go for that little girl in the bonnet," he whispered to me.  I checked her out.  She was barely three and a good head smaller than me.  She even looked like she was drooling, and she still had baby fat.  "Got it," I said quickly transforming into Sarah Tuff.  I dug my feet into the sand, and started running as hard and as fast as I could.  I headed straight for that little wimpy girl like a charging bull (straight for HER, not her clasped hands).  I took her out--full on head butt--and I knocked her into the sand on her back.  Sarah Tuff stood up, dusted herself off, and gave Gene a thumbs up.

But, when I turned around, I saw the blood everywhere.  And the counselors were all panicked and yelling.  That little bonnet girl had a busted lip.  I got thrown out of the game.  Then the counselors saw my brother laughing hysterically, so they called our parents.  That was the end of the Beach Brigade for the week.   

I'm sure my parents were thrilled to be the only adults by the pool who were saddled with their out-of-control ninja children.  But we didn't care.  We figured out how to wrestle on top of our turtle shaped floatie and see who would be the first one to fling the other one off.  

Sarah Tuff eventually won, of course.  
After a couple of busted lips of her own.

sf  aka st


ElanaJ said...

LOL! Ninjas on the beach. Very nice.

Sara said...

Ha! I'll never cut you off in the coffee line.

My brother and I used to have magic marker fights. We'd get a thick black marker and struggle with it like it was a knife, trying to score ink "tags" on each other's faces. Good times.

PurpleClover said...

Ooh. Now I know why you've got that crazy look in your eye!! ;)


Rock on Ninja!

Lisa and Laura said...

How do you not read and fall in love with a post entitled "How I Became a Ninja?"

Irene Latham said...

Yes, every girl needs a brother like Gene. Love this story! Makes me want to call up my three brothers (esp. the one 16 months older than me) and remember when....

Katie said...

Ahhh... So THAT's what started the ninja tradition!

Those Gene stories crack me up! We need him to do a guest blogging spot ;-)

Hardygirl said...

It's funny--I'd absolutely DIE if my kids acted like we did. Plus, I'd be a nervous wreck.

Oh dear! I hope I'm not raising wimpy girls!!! I may need to challenge them to a wrestling match. . .


Little Ms J said...

I love your ninja biography. You should draw your ninja and post it!

I used to have imaginary friends too, but they were versions of my existing friends and that handsome David Simpson who was my betrothed. I announced our impending nuptials when he got his drivers license. He was a real man. I was five. I was a little annoyed by all the cheek pinching and cooing when I'd explain our wedding plans. He eventually broke my heart when he went out with a tenth grader with a perm. He totally missed out. Totally.

Hardygirl said...

I love the idea of drawing my ninja!

Your guy did totally miss out--but I think you did alright with Mr. J :-).

Christy Raedeke said...

My Mom (a huge Plot This fan) sent me email to remind me to check your blog - she seems very pleased that you had a slightly more evil sibling than I did. Jury's out on that one, but I LOVED your story.

Classic line: "Go for that little girl in the bonnet."

I am VERY curious about what your brother became? Is he now a mild-mannered psychologist or something?

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