Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Of Zords and Ladies

I told Laurie this story the other day and it just about had her in tears, but I warn you -- it centers on bathroom humor and is most likely funnier in my mind than in writing. Hell, what am I saying? That's never stopped me before.

My brother, sister and I grew up spending a lot of time together, especially during the summers. We didn't live in a neighborhood, so our childish social experiments were conducted exclusively on each other. Certain traits were immediately assigned to each kid, despite how hard they might work to remove the stigma (see "The Poptart Man," issue #223, true believers).

Jesse, as the youngest, resented housework and rarely participated (not that Sara or I were very diligent). So he was, in his own way, the laziest of the three of us; the best at shirking responsibility. As the oldest, and the self-made martyr of family conflicts, this infuriated me. We would fight, and being five years his elder, I would win and he would cry.

But eventually we learned that when one cried, all lost. Dad was still working third shift back then and waking him up during sleep hours was like throwing rocks at a dozing lion, albeit one wearing fruit of the loom.

We had to wise up, so we made the battles psychological, not physical.

When Jesse refused to unload the dishwasher, Sara and I launched a new attack, bestowing him a new persona modeled after the Power Rangers (a profitable franchise at the time).

Each Power Ranger, if you'll recall, had a name, a color and a fighting robot, or "Zord." Several fictional prefixes were often attached to the Zord to make it sound powerful (and marketable), so you'd end up with the super-mega-zord transforming into the ultra-super-mega-omni-zord or some such bullshit.

So Jesse, as the lazy one, was dubbed "Earl, the Orange Ranger," as if he were the forgotten one Bandai had left on the production line. His robot, "The Recline-a-zord," was a symbol of his lazy power.

The plan took hold once Mom and Dad laughed at the name. It gave credence to the lazy claim, and suddenly Jesse was stuck. At 6 years old, the kid couldn't shake the name "Earl the Orange Ranger." So he retaliated, and gave Sara and I our own Zords as well.

But as a first-grader, his put-down creativity was limited to jokes about things being "gay" and bathroom humor. So I was dubbed "Francis, the Purple Ranger," for my affinity for other rangers and a lovely purple unitard. Sara received the unfortunate title of "Poopstick, the Brown Ranger," which despite it's lack of subtlety, makes me laugh like a hyena even to this day. Her Zord was the "Comode-o-Zord," comode being the only synonym Jesse had for toilet.

Poopstick the Brown Ranger. It's just so ridiculous you can't help but admire the creativity. We could have just called each other lazy, gay or, well, a turd, I guess.

Thankfully we've matured since then. Right Earl?


Blogger Laurie said...

That story made me laugh so hard the 2nd time I heard it too!!


6:30 PM  
Anonymous Jake's Dad said...

Hilarious. This tale is proof positive that there are no ill effects of growing up under the power lines.

9:43 PM  

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