Brain Burn

Brain Burn

A Story by texasjane

The making of a family giggle.

I just finished off a pint of ice cream. Suddenly, I realized I had eaten it a bit too fast and the brain burn that followed revealed a giggle I had not had in many, many years. I started laughing as the memory came to the surface and fell off the bed. I grabbed the TV tray as I went down and brought all its contents down on top of me. I was still laughing as I got up, farted twice, and made my way to the bathroom. I knew it was too late to try and save the little lunch I had on the tray and decided the dogs would do a better job of cleaning it up than I would.

While they are doing that let me explain. I used to love to listen to my grandmother's phone conversations. Many times she would get to laughing and it made her tummy jiggle. I loved to watch her laugh. This one particular phone conversation had given me (I thought) a secret to the universe. “I don't understand how anyone could be so stupid. Men, they keep their brains in their pants.” She looks at me sitting in the hall listening to her conversation and says, “Men, sit on their brains.”

This revolution explained a lot. At the age of seven, I now understood what it was all about. I had heard that little boys were full of snails and puppy dog tails and little girls were full of spice and everything nice. I had seen a little boy without his clothes on and understood they had a puppy dog tail for sure. But to learn, it was also where they kept their brains. Poor dears.

Then she said, “When God was passing out brains, the men thought he said pain and ask for as little as possible. They spend their entire lives looking for that missing Chromosome.” I stared at my grandmother and watched as her face turned red. She suddenly realized I had overheard her outburst. The look on my face told her she had confused me and scared me a little.

“You, Okay?” The red in her face started to fade as a warm smile replaced the lips that had been pressed together. She did that when she was angry. I learned more about the problem after my mom got home from work.

Grandmother was in the middle of a “homemade ice cream” contest at a county fair coming up soon. She had prepared a very special recipe for a butter pecan that was really very good. We were all going to try it after dinner that very night. She had made the mistake of telling her older sister about it. Lilly, or so I remember, could never keep a secret. Lilly had told her husband about the recipe. He ran the county newspaper. He had decided to publish it in the paper. He did not ask and no one knew about it until grandmother read her wonderful discovery in the paper.

The contest was four days away. She was going to have to come up with a new flavor in four days. She was very upset about the whole thing. She was not sure if she was more angry at Lilly or her brother-in-law. She decided it was the brother-in-law. He knew about the contest because the paper was one of the sponsors. He just did not seem to think it was a big secret. The lady who had won the contest for several years would now have access to her new masterpiece.

The entire situation had been discussed in detail during dinner that evening. I have to admit... I kind of rushed through my dinner. I really wanted some of the ice cream I had helped in making. I had gotten to turn the handle a few times. I knew it was going to be great.

The time had come. Grandmother dished up each bowl with one big scoop. I was sitting on my daddy's lap as he got a big spoon full of the icy delight. His face showed him enjoying the flavor and then grabbing his head. He yelled, “Brain burn”.

I instantly jumped off his lap. “I am so sorry daddy, I did not mean to be sitting on your brains.” I jumped so quickly it caught him off guard and he too jumped as my foot landed squarely in his crotch. Now, he is holding both his head and his crotch and trying to walk with his knees together. I felt so badly. He started to sit back down... I screamed... not on your brains, please.”

All three adults started laughing. I had no idea what was so funny then.  Daddy thought he would save the day, "May I make a suggestion?  Why not throw some of your wonderful apple cinnimon preserves in with it.  It won a blue ribbon last year."  Suddenly, grandmother grinned really big.  "Yes."  She gave Daddy a big hug and said, "And I thought you men did not have a brain in your head."

I quickly corrected her.  "It is in their pants... remember?"

Grandmother did not realize this memory would have a lasting effect on me.  I never sat on Santa's lap again. I always stood when I spoke to him.

