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Summers With Little Brother - Tommy Tales

posted 8/19/2010 3:17:35 AM |
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The days before air conditioning produce some memories as well as certain dimensions of rural America. I recall taking family vacations and the old man giving us a dime and a nickel when we stopped for gas. The dime was for a soft drink and that was always cool because anywhere you were, you could find Coke or Pepsi.

The nickel was a different matter as it was for a candy bar. In the country there would a candy machine that sat outside in the summer sun. To make matters worse, all of the candy came from a company called Tom's. The crap was always stale. I remember getting a Tom's candy bar that appeared to be like a Baby Ruth knock off. Once we got in the car I noticed it said that it was choklet coated. I asked my dad how chocolate was spelled. Obviously the candy bar was a fraud. So I said, “This candy bar says it is C-H-O-K-L-E-T so it must be fake.” He agreed and I responded, “Well, we will know better that to buy TOM’s candy from now on. He agreed and Tommy began to whimper.

At the next gas stop, I just put the nickel in my pocket, as I was not buying anything from Tom's. But my brother, Tommy, did. He got a Tom's nut roll. When we got down the road he started crying because it was wormy. I started laughing and said, "With a name like TOM’s what do you expect?" My mom slapped me.

There were a couple of other "Tom" references that I could play that my parents didn’t pick up on that could make him cry. One was on turkeys. There were hens and toms. I would ask my mother (I already knew the answer) why a hen was more money than a tom. She would say a hen was better. I would say something like, "So if you want a GOOD turkey, you don't want a TOM." She would agree and Tommy would cry.

Then there was the deep sea fishing report in the evening newspaper. It would list how many party boats went on fishing trips and how many of what types of fish were caught. The fish started with the best like albacore then yellow tail, and worked their way down to the least desirable which was a tom cod. Once my dad finished with the sports section, with Tommy near by, the conversation between my dad and I would go something like this:

"Hey dad, it says they caught 27 Albacore. Are those good fish to catch?
"Oh, yes!"
"Do they put up a good fight and a good fish to eat?"
"They sure do and they sure are!"
Then we would eventually get to the tom cod and I already knew the answer to my questions. "Hey dad, it says they caught 54 TOM cod. Are those good fish to catch?
"Do TOM cod put up a good fight and a good fish to eat?"
"TOM cod eat garbage don't they and aren't they wormy?"
"WAAAAA" was Tommy's response. The old man would just look befuddled as Tommy ran off to his room.


On Saturdays in the summer, like many people, my dad would fire up the barbecue. After we ate, Tommy and I would toast marshmallows over the coals, taking turns in doing so. I became inspired as it was announced that he would be barbecuing that evening. I had a paper route and among my duties was to fold the papers and put rubber bands around them. A grin came to my face as I started thinking about the stinking as I imagined Tommy’s memorable, magical marshmallows. I grabbed a handful of rubber bands and stuffed them in my pocket.

After dinner I went outside and toasted mine, four on a long barbecue fork. Then it was Tommy’s turn and I handed off the fork to him. When he finished, he handed the fork back to me and I toasted four more. After I downed my toasty marshmallows, I reached into my pocket with my left hand and grabbed the rubber bands. I then turned to the right to hide the rubber band being tossed onto the coals as I handed off the fork to Tommy.

By the time he had skewered his marshmallows, there was some serious stinking going on. He made this hideous face but persevered in toasting his memorable, magical marshmallows. I didn’t say a word, remaining poker faced as if everything was perfectly normal. When he finished, he took a big bite, got this strange hideous look on his face and began to make this weird noise with his mouth full that kind of resembled a bawling calf. He didn’t know what to do and by now was crying with his mouth full. He finally spit malodorous marshmallow into the coals before tossing the remaining three into the fire. Those were the last marshmallows he ever toasted and he never figured out why they turned out that way.


My mom would often ask me to hop on my bike and go to the store for her. One Saturday afternoon she needed something and Tommy insisted on coming along. The market was about four blocks away in a strip shopping center. There was also a lounge called Johnny’s in the shopping center. As we approached the market, I spied something in the parking lot in front of Johnny’s, money. It was a five dollar bill!

