Sage Advice 75: My Evil Brother

I have an evil brother.

He’s not my twin, so it’s not very dramatic, but I’m telling you right now, the kid is evil. He’s not like Hitler-evil or I dream about drowning a baby-evil, but the thoughts in his head, or at least the ones he decides to express aloud, are pure evil.

Here’s what made me decide he was evil:

He and I were having a conversation a few months back. We don’t get to speak to one another often, so when we do, we mostly just talk about the normal boring stuff mixed in with bits of our past that we both remember and/or cherish. For some reason, during this conversation, my thoughts went back to my high school education, in particular my physical education class.

My school handled physical education in an odd way, as far as how they mixed students. I remember every other subject in school being rigorously divided in levels of proficiency: I.B., A.P., honors, regular, etc. However, at my school anyway, the P.E. classes threw all these students together into one big gym to grade them on their physical prowess. As though this idea didn’t seem awful enough, the school also mixed students with special needs into the class. I’m not saying that special needs students don’t deserve a P.E. class, but to mix these students in with every other student was an injustice to their… special needs. Teenagers can be cruel little beasts when they want to be, and quite a few of them wanted to be when it came to a particular student in our class who had special needs.

There were students in my class who threw footballs at her, teased her, and just scared the hell out of the poor girl. At the time, I didn’t question or try to understand the situation. I was doing what any fat, nerdy kid was supposed to be doing in P.E.: trying to avoid dressing out or running the mile.

As an adult, though, I really have a problem with this scenario. I realize it’s long over and done with, but it seems to me that this was a criminally irresponsible act on the school’s part. Why would you place a student who was not able to develop socially, physically, and/or mentally at a regular rate in a class that seems only to exist to highlight a student’s social, physical, and mental development?

Remember how I said my brother was evil? Well, this is where he comes in.

I shared this thought with my dear brother and asked him, since he had attended the same school I had only three years later, if he remembered any students in his class with special needs.

He formulated a two sentence response.

The first sentence would be offensive to the uninitiated; however, I had the good fortune in being well versed in the language and manners of my brother.

“Yeah, I remember all the ‘tard-os in my P.E. class,” he said.

Really stare at that response. “Tard-os” is the word he used to describe the mentally handicap. He didn’t even try to use the typically offensive “retarded.” Instead, he made a new word entirely that sounded far more obscene and offensive than any synonym for mentally handicapped.

The next sentence proves his evil.

Not so much for the content, mind you, but rather the amount of time he spent coming up with this thought. This was an instant response; my brother spent no time planning or analyzing his answer. He simply opened his mouth and the sounds of his evil spewed out.

There wasn’t the slightest hint of irony or humor in his voice as he said, “I always loved having them in my class because then I knew someone was gonna suck at P.E. even more than I did.”

Maybe he is Hitler-evil.

Sincerely,

-Matthew Fugere

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