Many years ago, back when our house in Pleasant Ridge, Michigan was green, Marathon Bars were plentiful at the local pool in the summer, and bicentennial quarters were new and shiny, my brother owned a Riddler doll. It looked a lot like this:
(They don't make villains like that anymore. Probably for good reason.)
Anywho, to make a long story (the way my brother tells it, anyway) short, I pitched the Riddler out the second story bathroom window.
I know! But listen, it honestly had nothing to do with any animosity toward my brother, or even toward that most puzzlingly dressed of all of Batman's nemeses, it was more about physics. Sometimes you just want to see something fall. And I wasn't going to drop something I liked. That would be stupid. And I defy anyone to say it wouldn't cross their minds if they were standing by an open second story bathroom window with a Riddler doll that they wouldn't want to see it plummet to the ground. It just kind of had to happen. The damaged doll subsequently fell into the hands of a neighbor who denuded it and buried it in the yard. (This part is not my fault, and yet gets lumped into the retelling of events as if I hurled the Riddler out of the window directly into the arms of the neighbor with the peculiar toy handling proclivities.)
My brother has never quite forgiven, and certainly not forgotten, this incident from our childhood. He recounted it in astonishing detail the night of his wedding fourteen years ago after dinner during a spirited round of "The Ungame." (My family knows how to have a good time.)
In any case, apparently someone found a replacement Riddler doll for my brother, and over the holidays I noticed it being used to prop open our second floor bathroom window. Seriously, what did they think would happen?
Now, I did not chuck him out the window. I am a mature adult responsible grown-up type person. But I wanted my brother to think I chucked him out the window. (Because I am not a completely mature adult responsible grown-up type person.) I hid the doll under my pillow and drew a chalk outline on the walkway directly below the bathroom window then went to join the rest of the family for breakfast.
One brother walked by and said to me rather cheekily, "Have you seen the Riddler?" To which I replied, "Have YOU seen the Riddler?" He looked suddenly both surprised and concerned and alerted our other brother that something wasn't right, and they headed upstairs where a moment later we heard a sort of whoop. Then many people headed outside where they saw this:
It was determined after a few moments that I was guilty. (Only my sweet, loyal Aden refused to believe I could be capable of such a thing, but I hugged her and assured her that oh yes, I definitely was.) My Aunt, the judge, agreed with my insistence that past deeds could not be brought into evidence against me. I suggested that my sister-in-law's mother visiting from India may have framed me, and she did not dissuade anyone from that idea. (She also may not have known quite what was going on, but she cooks well enough no one would have turned on her regardless.)
Anyone can host Christmas with presents and lights and cookies. But a truly thoughtful sister will help you relive your most memorable childhood moments as if
Happy 2014 everyone!