Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-12-12 Day of the BEETLE

It would be fitting that the last triple digit day of the century would be my brother Beetle's birthday.  He is probably the most unique guy I know, and definitely one of the most fun to be around.  I wish I could be there to share 12-12-12 with him today but instead I am sharing one of my favorite stories of him.

Growing up he was always the guy willing to do the most wild and crazy things of anyone I knew.  As his older brothers, Rocky and I were always dreaming up something off the wall for him to try and he rarely disappointed us.  Here are a few of my favorite Beetle feats:  Acid jumping off a 10 foot retaining wall into 1 foot of water, snorting a package of green Kool-Aid, swallowing a flaming marshmallow, taking on a Belgian Malinois police dog, consuming bacon until the microwave overheated, and breaking a frozen burrito on his head.   Most of these events are deserving of there own blogpost and all of them are true except the frozen burrito.  Beetle did not break a frozen burrito on his head.  He broke a partially frozen but mostly thawed burrito on his head, but masterfully passed it off as a fully frozen burrito.  This is one story when Beetle got the last laugh on big bro.

When we were growing up, Costco boxes of Lynn Wilson burritos were a staple in our house. Arriving home from school, they were often the snack of choice. We would grab a burrito out of the freezer and fight over who was the next to use the microwave. We quickly learned that if you didn't break the burrito in half before cooking it, your burrito came out hot on the outside and cold on the inside. There was a nice brick corner by the wood burning stove that was sharp and perfect for breaking the frozen burritos on. You would have to unwrap the burrito grab it on either end in the palm of you hands and slam it against the 90 degree angle of the brick. It usually didn't break on the first time, just a little piece of frozen tortilla would chip off. On average it probably took three good hits before the burrito would succumb to the solid brick.

One day after breaking a particularly stubborn burrito, one brother said to another, “How cool would it be if you could break a frozen burrito on your head.”

This comment started an argument that went on for weeks about whether or not it could be done. Most days we agreed it wasn't humanly possible, but everyone agreed it would be awesome.

One lazy Saturday afternoon Roman rushed into where Rocky and I were watching TV, “Beetle says he is going to break a burrito on his head.”


“Is he crazy?” (We all knew the answer to that.)

We hurried into the kitchen, on the way Roman yelled up stairs “RACH, ROX.... Beetle is going to break a frozen burrito on his head!!”

The big brothers simultaneously reacted, “SHHHH!!! Don't let Mom hear.”

In the kitchen we found a confident Beetle. Sure enough Roman was telling the truth. My first thought was 'WOW, This is going to be ugly!'

Beetle made sure we were all watching as he went to the freezer, pulled out a burrito and unwrapped it. Then the con was on. He began with his 'pump up routine.' You know what I am talking about, pacing around the kitchen, breathing hard, some muffled words under his breath, a snort now and again. It was quite an act for a 7th grader and Rocky and I were both buying it.

Rocky whispered to me “Beetle is going to kill himself.”

“Yeah, It's going to be awesome.”

Finally he took the burrito in both hands and with a scream slammed it into his forehead. To mine and Rocky's disbelief the thawed burrito broke right down the middle.  Beetle followed his amazing feat up with another yell for style points.

I thought to myself, 'Holy crap, did I really just witness that?'

If it had been Rocky doing the same thing, I think I would have seen through it, but Beetle was crazy and we all knew it. If I knew anyone capable of breaking a frozen burrito on his head it was Beetle. I bought his con completely.

My train of thought that followed went something like this, “My brother who is almost five years younger than me just broke a frozen burrito on his head. I know he is a little bit crazy but I am bigger and stronger than him, surely I can slam something into my head with as much force as he can and if my head is as hard as his head then I must be able to break a frozen burrito on my head as well.” It makes sense, doesn't it?

I quickly announced, “If you can do it, then I can too.”

Beetle was the first one to agree, “Yeah you can totally do it. You just gotta totally commit. As long as you hit it hard enough to break it, it won't hurt, but if you don't fully commit and the burrito doesn't break, you're going to feel it.”

Again it made sense. I just had to fully commit and I could do it.

I started to get myself pumped up. My 'pump up routine' had pretty much everything Beetle's did but add in some nostril flaring and a little less talking to myself. I was fired up and it wasn't an act.

Beetle gave some last words of encouragement, “You just got to fully commit!”

I nodded my head and muttered to myself, “Fully commit.”

Roman whispered to Beetle, “Rangi is going to kill himself.”

“Yeah, It's going to be awesome.”

A couple more big nostril flares, my best mean face, a rebel yell, and I slammed the burrito into my forehead as hard as I could.

This time the burrito did not break. There wasn't even a dent in the tortilla.

For the next few minutes this was all I saw:   


I was not knocked unconscious, but there was blood.

Luckily for Beetle I was stunned enough that I still didn't see through the con for a while. Once I did figure it out, Beetle swore he didn't have any malicious intent but was only trying to impress his older brothers. When I decided I was going to duplicate his feat, he couldn't come clean, he just had to go with it.  I don't know if I totally believe him but I think he owed me one regardless of his intent.  Plus it makes for a good story.

Happy B-day Beetle!!