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WE’RE NOT WRITE

Two Sibs Misusing Technology



By Cass Alexander and C.C. Edwards







PUBLISHED BY:

Cass Alexander and C.C. Edwards

via Smashwords



We’re Not Write

Two Sibs Misusing Technology

Copyright © 2017 by Cass Alexander and C.C. Edwards



All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.


This book contains mature content and is intended for adult readers.



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We would like to thank our family for helping us hone our coping mechanism of laughing at everything that makes us angry, sad, scared, uncomfortable, happy, confused—you get the picture. Through our familial interactions, we were able to master the art of a well-timed one-liner at a very early age. Okay, maybe “master” is a stretch, but we sure had a lot of practice.

We would especially like to thank our parents for loving us enough to forego a lawsuit over what we’ve written in this book. We hope you aren’t too disappointed in us. In general terms, that is. Not because of this book. This book is for sure disappointing to you.

TABLE OF CONTENTS


C.C.’s Brologue

Cass’s Preface

Chapter 1: Why, Yes, I Did Ask Your Mom for a Ball Massage

Chapter 2: Welcome Home, Dad Thinks You’re Gay

Chapter 3: The Prince of Darkness

Chapter 4: Death is Funny, and You Can, Too!

Chapter 5: Think of the Children

Chapter 6: Little Miss Clots-a-Lot

Chapter 7: Foodies

Chapter 8: Nice is My Middle Name

Chapter 9: Call Me When You Have No Class

Chapter 10: Pen Names Are Like Condoms

Chapter 11: Because I Can

Chapter 12: Shark Soup

Chapter 13: Random in Tandem

El Fin

Note from the Authors









“You two, get away from me.”

~Our Dad







C.C.’S BROLOGUE

Brologue. That’s clever, Bro. Rhymes with prologue, even though it’s probably a preface or a foreword.

But what do I know?

A lot. The answer is “a lot.” It wasn’t rhetorical, C.C.

~Cass



What good fortune it is to have been dealt a hand that includes a sibling who could not possibly be more the opposite of oneself, yet the gears in your heads operate in precisely the same manner.

Growing up, I spent my days and nights being washed in the blood of our more Southern, rural roots—drinking bourbon, embracing daily boot-wear, punching faces and being punched in my own face, racing my shitty pick-up truck against other shitty pick-up trucks, etc.

Cass spent hers as an aggressive scholar looking to get what we call “the fuck out” of Kentucky. I embraced my redneck roots. She embraced knowledge and changing her place in this world for the better.

I am fairly conservative, Sister is pretty liberal.

She lives in Indiana. I am as Kentucky as they come.

Her blood clots. Mine flows freely through my veins.

I am right. She is wrong.

My point is, simply, we are starkly opposite on the surface—but we shared a great and sometimes terrible childhood that caused our minds to be slightly warped in precisely the same way.

I can be in a virtual stadium full of humans, and at least a half a dozen times we will make eye contact and laugh at the same person without having need of saying what we are laughing at.

Are you stupid? Then we are probably laughing at you right now. We are, at core, the same. This makes it so we can discuss things like politics and not get angry with each other.

Sure, we often have to just let the conversation die awkwardly and agree to disagree. Which is fine, as I respect her more than anyone and I value her opinion. Disagreeing with her is a chance for me to hear a more educated opinion than my own.

It’s a chance to learn a different way of seeing things. A chance to hear that over-educated bitch spout leftist nonsense. The world needs us!

Somewhere around late adolescence we recognized in one another a kindred spirit who, through a shared maze of genetic make-up that could be described as a hillbilly bipolar double-helix, took on any hardship that life could throw at us with laughter.

There exists between us a shared love of the inappropriate, which she has passed on to her hell-born children and I have passed on to the two evil shits I call my own. These poor little bastards never had a chance—just like us. And we love it, because we all laugh together. Often, at the expense of those we love.

