A year in moments #1 – the drainpipe and the eyebrow

My brother shouted down from the roof of the shed.

“Chuck the drainpipe up to me.”

We’d devised a game where he’d throw a marble (or some kind of ball, the memories are sketchy) through a piece of drainpipe from the top of the roof and I’d stand on the ground and try and catch it when it came out the bottom.

I have no idea where this game came from; kids have strange imaginations and boundless creativity. We liked climbing on things and my Dad always had random shit lying about the yard.

I can’t remember exactly what happened next. I think Matt dropped the drainpipe off the roof.

I picked it up. It was a bit unwieldy but I got it and gave it a good shove upwards towards him. It seemed to get stuck on something, so I gave it one last massive, all-my-8-year-old-strength push.

“Aaaarrrggggghhhhhhhhh!” An almighty scream came from the top of the roof. I had no idea what had happened, it just sounded like my brother was being murdered.

I didn’t look, I just ran as fast as I could to my Dad’s workshop to tell him something bad had happened, and then ran as fast as I could into the house to hide because I thought I was in big trouble.

What seemed like hours later, my Dad came into my bedroom and found me curled up in the bottom of my wardrobe, worried sick. I think I thought Matt fell off the roof or had broken a leg or something.

Turns out I’d managed to shove the drainpipe into his face, the rough edge slicing into his skin like a knife through butter, ripping his eyebrow open.

8 stitches.

30 years later he’s still got the scar.

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