If you arrive in the world as the second son, the abuse starts when you’re born. My brother used to chew up Oreos and spit them into my ear. Sometimes he’d chase me down the street with tomatoes. Of course, when I got older, I’d listen in on his conversations with girls, constantly tattletale on him, and secretly sabotage his stuff with rotten food and boogers. I know this kind of behavior wasn’t just in my family. Bruce and Andy used to fight like crazy. I was on a boat trip with them once, and they bickered the whole time and constantly wrote each other off. All the shit-talking, and cut-downs never led to blows, but I’m sure when they were younger they used to slap the shit out of each other.[IMAGE 1]=
=There’s another side of brotherly love that rears its head when needed. On the last night of my trip with the Irons, we were all drinking heavily, and everybody was egging Bruce on to drink a third of a bottle of Jack Daniels. In a harrowing act of bravery and stupidity, Bruce chugged enough Jack to kill an ox, passed out, and lay on the floor. Of course, our first reaction was to write stuff on his head and mess with him, but that’s when the love of an older brother comes in handy. Andy immediately stepped up and acted as protector and threatened serious bodily harm to anyone who messed with his little bro.
The love from an older brother, while brutal at times, is some of the truest love a person can give. Deep down, no matter how much you hate each other at any given time, there’s a part of you that would die for your older or younger brother.
My older brother works with me at TransWorld SURF now. Of course the first thing he did was eat the food I had hidden in my cubicle and make fun of the way I talk on the phone. Even though I’m higher on the masthead (ha ha, Justin), I’m stoked to have a good guy who will always have my back on our team. Let me be the first to welcome my brother as our new associate editor.—Chris Coté<