Does that make us bad people? No. The complete lack of respect and remorse does.

So, we are telling our digital story and hoping someone will love our stupidity and give us lots of money so that we can purchase on eBay Jennifer Grey’s original face and then take turns wearing it and killing people with a small sword. Possibly some small animals, as well. Nobody puts Baby’s face in a corner. Except Cass.

I don’t know if we will have the time for death-play, however, as we will likely be busy fending off lawsuits filed by relatives who know a portion of this work is absolutely about them.

There exists no ill intent here, but it’s like our Mom used to say—don’t blame C.C. Blame that rotten whore of a sister God dealt him.







Cass’s Preface

Cowboy Kids, circa 1980

Sibling. Your first best friend. Your first enemy. Your first chance to practice one-liners before taking them to market, to places like the playground, parties, jail, etc.

Your sibling is the first person to celebrate your successes and to commiserate in your failures. Well, sometimes they celebrate your failures but that’s part of the deal. It teaches you a lot about frustration—and how to throw a punch.

Your sibling often becomes the first target for that frustration or that punch. Also, sometimes, the first target for your new softball bat.

My mother says that last example isn’t what people would call normal. As if anyone in our family would know what normal means.

She also constantly tells us, “Y’all are not right.” Occasionally, this particular phrase is followed up with, “in the head.” I’ll point you to Exhibit A below.

One guess how we came up with the title for this publication.

That picture at the top of this Preface? The one of the uber-cute little cow-folk? That’s us, C.C. and Cass. Our mother dressed us like that. On purpose.

It turned out to be our favorite picture. That’s saying a lot since there are tons of pictures to choose from, and we really enjoy seeing ourselves, especially when we think we look good. Shallow much? Absolutely.

We’re sibs. Brother and sister. Oldest son, only daughter. There’s a younger sibling, but he’ll be in a different book. We’ll call it, “The Youngest Gets Everything.” People with little brothers or sisters will understand.

Whenever C.C. and I are together, we recount stories, old jokes, listen to music, and quote movies. We could probably communicate solely through movie quotes and music lyrics and laugh because, somehow, we’ve made them funny. Well, funny to us.

My brother and I pride ourselves on our sick-ass humor and ready wit. Some people call that talent. Okay, okay, nobody is calling it that. Well, nobody but us. We also call it survival skills. Maybe coping mechanisms?

The point is, our high levels of insecurities and twisted view of life have made us into what we are—super-funny (debatable), kind of weird (not-debatable), wanna-be intellectuals (spot-on description) who make fun of everything.

We haven’t lived in the same state in over twenty years, yet we find—no, we make the time to drop one-liner insults, to text memes, and to place phone calls and share our daily lives.

It’s like a game show to see who’s the funniest, but we’re the audience and the judges. Maybe that’s odd, but it’s way cheaper than therapy.

We have always utilized humor as our #1 coping and/or defense mechanism. So, watch out, because if you anger one of us, we’ll shred you with our vicious rhetoric.

Well, it would play out like that in our heads. Reality might be more of a pathetic display of throwing out any SAT words we have memorized in some sort of sanctimonious diatribe.

Or, we could end up in a dance-off. Either way, someone will enjoy watching. Either way, we win. Just picture one of us in a dance-off.

I’m laughing about it now and it’s merely a hypothetical that will most likely never come to fruition. And, yes, sanctimonious and diatribe are SAT words. Fruition should be part of your common vernacular. If it’s not, well, may God have mercy on your soul.

C.C. and I have the same sense of humor. Millie, sister-in-law extraordinaire—you’ll meet her later—says we’re twins born two years apart.

I believe that’s solely based on our penchant for laughing at all things inappropriate and the fact we always laugh at the same things. Even things that aren’t funny. Like people getting high and saying the word turnips. Oh, and we really like pants with elastic waistbands.

