I’m currently trying to work through a stubborn tangle at work. I see myself figuring it out.
For reference sake: There are three of us. JJ is the oldest; Awesome Sister is next, almost exactly two year his junior, and I am “the baby” at 18 months younger. We forged great friendships growing up, which continue to this day.
For as far back as I can remember, my brother was a huge fan of the western author Louis L’Amour, and he had a pretty impressive collection of books for a young kid. Those books were his most prized possession, and in traditional older-brother fashion, he absolutely forbade us to touch them. This, of course, made them all the more intriguing. My sister enjoyed reading them – I liked the thrill of pilfering them. In fact, for several years I kept a stash of Louis L’Amour books at the ready, and whenever I needed to increase my stock with JJ, I’d produce a book and say, “I found this book of yours; someone must have taken it from your room.” Devious or not, it saved my bacon many times when he was in a particularly foul mood, and always kept me in his good graces.
Awesome Sister, as I said, actually enjoyed reading the books and pinched them one or two at a time, read them through, and replaced them in his bookcase before the were discovered missing. One summer afternoon, she was in the backyard reading under a tree, and I knew it was one of his books in which her nose was buried. As a joke, I sneaked out the back door, hid behind a book, and in my best JJ imitation voice thundered, “What are you doing with that book? Give it back!” She jumped like she’d been shot, I gave myself away from laughing too loud, and about the time we were both laying on the grass laughing our fool heads off, we heard the back door slam. JJ walked up the hill, never saying a word, a smile twinkling in his eye, stopped by Awesome Sister and put his hand out. We were confused for a minute, but then he explained: “It’s summer, you goof! The windows were open!!” We all three had a good laugh over it, and he let her finish the book. She didn’t let me forget that little snafu all summer – sometimes in my eagerness to carry off a nefarious plot, I still fail to find the fatal flaw…