By Dalton Roberts
A study from Brigham Young University claims that men who have sisters are happier than men who don’t. This finding was substantiated by two British studies. It makes perfect sense to me because my sister is a big source of my happiness.
Who could believe this could happen when she beat the stuffing out of me when I was a small boy? She was four years older, so she could do it and get by with it.
Why did she beat me up? It was all self-defense. I was the meanest little twit who ever grew up in downtown Watering Trough. I would spend days thinking of a new dirty trick to play on her.
For example, I once poked the world’s hottest pepper in her mouth while she was sitting on the porch reading a comic book.
My father loved hot peppers. He was perpetually hunting the hottest peppers he could find. Finally, he hit pay dirt. He bought a tiny, round pepper, and I recall clearly the dinner he bit into it. He screamed in painful delight and buck-danced all over the kitchen. Buck-dancing is really too organized to describe how it affected him. It was more like a crippled man having an epileptic seizure.
A plan began to form in my mind. My sister and I usually kept a huge wad of bubble gum going. The bigger the better. When we’d get tired of chewing it, we’d stick it in the refrigerator, then roll it in sugar to restore the flavor. We’d merrily go back to chewing it.
One day June was reading a comic book on the front porch, and I asked, “Would you like me to bring your chewing gum to you?” Engrossed in reading, she merely nodded her head.
I went to the fridge and got one of Daddy’s hot peppers. I went to her and said, “Here’s your chewing gum.” She bit down, and the scream of pain she emitted was more than ample reward for all my careful planning.
She chased me around the house several times while I screamed for Mother. When Mother came out, I told her June was trying to hurt me. Mother generally believed me because I was her favorite, and she thought I could do no wrong. The next time Mother was gone, June worked me over, but it was all worth it just to hear that ear-piercing scream.
How do we go from there to her being a wonderful source of my present life happiness? It started when a friendly neighborhood ball game resulted in a much older girl chasing me with a ball bat. June tackled her and whipped her real good. Someone saving you that way can heal a lot of old painful memories.
All I know is that from the hot pepper until now, she has been my dearest friend and closest confidant. If she had told everything she knew about me when I was in politics, I would have been just a blip on a TV screen.
In 2007 I wrote her, “You are a heart that knows all of my secrets and never tells, two loving eyes that look into my soul and see the me no one else sees.”
You’d think I would repent over the pepper thing, but I just can’t do it.
E-mail Dalton Roberts at DownhomeP@aol.com.