Aside from our humor, there aren’t a load of things we have in common. He likes the Cleveland Browns—yes, it’s the truth—and I think that’s stupid. He’s creative, and I think that’s stupid.

Kidding. I’m simply not creative. I like math and logic. C.C. will vouch for this. We had the same Algebra II teacher in high school, at the same time, when I was a sophomore and he was a senior. I got the school’s math award that year and he … passed Algebra II.

I called his creativity stupid because I tend to lash out when he’s better at something than I am. This is something we both do. Oh, look! Something in common.

Our differences have also led us to some political disagreements. C.C. leans right and I lean left. Though, that totally makes sense. He’s self-employed and I’m a teacher. Our daily narratives drastically influence our votes. And that’s okay.

Sometimes I think we choose counter-arguments just to be contrary. After all, you can’t debate if you’re on the same side. Mocking someone who totally agrees with you isn’t as fun as it should be.

I think both Nature and Nurture fostered a competitive streak that’s been going since the day I was born. When I think about how we’ve been in a sort of unhealthy sibling competition our entire lives, I get visions of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. I get all Tina-Turner-Aunty-Entity inside and want to yell, “Two men enter, one man leaves!”

As if there is really any competition … (that was a jab at you, Bro. I know you’re slow on the uptake, so I thought I’d be helpful and point it out).

The great thing about our relationship is we balance out one another. Nobody learns and grows as a person living in their own echo chamber. In fact, I don’t truly believe you are entitled to your opinion if you cannot argue the opposing side’s viewpoint. Ya hear that, Cable TV News? What about you, Career Politician?

It might feel like I’m heading off the rails, but bear with me. I’m attempting to make the point that we often, sometimes purposefully, butt heads, but we are always listening and trying to understand one another. It’s called empathy.

Brother might insult me, but, if I look closer, there’s usually some deeper message. Or, he just wants to make me laugh. Opposites really do pair well together. Well, at least in the realm of siblings. I’m not so sure about the parent/child dynamic. Raising a hellion when you aren’t one isn’t easy.

Growing up, C.C. was a wild child and I was not. C.C. ensured he made choices that required our parents to kick his ass. I did not do things to get my ass kicked.

This doesn’t mean growing up in Kentucky was a treat for me. This means I paid for his mistakes and unnecessary constrictions were placed on my social life. This resulted in me counting the days until high school graduation.

The second I could, I went off to college and never looked back. This absence of daily contact with my brother turned into phone conversations and, eventually, text messages and emails.

Yes, this shows our age. Text messaging and emailing weren’t things we could do when I was in high school. But, as soon as cell phone technology made that leap, we were texting on those adorable little candy bar phones.

It was terrible, having to push the same button to cycle through letters of the alphabet. But we did it because we had important things to say, imperative insults to deliver.

We now had a new way to communicate. I relished the idea of C.C. pulling his phone out to read my text, not knowing in advance there was an insult waiting for him in his pocket.

I wish we had kept every single one of those texts because, now, we like to revisit our past correspondence. We like it so much, we decided to share some of them with the world. Our insecurities demand we find people to validate our awesomeness. You’re welcome.

We’ve kept our theme, for this first book, limited to all correspondence via technology. Namely, texts. We’ll throw in some emails if I can find any. Unfortunately, we can only go back so far. Fortunately, we text often so we have material to choose from.

We have also recreated some of our favorite phone conversations. Yes, we remember things like that. It’s what we do. I’ll point you back to the movie quotes and song lyrics. Our long-term memories key in on that which is useless information to the general population, yet pure gold to the weirdos of the world.

At first, we weren’t sure how to write this thing. If there are two authors, how do we speak in the first person? Do we always say “we?” If we switch back and forth, it will read like a screenplay. Ooh, screenplay! Getting artistic with the dysfunction. I dig it.

But, if we keep writing “we,” suddenly we’re creepy conjoined twins that share one hemisphere of each of our brains. And we don’t like to share. Or we go all Gollum/Sméagol on you and then things just get weird.