Grandmother was always bragging about how smart my Daddy was.  He was smart enough to marry my mommy.  I did not realize it then but my "independent woman" training had already started.  How many times over the years had I had to depend upon myself?  I had learned to love my spouse for the wonderful person they were and that it was not their job to make me happy.  I was the only one who could do that.  It is up to each person, man or woman, to create their own happiness.  If they keep waiting for it or waiting for someone else to give it to them.... they will really miss out or it will be short lived.

The term brain burn never had quiet the same meaning to me. As I sit here nursing the end of my latest brain burn... I again started laughing and thought it might be worth sharing.

And then another memory came floating to the surface:

It was about ten o'clock at night.  My daddy had been working late.  He was a gemologist and diamond expert.  He was quiet often called in to appraise stones from private collections as well as corporations like jewelry stores.  He always had some industrial grade diamonds in his pockets.  Each one was cut with a different cut.  He used them to educate those he was appraising for as well as stone cutters he constantly worked with.  Daddy also came home with some very large collections.  We had become used to the routine when he came home.  He carried a pistol in his back pocket just as a precaution.  We all had to sit very still until Daddy came in and went and put his pistol and his inventory into the safe and came back into the room.  Then we could run and hug him.

I am sure Daddy being deaf contributed to the problems we were in store for.  He did not hear the man pull in behind him on the driveway.  Nor did he hear him get out of his car or follow him up onto the porch.Daddy could hear with his hearing aid on but most the time he read lips so did not need it at home as much.  He had already pulled the ear pieces out of his ears and they were dangling from wires that led to the little box inside his shirt.  The confusion that followed would be explained for many years to prove Grandmother was almost always right.

My mother once described the evening as so confusing she was ready to put Daddy out and go to bed with the cat.  Everything happened at once.

My mother, my grandmother and I were all in the front living room watching TV.  Mother and I were in one corner opposite to the front door.  Mother was in a chair and I was on the floor rubbing her feet.  Grandmother was on the sofa on the opposite side of the room and to the left of the front door.  We were actually expecting Daddy to come home the next morning so were all surprised when he came through the door.

A man who had followed him home pushed Daddy through the rest of the doorway which made Daddy trip as he grabbed his pistol.  The key chain was attached to a belt loop and the pistol got caught on the trigger.  The gun fired.  The bullet when through my Daddy's bottom down his leg and into the bottom of the intruder who was now on the floor.  He had lost his balance when pushing my Daddy which resulted in getting stuck on the key which was still in the door.  I screamed my head off.  My mother screamed, my grandmother got mad.  She got up... all 4'11" was shouting at the intruder, "You Son of a Siberian Sea Cook; What the Hell do you think you are doing?"

I saw the blood.  I scream, "Daddy's brains are coming out.  He shot his brains out.  Daddy, why did you shoot your brains out?"  The man really looked at me like I had lost my mind.  I looked at him and said, "He shot yours out with the same bullet."  My mother, ran over to Daddy, and grabbed the phone.  She joined my grandmother in anger as she called the police.

The man started to get up and run back out the still open door but his shoes slipped on the puddle of blood now on the floor.  He lands on his knee, yells in pain and grabs his bottom.  My Daddy had hit his head on the fireplace and was a little foggy.  I was so afraid his brains were leaking out.  Both men were bleeding.  What followed was most confusing.

The man still had this hand up like it was a pistol.  Grandmother, said "Why don't you just blow on it and put it away, before it goes off."  The man looked at his hand and realized the finger he had put in my daddy's back was still pointing.  He immediately put it down.  He moaned and looked up at my grandmother as she began to unleash her Irish.  "What do you think you are doing?"

"I was going to push the old geezer down and grab the diamonds and take off.  What do ya' think, lady?"  The man made a bad choice smarting off to my grandmother.  She stood over him, all 4' 11" and she said, "Well, that plan has turned into a real pain in the a.."

"Mother."  My mother said.  Grandmother glanced over to see me listening to every word.  I was wondering if grandmother was going to make him go out and pick out a switch.  The man was bleeding all over, just like Daddy.  He started to say something to Grandmother, "Hay, Lady... "  Grandmother stormed off to the front bedroom.  She came back in just a few seconds with a pearl handled revolver.  The man let go of his bottom and held up both hands.  "Please, Lady... You gonna shoot me?"

