Family Secrets Revealed….#3C: The One About Coalmikinosis

 I really enjoyed reading your first date stories. If you haven’t gone back and read everyone else’s stories, you should. You guys have dated some real winners….or should I say “wieners?” 

Is anyone else a little freaked about all the swine flu warnings? I vacillate between thinking it’s not going to be a big a deal to seriously considering keeping the family locked safely in the house until next June. 

All of the H1N1/swine flu talk reminded me that I never finished Family Secret #3, the one with all the deception. I wanted to tell you about the time my brother contracted a “deadly disease.” But before I do that, I want to tell you about yet another family member who aided in the gullibility of my youth. On our road trip from Massachusetts down South this summer I occasionally saw signs that urged motorists to “Watch for Falling Rock.” I hadn’t thought about this story in years, but I suddenly remembered that when I was younger, my mom’s half-brother told me that Native Americans placed those signs all through the mountains so that people would look out for a little lost Native American boy named Falling Rock. The story was a real tear jerker and I probably spent hours of my life looking for that poor little Cherokee boy. Whenever we saw Native American children I examined them all closely wondering if one of them might be little Falling Rock. I guess I thought he’d been frozen in time when he was lost and would never age. When I was older and realized I’d been duped, I just thought my uncle had created the story himself. Just for kicks, I googled it this morning and lo and behold! It seems that grown-ups have been telling the Falling Rock story to kids for years. Were any of you told that story? In my extensive (five minute) research I observed that the details differ in some of the stories…Get your lies straight, grown ups! 

When you see the overwhelming amount of lies and deception perpetrated on me throughout my youth, you must certainly not judge me if I may have possibly, on isolated occasions, told my little brother things that perhaps were not entirely true. But don’t judge me! I was a victim myself!  Have I cut myself enough slack yet?

My brother is three years and four months younger than I am. This picture of my brother was taken in the last year or so, I think:


But at the time today’s story took place, he looked more like this:


He’s the second one on the middle row. The one in the Spiderman t-shirt who is  having some sort of a spaz attack. Let’s pause for a moment while I regain my composure.

Okay. I’m back. That picture sends me into complete hysterics every single time I see it. He posted it on his Facebook page some time ago and the picture coupled with the thirty-four comments from his friends that it generated are better than Zoloft or therapy. Whenever I’m feeling a little blue I just look at that picture and all the comments. 

So the story: One day my friend Chanin and I were hanging out at my house. Chanin was one of those kids who was cool way before it was even cool to be cool. She even has a cool name. She introduced me to Saturday Night Live and Steve Martin, The Go-Go’s,  and Nagel’s paintings (he designed the cover of Duran Duran’s Rio album). She never tried to be cool, she just was and she was one of  the most creative people I knew. She seemed comfortable in her own skin and she was a good friend. At the time of our story, Chanin and I were probably in fourth grade.

My brother came into my room and rather than kick him out, Chanin and I thought it would be fun to play a little trick on him. I don’t remember planning this out beforehand; I think one of us took the lead and the other ran with it. We started fake crying. My brother asked us what was wrong and I told him that I had just overheard my mom talking to the doctor on the telephone and they were talking about him. We told him that the doctor said my brother had a rare disease, coalmikinosis (koal-my-ki-NO-sis), and that he was probably going to die. We told him that he would know death was imminent when he could see little tiny bumps on his tongue. Of course my brother immediately ran to the bathroom, climbed up on the counter and examined his tongue…and saw little tiny bumps. How was I to know that he’d never looked closely enough at his tongue to see the papillae (yeah, I googled it.)! 

He immediately ran to my mom, who was indeed on the phone but not with the doctor, and started crying and stuttering about “Coal My Kuh…Coal Muh….What do I have again, Amy?” Of course I stared at him blankly and said, “Mom, I have no idea what he’s babbling about. We were just minding our own business. I think he bumped his head or something.”

I’d like to tell you that was the last time I lied to my brother but I also told him that he wasn’t really part of our family and that I had his real family’s phone number and that if he didn’t do what I said, I’d call them and have them come and get him. This may or may not have been accompanied with some fake dialing on my part. In later years, when we were old enough for my parents to leave us in the house by ourselves, I would occasionally run into the wall, act like I had amnesia (this was during my soap opera-watching days), and tell him I had no idea who he was and order him out of my house. Yeah, that would freak him out a little.