Therefore, we’ve divided up the commentary, anecdotes, and texts. Writing in first person is the best. And by best, I mean the easiest.

Occasionally, one of the sibs will comment on another’s story or text. We can’t help ourselves. Insults are life. Also, I simply have to be right. All. The. Damn. Time. It’s a problem.

I don’t have a freaking clue how to utilize text message bubbles/boxes/callouts/etc. and correctly get them to convert properly into any of the eBook formats. Therefore, the majority of the texts are typed out and not in any sort of image. For a select few that were short, I was able to crop screenshots and insert them as images.

I know images of the texts would look great in print, but it takes longer, and we don’t have the time for that. Okay, okay, I probably have the time, but I’m not doing it. Sorry-not-sorry.

Ugh. Okay, I might do it, but for print only. You people are demanding. Try not to hold your breath—who knows if I’ll figure it out.

If you read this book and find it too disjointed or annoying for you to get through, then you will probably fail in life. Put on your big-girl panties and finish something for once.

I think I missed my calling as a motivational speaker …







1

Why, Yes, I Did Ask Your Mom for a Ball Massage (She Said No)



C.C.

It was the best of texts, it was the worst of texts…

Ummm, yeah. I accidentally sent this text to my good friend’s mother, someone I absolutely love and respect. And who happens to be a very Christian woman, unaccustomed to this sort of talk.

But she does give a great ball massage (totally kidding—4 out of 10 tops).

To be completely honest, I sent this as a joke to cheer up a buddy of mine who is a doctor and who was in the middle of a rough patch. You, of course, wouldn’t know this, but he would never say anything like this—or even think about seeing anyone he worked with in anything but a professional manner.

On top of that, I am probably the only person who could say something that fucked up to AJ and have him laugh about it, as opposed to setting the offender straight.

You can imagine my surprise when his mom replied as she did, and I immediately realized what I’d done. Actually, maybe you cannot.

When we were younger, I feared this woman. FEARED her. She has a look that can cut you to the bone. As the years went by, however, I came to know her in an entirely different light and I sincerely love and respect her—no matter how shitty her ball massages are.

My sister’s been on my ass about finishing this story, but I’m truly having difficulty reliving it. I’m still embarrassed—and I don’t get embarrassed. That’s how bad it was.



Cass

The phone call placed immediately after C.C. sent the text to AJ’s mom was epic. I don’t recall a time when I had ever heard such a level of alarm in his voice. He was at full-blown Defcon Level 1. Though, I will say, I think this thought—the notice of escalated tremor of terror in our voices when recounting bad decisions—often enough that we should really watch what we say and do on our phones.

This event was so traumatic for C.C., he had difficulty writing anything about it for this chapter. You see, AJ and his family do not interact with one another in this manner. His mom is someone C.C. really respects and is one of the few people on this planet around whom he bothers to temper his words.

He's known her for close to thirty years. She’s an upstanding, respected, and well-known member of our hometown community.

To help convey the level and feeling of wrongness this was, imagine yourself sending this text to your grandmother, your kid’s teacher, or perhaps the Queen of England. Then multiply that by a thousand. That’s the level of anxiety this situation brought to C.C.’s gut.

Let’s see if I can recreate the train wreck …



“Hello?” I answered, knowing it was C.C.

Ohmygawd, Cass! You won’t believe what I just did. I can’t … I really fucked up. I’m serious. It’s so bad.”

“Calm down and tell me what you did. Speak slowly and use small words.”

A giant exhale came through the phone. It was very un-C.C.-like.

“Well, I was trying to text AJ Reynolds. I thought I’d be funny and tell him to send some nurses over to massage my balls.”

“Okay …” I said, unsure what was so bad about that. This was typical C.C. behavior. AJ should be used to it by now. They’ve known each other for most of their lives and C.C. hasn’t changed much since the age of three.

