When I was younger, I could get my brother John to do whatever I wanted. We werenít allowed to have a dog, which sucked, but I utilized my brother in much the same capacity. I dressed him up in my dresses, painted his fingernails, put bows in his hair and then walked him around the neighborhood and introduced him as my sister Johnica. When he had bad dreams, I would let him sleep in my bed (after charging him a dollar, a very fair rate for 1981). I wasnít heartless Ė if he didnít have the whole dollar, for 50 cents I would let him sleep in the rocking chair next to my bed.

Our mother was in charge of preparing communion once a month for our church. We were Methodist, the poor manís Catholic religion of choice. Sometimes she would let us help fill the little plastic shot glasses with grape juice, but usually not. After service, she would have to rinse off the trays and we got to eat the left over bread (body of Christ) Ė tasty stuff indeed. On days she had choir practice, we were allowed to roam free all around the church.

We never really did anything too bad. The usual kid stuff, attaching a rather large Raggedy Ann doll to the cross over the altar, crucifix style. What, thatís not usual? Anyhow, one Sunday afternoon I came up with a brilliant idea, let me share. I told my brother that if we made our hands bleed (stigmata style) and said the lordís prayer five times, that Jesus would appear over the altar. I think I had confused Bloody Mary with something else. My stupid brother though, he was all into it. Right up until I tried to stab his hand with a knitting needle, then he chickened out. Big baby. We smeared McDonaldís ketchup packets on our hands instead, donned altar frocks and headed down the holy path to see the Man.

We walked towards the front of the church, two white robed kids with fancy ketchup drenched hands outstretched in front of us while repeating the lordís prayer. Just before reaching the altar, the front door opened and in walked Jesus. Ok, not really, but for a second I thought I was magic, I had brought Jesus back from the dead. So much cooler than Christina Marshallís my little pony collection, oh yes indeed, I kick ass. Unfortunately I do not have the power to resurrect the dead. Damn, one more thing I canít do. No, the man was the new assistant minister, a fairly young guy wearing a choir robe and who sported a very Jesus-ish beard and mustache. My brother sucked in his breath and then started running towards this man and screaming, ďOH MY GOD, ITíS JESUS, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!!Ē over and over again. To this day, itís still one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Of course, behind the new minister the rest of the choir, finished up from practice, filed in behind him. Iíve also never seen my mother more embarrassed. Ok, again, not really, but it was definitely in the top seven most embarrassing moments for her.

After that day, anytime we would be driving around town and my brother spotted Pastor Michaels, he would start waving frantically and be all ďlook, itís Jesus, ITíS JESUS!Ē. For years, my brother thought Jesus drove a light blue station wagon and grocery shopped at the local IGA.

2005-02-16 at 11:14 p.m.