1. How to Be a Smartass and Get Away With It...Most of the Time - I had the good fortune of being several years younger than Greg, meaning I was able to closely observe his snarky remarks and the effect they had on my parents...and consequently, his ass. I saw many a wooden spoon broken over his backside, but you need not fear that he was
2. Watch Out for Line Drives - All four of us started playing baseball/softball the same year. Greg's team had the first game of the season. He went out to left field, glove in hand, embarrassingly boxy hat atop his head, threw down a little old fashioned chatter...and then BAM. He was dead.
(Pause for dramatic effect.)
Okay he wasn't really dead. But he looked it. And within a few hours, the most magnificent baseball-shaped bruise had blossomed on the left side of his torso, complete with visible stitching marks and everything.
And he never played baseball again. THE END.
3. Milk: It Does a Brain Good - Wanna know about Greg's childhood? Then know about milk. He was the milk-drinkinest kid I've ever come across...and he grew up to get a 1460 on his SATs. Coincidence? Probably.
4. Reading Is Cool - Especially Harry Potter. (I feel like there may have been more to this lesson than I absorbed...)
5. The Book Is Always Better Than the Movie - A side effect of this lesson is that I've learned to watch the movie first so I never have to go through the hassle of being disappointed that they left out my favorite scene.
6. There Is Life After High School - Let me tell you something: If high school sucks, hold out for college. You might just wake up one day and discover that you have more friends than your three moderately-popular sisters combined!
7. Video Games Are Not Just For Boys - Two words: Animal. Crossing.
8. Laugh At Your Own Jokes - Really Hard - And People Will Probably Laugh With You - Or you'll just seem like a jolly, fun-loving guy. Or a douche. But definitely one of the three.
9. You Don't Have to Do Homework If You're Smarter Than Everyone - So just imagine it's your junior year, first day of Pre-Cal. You're painfully aware of how bad you suck at math. Your teacher, Mrs. Murack, is discussing the importance of homework to your overall grade. She tells the class that she's only had one student in her entire teaching career who didn't turn in a single homework assignment and still got a passing grade. Then she looks down at her attendance sheet, laughs, and says, "Well, it seems his sister is in this very room!" You see the look on her face that says she's expecting similar results from you. But as time goes on and your grades prove to be less-than-mediocre, she first suspects that you must have been adopted and then eventually forgets your name altogether. Just one reason why...
10. I Will Never Be Known as "The Smart One" - No matter how hard I try. If only #9 had been an isolated incident, maybe my self esteem wouldn't be in the sad state it is today. But no; every teacher who'd had Greg before me expected in vain that I might also be a supergenius. I learned early enough that I was an idiot in comparison. In kindergarten when it was discovered I was at a 5th grade reading level, my teachers fondly remembered how by the time he started school, Greg had already surpassed the 12th grade level. In the first grade, the suggestion that maybe I should skip a grade was eclipsed by the offer Greg had received a few years previously to skip two grades. Then there was Mrs. Barber in the second grade with her stories of catching Greg reading comic books inside his textbook and his somehow still managing to correctly answer questions about the reading assignment. (After that I started requesting teachers who had never had any of my siblings, and things improved.)
Gorsk - I love you and I hope your birthday is awesome.
I probably won't always hold a grudge against you for being so damn smart.