53: Monster Truck Warrior

53: Monster Truck Warrior

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: It's Christmas!

Monster Truck Warrior

We acquire friends and we make enemies, but our sisters come with the territory.

~Evelyn Loeb

I was seven years old, and I was about to give my sister a rather painful and unintended haircut in front of the Christmas tree, though I didn’t know it. What I did know was that I wanted a little battery-powered monster truck, just like I’d seen at my cousin’s house. The box in my hands was wrapped in candy cane wrapping paper, and it was about the right size. And it passed the shake test — were those little rubber tires I could hear bouncing against the plastic within?

I opened the wrapping paper gently, removing each piece of tape one by one, so as to not disturb the treasure within. Behold! It was a blue plastic monster truck, battery operated. But no batteries! Those were wrapped up separately, and once I found them, I entered make-believe bliss. As Elvis Christmas songs blared from the stereo, I made a stack of my parents’ tapes and exulted as my truck crushed them to smithereens (or at least rolled over them awkwardly with a lot of help from me).

After the tape demolition, my truck moved on to the coffee table, and made a wasteland of the hapless sugar cookies and the cardboard Advent calendar. Then I spied the ultimate monster truck challenge: my sister Heidi’s head. What could be more glorious than seeing my truck ride roughshod over my know-it-all older sister?

Heidi was oblivious, sitting cross-legged in her pajamas and blocking out the Elvis Christmas music via her brand new portable tape player and brand new Bon Jovi cassette. Heidi, the responsible one, who was never caught unaware, who wouldn’t even let me walk with her to the store, would feel monster truck domination.

I clicked the switch on the bottom of the monster truck to “on,” lifted the truck, and slowly let it descend toward her wealth of blond, curly hair. The moment it touched down I knew I was in trouble. Her voluminous hair instantly wound around all four tires and the motor ground to a halt.

“Ah!” she screamed, and scrunched her shoulders, as I tried to pull the truck away, pulling her head with me.

My father was on us in a second. “Ronald! What did you do?” Heidi screamed as he tried to disentangle her tightly wound hair, and my mother, the most rational human being on the planet, stepped in, stopped my father and laid a hand on Heidi’s shoulder.

“We’re going to have to cut it out. It’s the only way.”

To her credit, Heidi did not cry as the long steel scissors did their work. To her discredit, she did pummel me in the back yard when I went out to play later. As for my monster truck, I painstakingly cut and pulled the long blond hair from the little metal axels, only to find that its brave little engine had given out.

Monster truck Christmas was over, but my champion had met its fate honorably, in combat with one of the greatest arch nemeses known to boyhood: the older sister.

~Ron Kaiser, Jr.

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