After Tommy and I had gotten the items at the store, we headed home. I then decided to kick it into high gear and leave him behind. When I pulled into the driveway alone, my mom came out and asked, “Where’s Tommy?”
I reached into my pocket and pulled out the five, “I sold him to some drunk at Johnny’s for five bucks!”
Her face went ashen, “How could you!?!?”
“Oh, it was pretty easy, mom, the guy was really sloshed.” At that point Tommy turned the corner and came into view. I got quite a lecture about it.

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Aug 19 @ 9:16AM  
Seems like you enjoyed torturing your little brother.

Sounds like my two boys growing up. Seneca used to do that to Quentin until my youngest son ended up taller and bigger than his older brother. Funny how it kind of stopped at that point

My oldest son stayed in trouble for doing crap like that growing up. My deal was that if you were caught picking on your brother or sister I would find the worst chore around the house and that was your chore for a month and it was either do it or get a spanking and still have to do it. I had some nice clean garbage cans and rarely had to touch the kitty litter. LOL

Aug 19 @ 10:43AM  
ornery little fart weren't ya WoW. but since i am the youngest and "little brother", i never had a chance to do something like that to mine. oh the things we miss not being able to do at times, lol.

Aug 19 @ 11:35AM  
Just got to love these "Tommy Tales".

Being the oldest of 3 sisters, I have to admit, there were times I liked to antagonize the middle sister as she always takes things so literally. I remember once when I was 10 and she was 8, getting my bike out to go bike riding. And it was one of those days I just didn't want little sis tagging along. She was going to grab her bike too and I turned around and told her Mom said she couldn't ride her bike cause it was broke. She started crying, Mom came out to see what the fuss was, and my sister blurted out she wanted her bike fixed, to which Mom told her there was nothing wrong with it. So, she ended up tagging along anyway. We got by a house with 2 German Shepherds that always barked, and I told her to be careful because of the big "invisible" hole in the fence that the dogs ran through to "eat kids on bikes". She stopped dead in her tracks and would ride past that house.

Of course, she told Mom about the story, and I got told to stop feeding my sister such nonsense.

I just wanted a little alone time that day...gosh!

Aug 20 @ 9:14AM  
Such a tormentor.....I love it!!!

God, that makes me laugh so hard. More please!!!

Greenie 4 U!!

Aug 20 @ 9:45AM  
Thank you very kindly. The "Tommy Tales" are the most popular blogs I post. But there are a finite amount of them. If you care to revisit the ones from the past, all you have to do is go to the blog page type "Tommy" into the search box, click and there they are. I had gone back through my archives and typed "Tommy" into the titles of any that involved my childhood memories that could be construed as funny.

I have another one I can add into this blog that doesn't play off of his name but is still kind of funny. It is more of a joke on my mom involving him. i plan on putting it into the post, not as comment. I'll let you know when I do it and will post a bulletin for anybody else interested. I expect to be busy today with work coming in.

Aug 20 @ 4:33PM were such a meanie!
However...I do agree with Sugar and Sunshine...I love your Tommy Tales.

Aug 20 @ 5:34PM were such a meanie!

Let me explain. You have to allow that Tommy was a huge cry baby, a snitch, a dork, and social embarrassment. Do you recall in junior high that there was always this guy who was the biggest was Tommy! It was humiliating, and that was in a junior high with, 1,200 kids!

Aug 21 @ 5:21PM  
So, what I wanna know is.. did Tommy grow up to be bigger and meaner than you? That's what happened with my baby bro..

Aug 21 @ 9:06PM  
I never knew that little trick with rubber bands in the fire...going to have to remember that some day.

After Tommy and I had gotten the items at the store, we headed home. I then decided to kick it into high gear and leave him behind. When I pulled into the driveway alone, my mom came out and asked, “Where’s Tommy?”
I reached into my pocket and pulled out the five, “I sold him to some drunk at Johnny’s for five bucks!”
Her face went ashen, “How could you!?!?”
“Oh, it was pretty easy, mom, the guy was really sloshed.” At that point Tommy turned the corner and came into view. I got quite a lecture about it.[QUOTE]


Aug 21 @ 10:47PM  
Ooooppppp's I Missed this one!!! My bad!!!
Shame on you!!!
I was the youngest of Six!! Its not Cool!
Are you Sure............he is not a "Cheerios" Killer? Just asking?
Yeah I know..I watch too much "Criminal Minds"!!!!

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Summers With Little Brother - Tommy Tales