Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Browser's Childhood

"Who killed him?" asked a tall, wide man with a scar running across his face and a sense of authority booming in his voice. He spat out his cigar and stamped on it with his heavy boot.

"Think it was Browser, sir," replied a man of considerably smaller frame with no scars running across his face and a sense of inferiority resounding in his voice. He scratched his forehead and looked around to see what was around him.

Browser has always been the one when it came to people killed by him. Nobody else has ever killed people who were killed by Browser. It was a fact. A true fact and not an opinion. Browser was very proud of that achievement. He was as proud of that as he was proud of his achievement of winning a long jump competition during his high school days in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

"Did I ever tell you about the time I won a long jump competition during my high school days in Wapakoneta?" Browser would ask over a burning campfire in the camp. "I bet you want to know the secret… Well, I jumped the furthest. It was a sunny day and the sun was shining. I ran and I jumped. Oh, the glory. They gave me a statuette of a guy jumping long and far. I don't think it was made of gold 'cause the coating started to peel off after a month. Still, it was a proud day. My ma was proud and my da was proud, I think. He wasn't there at the time as he was away somewhere. The steel company he worked for as a delegate used to send him all over the country to places like Chicago, Albuquerque and Topeka where he used to work as a delegate for the steel company. He loved his work and bourbon. He loved his wife, my ma, and he was a massive Bengals fan. He'd go to games and…"

Every time Browser was telling the story of his long jump competition win or any other stories he used to tell, he steered the discussion into a tale about his father. He loved his father as much as he would love his own parents. His parents loved Browser as much as they would love their own child. It was a love at first sight as his parents loved Browser when they saw him for the first time. It was about the time when he was born, possibly in the moment of birth. His father was there to witness it, said Browser, even though Browser didn't remember it and only knew this because his mother told him that because she was there and was old enough of to store memories and understand certain events, unlike Browser at the time.

Browser was a good child. He was a strong-willed child with a strong will and he held off with drinking and smoking for fifteen years. His father was very proud as he knew what it took to resist temptation of drinking and smoking. He tried to stop drinking and smoking but only lasted two months. Browser had good grades and was a good child. He was a good child up to the point where he grew up and stopped being a child. But before that he was a good child who loved apple pie, girls and basketball but wasn't quite fond of algebra and wild animals like bears and raccoons that used to ransack his backyard leaving it a complete mess. Browser had to clean it up the next day to learn about responsibility and other similar qualities that no one respected.

"It will teach you responsibility and other similar qualities. Everyone should respect them," his father used to say, quoting articles by smart people who were writing smart articles in newspapers for everyone to read and learn and then use the newspapers along with tinder to start Sunday barbecues whenever people were having a Sunday barbecue. "Just ask your mother."

"What? Oh. Yes, yes of course. Your father is right. Listen to your father," Browser's mother used to say while dusting off dust off of antlers nailed to the wooden wall with nails. She was a woman who offered little to no insight, was tall and skinny, liked to watch soap operas and was very focused on her duties to her husband and to America. She was very focused on the activities she was performing, as her husband used to point out with a grin on his face whenever he was spending time drinking and smoking with his buddies at a pub.

"She's very focused on the activities she's performing" he would say to his buddies at a pub, "if you know what I mean." He would then take a sip of a drink and smoke a cigarette.

"I think I know what you mean," said one of his buddies who knew what he meant.

Browser grew up in a quiet neighborhood and had dark hair. He had dark, unnecessarily long hair that used to poke him in the eyes whenever he was running against the wind. He was running against the wind a lot because it was windy a lot where he lived and he was running a lot playing basketball with other kids, throwing football with his father, and practicing long jump. He was a hopeful child with brave dreams like winning a high school long jump competition to earn himself respect and a statuette of a man jumping long and far. He had a distinct jawline and dark hair and was of average physical frame. He had no tendencies to gaining weight and he didn't gain much weight. He was quite tall as his parents were also considerably tall and he eventually grew taller than tables and small people.

