So, this will make the most sense to J-Bro, Mikey J and my under-30-but-just-barely youngest brother.
But the other day I was hanging out with little G, who is a month away from his first day of Kindergarten (!) and a little over two months away from his sixth birthday (!!). We were playing some mini golf (which, by the way, we are not going to do any more. He tied me. That is, as Karen would say, PA-THE-TIC and I'm not going to put myself in a position to get my ass kicked by a munchkin, if for no other reason than the fact that I can't do what I usually do when I'm losing at putt-putt, which is to stomp around swearing and throwing a club and almost taking out the head of the person I'm playing with. But I digress.) So we were playing some mini-golf and I hit this one ok shot and G says to me, "that was a pretty good shot, Bro."
In my head I asked, "Did the little man just call me bro? I mean, really?" but I didn't say anything to him.
Later on I took him to Red Robin. He was a little hesitant, since he has apparently not ever been to Red Robin before. But I tried to assure him by explaining that Red Robin actually exists for 6 year-olds like him. A milkshake later, he was singing the praises of the Robin, just like I knew he would. Then he hits me with it again. "This milkshake is excellent, Bro."
I couldn't let it pass this time. I said, "What did you just say?" and he answered, "Bro, this milkshake is awesome."
"Hey, um, G? Who says 'bro'?" And he replied, I shit you not,
"Everyone says 'bro'. Everyone at school. We all say it all the time. Like, 'come outside and play in the sandbox, bro'. And, 'I know bro, Darth Vader is my favorite Star Wars guy too.' You know, we all say it. But you know Ellie? She's the one who started it."
ARG. It is everything that is terrible about peer pressure. Forget just saying no to drugs. What is the worst that can happen? You alienate people in your life, start stealing from your parents or girlfriend, maybe end up dead or in rehab? There are worse things! Like ending up serving coffee from a hut in the middle of a parking lot on Foster, wearing a puka shell necklace and flip flops, not understanding the irony of the phrase, "thanks a latte."
I want more for G than that. A lot more. So I am trying to convince him to "just say no to bro." I'll let you know how the campaign goes. If it is successful, perhaps I can convince First Lady Michelle Obama or First Lady Cindy McCain to take it national. Maybe we could really turn things around for G's generation.
Damn that Ellie.