Flash forward to 2011: A movie is released called "Despicable Me" in which a super villain sees a young child drop his ice cream cone. As the child bursts into tears, the villain stops and makes him a balloon wiener dog, at which point the child stops crying. Then said super villain pulls out a pin and pops the child's balloon.
"What is the point of these stories?" you may be asking yourself. Let me clarify: My brother Tim has been staying with us for the last two months. Throughout his life he has been the proud owner of many nicknames - The Weasel, Rat-a-Tim, The Parts Child, etc... He is now the proud owner of his newest nickname: Despicable Tim. Let me clarify:
It all began when my cousin Tom was still here. After one day of hard labor we were wrapping things up and heading home. At this point a minor wrestling match broke out between Tom and Despicable Tim. Knowing such a clash of titans could last for days - weeks even - and since I was tired and ready to go home, I declared that whichever person's knee, hand or arm touched the ground first would be the loser. Tom, being exceptionally strong and fleet of foot instantly began to lay the smack down on Despicable Tim. Tim's cunning, however, won the day. Tom's foot slipped out from under him, sending his knee crashing to the ground and cutting a deep gash right over his kneecap. Despicable Tim - 1, Society - 0.
The next instance occurred near Memorial Day (which isn't celebrated in South Africa, oddly enough). Our whole group went to a nearby park to play bocce ball. After everyone else left, Despicable Tim, Taylor, Dwayne Jakuja and I stayed at the park to toss the football around. Eventually it evolved into a little game of "500" in which Taylor threw the ball and Despicable Tim and I tried to keep the other from catching it. Normally Taylor threw high-arching lobs, with an occasional line drive tossed in to keep us on our toes. On the specific instance in question Taylor threw the mini football as fast, straight and hard as he could. Despicable Tim was slightly in front of me and about to catch the ball. I reached forward and stuck my arm straight out, hoping to deflect the ball away from him with my outstretched hand. At the precise moment the ball was to arrive, Despicable Tim grabbed my arm with both hands and pulled down, leaving my defenseless face to catch the ball. Lacking opposable thumbs on my nose for catching a ball, I was left to drop to the ground and burst into the pain-induced tears that come only from a direct blow to the nose as the blood began to flow. Despicable Tim - 2, Society - 0.
A third instance occurred on a Sunday afternoon. Taylor and Despicable Tim began a wrestling match of their own. This time no blood was involved, but Taylor nearly passed out. Apparently he hadn't been there to witness Tom's knee injury. Despicable Tim - 3, Society - 0.
On another and completely separate occasion we were in Thabong picking up people from our church in order to make a group visit to the children's ward at the hospital. As we waited for the adults to arrive a crowd of children began to gather. WWE (professional "wrestling") is extremely popular here. These children began to torment Despicable Tim and soon an amateur professional wrestling match broke out. Despicable Tim played Andre the Giant, fighting off a half-dozen children at once. Had these children but known the despicableness that Tim is capable of they would gladly have escaped with just their lives. Alas, in the midst of a body slam Despicable Tim faceplanted one of the young boys directly into the turf. Fortunately, after a brief timeout accompanied by tears and crying, this boy returned to the fracas, sans his street cred and dignity. Despicable Tim - 4, Society - 0.
The fifth and most severe injury sustained by the victims of Despicable Tim occurred during our Fifth of July celebration (the Fourth was rainy and cold). A tarp covering some important construction materials was blowing away. As Taylor agreed to chase down the tarp Despicable Tim challenged him to a race. Midway through the race Despicable Tim heard Taylor say "My legs are stiff from sitting so long." As Tim turns to respond he sees Taylor stumble headlong. On his descent Taylor had the presence of mind to attempt a tuck-and-roll. Regrettably, it was a fraction of a second late and Taylor crashed to the ground, landing squarely on his shoulder. He instantly knew something was wrong, as there was a large bump protruding from his collarbone region, a bump that hadn't been there a moment before. To get the full explanation, I insist you read Taylor's own account on his blog: thircock.blogspot.com Despicable Tim - 5, Society - 0.
Not content with inflicting physical injury, Despicable Tim proceeds to hit for the cycle, inflicting emotional damage as well. Let me clarify: One day last week my sister Rosina and Despicable Tim spent the day at the local children's ward, playing with the children, reading to them, and in general attempting to make their day brighter. Some of these children have been living there for over a year now, so I'm certain that visitors who come only to play with them are a welcome experience. Well, Rosina initiated a game of Keep the Balloon Off the Floor wherein you attempt to keep a balloon off the floor. In Despicable Tim's defense (which would be the same as playing devil's advocate, I guess), the duration of this game had apparently gone on for quite some time and several of the children seemed to tire of it. Despicable Tim, with his misplaced sense of chivalry, decides he will save the children from Rosina's despotic demands that they enjoy themselves. At which point he takes out his pocketknife and punctures the balloon. I'm not sure if you've ever played Keep the Balloon Off the Floor, but I can assure you the game is much more difficult and significantly less enjoyable if the balloon is deflated...or in this specific case, deflated and in many pieces. Despicable Tim - 6, Society - 0.
I close this account by relating an anecdote from Michelle, my brother Sam's finance. Let me clarify: She said "When I first met your family I wondered why everyone was so mean to Tim. Then I hung out with him once and I understand." Thus concludes the sad saga of how Timothy came to be known as Despicable Tim ("concludes" if we're lucky and assuming he doesn't injure anyone else throughout the remaining duration of his stay).