He loved almost all of the animals. He grew up listening to "The House of the Rising Sun" and playing with his trusty dog Bucket. He would throw a weary, old, trusty baseball and Bucket would chase it. They would do it all afternoon if only Bucket wasn't getting tired after an hour. Bucket was a medium-sized, brown dog who loved to lie on the grass covered by sunshine and to lick Browser's face, especially if it was smeared with peanut butter. Bucket loved peanut butter and so did Browser.

"Are you giving peanut butter to Bucket again, son?" father would ask. "We told you it's not good for him to eat so much peanut butter, son. Ask your mother."

"What? Oh. Yes, yes of course. Your father is right. Listen to your father," Browser's mother would say, offering little to no insight and instead focusing on the activities she was performing.

Even though his childhood was uneventful, events have happened to Browser. He saw a man puke during a circus performance and he had a girlfriend. He had a girlfriend who had a boyfriend – him. She was one year younger than him and was a brunette. They used to ride bikes together and eat ice cream and throw paper planes into a lake and have the same hair color. Browser was fifteen at the time and she was fourteen, as she was one year younger than him. She liked Browser and she slapped him once when he blew up a frog right into her face. She didn't like having frogs blown up in her face but Browser wasn't aware at the time. Browser was considered a decent boyfriend material and other girls used to ask his girlfriend lots of questions.

"So have you two kissed already?" one of the girls swarming Browser's girlfriend would ask.

"Yeah, at least a little smooch?" another one would ask promptly.

"Have you seen him without a shirt?"

"Tell us! What is he like alone with you?"

"Did you grab his butt?"

"Do you have any cigarettes?"

Browser had to break up with his girlfriend when he found out she loved bears and raccoons and didn't respect responsibility and other similar qualities.

Browser broke his shoulder once when he was biking on a bike. He lost control of his bike when his Bengals cap had fallen off his head and distracted him long enough for his deceptive bike to swerve wildly and throw him onto the road like a person allergic to nuts spitting out a nut. Browser was angry that even though he was wearing a protective helmet it didn't prevent him from breaking his shoulder. He was angry because he couldn't play basketball and scratch his chin. The last thing he remembered before passing out was Bucket licking peanut butter off of his face. His parents were worried about Browser and they found him the best doctor on the shift in the local hospital. The local hospital was small but had medicine and doctors and it was enough to put Browser's shoulder back together like a chair leg. The place of his shoulder break is still itching Browser even today. When it does he scratches it and he's alright.

Not much else happened to Browser during his childhood. His childhood was uneventful and he completed his education without any problems. There were no problems except for the algebra teacher who really loved algebra and didn't like Browser who didn't like algebra and didn't like his algebra teacher. They once argued after class and Browser was ordered to stay after class so they could argue some more. The teacher won because he was older and had authority and authority was one of the qualities similar to responsibility that Browser was taught to respect and also because the algebra teacher was better at algebra and arguments. The algebra teacher later complained to Browser's parents that their son doesn't respect algebra and authority.

"I'm really sorry to say that your son doesn't respect algebra and authority," he would complain to Browser's parents. "I can see you're good folk. It doesn't add up. I'm really struggling to rationalize this complex situation. It's happened a number of times. We need to get to the root of this problem."

"We sure do. We don't know what may have caused it. Our son is a good son with a good heart and he wouldn't cause problems without a reason," Browser's father would reason.

"Well, his behavior is creating a division among his classmates. He needs to change it."

"We will look at this problem. I promise you that. Once we will go back home we will talk to our son."

"Does your wife agree to look at this issue as well?"

"What? Oh. Yes, yes of course. My husband is right. Listen to my husband," Browser's mother offered.

Browser's parents talked to their son once they went back home. They talked about the last Bengals game, the taste of steak, the difficult times for American economy and his behavior during algebra classes. They agreed on most of the issues and Browser was excused to play with Bucket. It all turned out very well because the algebra teacher became seriously ill and Browser found a common language with the substitute algebra teacher.

That's how Browser's childhood went. It was pretty uneventful, all things considered. Bucket died aged eleven which was a good thing because he was suffering a lot from hip dysplasia and Browser finally won the high school long jump competition and a statuette of a man jumping long and far during his last year at high school before applying to Ohio University. 

To be continued

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