"No, I just want you to see who you are dealing with.  This is the gun my mother used to carry in her garter.  I am not some wall flower ready to let you harm one hair on ANYONE in my family.  The guy started crying.  Now, my angry grandmother went into the front bedroom again.  When she came back the gun was gone and she brought a small pillow for the guy's head.  She patted his head once he lowered it on the pillow.  Then she asked, "Does your mother know what you do for a living?"The shame came over the man's face.  "What is her phone number?"  I am no longer scared but I am really beginning to worry about seeing someone's brains come out any minute.Grandmother calls the guys mother.  She brings him the phone after she tells her what her son has been doing.  About that time the police show up.

The police arrived and were astonished at what they walked into.  My grandmother had used a robe-tie to tie the hands of the intruder and given him a pillow for his head.  He kept apologizing for all the problems and for hurting Daddy.  The last thing he expected was to get shot in the bottom.  All he wanted were some diamonds.  He had followed Daddy home without thinking there may be a family there.  Grandmother shook her head.  "It is supposed to be two birds with one stone not two butts with one bullet."  Grandmother as usual was trying to see the funny side of it all.  She had been telling my Daddy for months to get rid of the gun because he would get hurt.  Daddy assured her he knew how to handle a gun.  At this point we no longer believed him.

When the police came through the door I shouted, "Daddy shot his brains out!!"  Daddy's head had cleared a bit but he had a very nasty bump on his head.  The pistol had been turned over to the police.  I saw all the blood on the floor where Daddy had been laying and just kept saying, "Daddy, shot his brains out."  Daddy started laughing.  The police man was so surprised.  "Why are you laughing?"  He said.  "What can I say?  I shot my brains out."  He started laughing again.  The officer scratched his head and said, "I have got to find out what is so funny.  Do you mind if I go with you in the ambulance?"  He did too.  Two other officers stayed and got statements from the rest of us.  I still remember hearing Daddy laughing as they loaded him in the ambulance.  The wound made it difficult for Daddy to sit for a while.  He had stitches.  The intruder had to have the bullet removed.  None of the wounds were critical.

Later that night after Daddy had gotten his two holes stitched up and everyone was home.  After all the lights were out and the house was quiet.  I heard grandmother quietly crying under her covers.  Like always, she never went to pieces until the crisis was over.  She was still crying when I fell asleep.

Daddy never again carried a pistol not even in his back pocket.  From that point on he shipped all inventories he was responsible for through insured carriers.

It took some convincing but my grandmother and mother finally convinced me that the blood had nothing to do with the lose of my father's brains.  I was so glad to learn my Daddy's brains were in his head and not in his bottom.  I was still not sure everyone was telling me the whole story so I  remained cautious when sitting on his lap.

The trial was interesting.  The intruder was ask if he had any remorse for what he had attempted to do?  He looked straight at my grandmother.  "Yes, but it was not from getting shot in the butt.  It was because that little woman right there (he pointed to grandmother) shot me in the heart with some good common sense.  I will serve what ever time I have coming but I will never again try to take something that not mine.  Believe me judge, I am more afraid of that little Irish woman than I am of a bullet.  She found out and called my mother.  Yes, judge I have a lot of remorse.  I am truly sorry."

Grandmother nodded with a sweet smile.  Patted the hand of a woman sitting next to her who also smiled and nodded.  When ever my grandmother told this story to anyone she says it is the day her son in law shot his brains out.  It became a family giggle.

© 2021 texasjane

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Added on June 2, 2021
Last Updated on June 2, 2021
Tags: Family, Ice Cream, Humor



Hawkins, TX

I a retired Texas widow. I live alone with two dogs. I love to look for the humor in almost everything. I like to pass along a giggle when I can. Wisdom is also fun to pass along. I like to pro.. more..

My Hamlet My Hamlet

A Story by texasjane