So, Little Brother, who is now old enough to do me physically harm, thank you for not killing me in my sleep whenever you had the chance. Please forgive me for misleading you at times throughout our childhood. To make it up to you, I’d like to make a donation to the Coalmikinosis Foundation in your name. You’re welcome.

If you’ve missed any of my family’s secrets, you can always look on the right side of my blog and click on Family Secrets under the Categories section. Just doing my part to keep it real.



Filed under Family Secrets

18 responses to “Family Secrets Revealed….#3C: The One About Coalmikinosis

  1. You remind of my brother so much right now. He is 5 1/2 years older than me and “misled” me on a few occasions.

    He told me I was adopted all the time. And his proof? At the time he was born they were allowed to take pictures in the delivery room, but not at the hospital where I was born.

    Why didn’t we have pictures of me in the hospital? BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T THERE. Pish Posh on the fact that we look so much alike. Mere coincidence.

    I have another mean-older-brother story post in the works, but it requires me scanning in a few pics. You’ll love it though.

  2. Too funny. I love that picture.

  3. Too funny!

    I use to tell my sister she was adopted… and a whole bunch of other crazy things.

  4. I LOVE the falling rock story. That and the picture of your brother have my stomch aching(in a good way) I may have to revisit this post 😉

    My brothers did all kinds of crazy things…including, but not limited to telling me each.and.every.night. that dinner was my pet bunny. I believed them, of course and soon became a temporarty vegetarian.

  5. That should be stomach…..I’m not sure which body part a “stomch” is, but I could come up with some good ideas 😉

  6. Chris Ables

    Thanks for the memories sis! I forgot (read:blocked out) about the amnesia and adoption. So I’ve got THAT renewed memory. So, you know….. Bonus.

  7. I. Love. This. Story.

    Bonus: now I have something new to tease Chris about. Coalmikinosis. Brilliant.

  8. I have just laughed my head off and I am supposed to be asleep now. Falling Rock, ha ha ha ha. When my big brother babysat me, he would suddenly stare at me and pretend to turn into another person. I would beg him to stop and he would tell me he would only if I became his slave…fixing him mountain dews, rubbing his shoulders, etc. So sad.

  9. As the baby in the family, I didn’t like your story. Not.One.Bit. 🙂 My sister told me that the white vans that drove around my grandmother’s apartment complex were people who were looking for a little girl to replace the one who died. I was deathly afraid of being kidnapped. I finally learned they were just the maintainence vans.
    I did however LOVE the picture of your brother. Isn’t that sad that I laughed til my side hurt at someone I don’t even know?!? I must be mean-spirited. Probably from all the abuse I took as a baby sister.

  10. I love being the older sister. It definitely had its advantages!

    Falling Rock had my pity too. Poor little brave.

  11. I think Falling Rock was last seen near Seattle, by the orange balls. I’ll keep you posted.

    Look at what I missed out on, being raised w/o my sisters. Shoot…

  12. these are perhaps my favorite of all of your posts.

    laughed right out loud.

    brothers are awesome.

  13. This is hilarious!!! (both stories ) I started laughing at the Falling Rock one and never stopped. My sister and I used to play jokes on my youngest sister ALL the time. . . I’m with you. . . it’s amazing she didn’t kill us in our sleep -ha!ha!

  14. Marie

    Thanks for making me smile today!!

  15. This is so funny!! I always wanted a brother!!! Older than me, though…

    I can’t see what will unfold between my two…I may have to tell my own kiddos that story about Falling Rock on our next trip to the mountains!!

  16. ps–your “Bubbi” (that’s what JuJu calls C) is a cutie! 😉

  17. Although I had heard this story while dining on mayo covered sushi, I enjoyed reading it here again….of course I’ve been hiding under a rock for over a week trying to knock out a project, and am diligently trying to catch up on the blogs, so i am a day late and a dollar short…

    …and yet that doesn’t stop me from being wordy does it?


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