“I accidentally sent it to Mrs. Reynolds.”

Cue the awkward silence. I couldn’t make sense of it in my head for a moment.

“You have got to be shitting me,” I finally stated.

“I did! And she replied!” C.C. yelled.

“I don’t believe you.” Nobody talks to Mrs. Reynolds like that. It’s like, a sin or something.

“I just sent you the screenshot.”

I quickly opened up my message app, desperate for confirmation he was speaking the truth. If it was, indeed, true, it would be one of C.C.’s biggest gaffes ever committed. I would treasure it always.

In seconds I had it open. There it was, in all its C.C.-is-for-sure-going-to-hell glory. My brother just asked the town’s nicest god-fearing woman for a ball massage. It. Was. Glorious. Glorious, I tell you!

I laughed and laughed. And then I laughed some more.

“Oh, Brother. You just made my year. Thank you for this gift.”

“Shut up. What am I going to do, Cass?”

“I don’t know, dude. At this point, I’m not sure you can fix it,” I replied, ever the helper.

“Gee. Thanks.”

“I’m here for you.”



Luckily, Mrs. Reynolds and her husband had a big laugh over it and C.C. was forgiven. I was a little disappointed it didn’t become some long, drawn-out thing, but those are the breaks with people who are into forgiving others. It’s a foreign concept to me.







2

Welcome Home,

Dad Thinks You’re Gay



C.C.

If you could be a fly on the wall in our parents’ home, you would undoubtedly hear three things per hour that would make you do a double take and question whether or not you just witnessed it in real life.

This was the case when my sister brought home her college roommate for a weekend and, while watching television, they sat on the couch and played with each other’s hair.

I’m going to switch the name up of the roommate, and say her name is Chris. It is not, but it’s a name that can roll masculine or feminine, which is what is pertinent to this particular story.

Now, I can still play this moment in my head because it struck me as odd when our Dad walked by and stopped, suddenly, looking at them messing with their hair. He then looked me directly in the eye, with an absolute seriousness, and gave me a look that was a blend of 40% who farted and 60% what-the-fuck am-I-seeing.

I didn’t dare laugh, as we had become masters at laughing on the inside at our father without showing it externally. We knew better than to tempt the beast.

You can see it in the eyes, like the times when you make eye contact and neither of you can control it anymore and erupt into laughter? That feeling right before that, where you’re about to lose it but you’re kinda holding it together—we could do that for extended periods as our father was not one to be laughed at.

He get angry. He get real angry. He-no-like-you-laugh at him. He scare you so bad you forget to use proper grammar. Which just made us want to do it even more.

I can say, with no small amount of certainty, that it crossed his mind from time to time to jump on us and lose his mind and fists in a buzz saw of Bitch-You-Bettah-Recognize, at least twenty or thirty times.

But then his eyes would soften, and he would laugh. You could say he was like having a pet tiger for a dad, one that really loves you, but whose eyes every now and then let you know he could and would kill and eat you if you fuck with him.

Alas, I sat there and laughed inside as he walked away, but it was tempered a bit by my being puzzled at what I had just witnessed. Dad was not above using humorous exaggeration in a reaction to something in order to, yeah, joke around, but also, yeah, not sound like such an asshole by saying something he knows is going to sound like only an asshole could be saying it.

So, I filed it away as funny and figured he was merely making a comment about something that maybe just didn’t look or sit right with him. In our house, there was an expected adherence to certain facets of the Christian country home mantra, and then a total lack of daily devotion or going to church, period. It was confusing as shit.

It seemed it was just one of those times when something didn’t compute with him. Although, I should tell you, as I mentioned, it kinda struck me as odd. I even ever so briefly entertained the question, “Did Dad just question my sister’s sexuality?”

No matter how bad I hoped that was the case (a lot), I just thought it so absurd that I paid no more mind to it.

Until …

Once upon a lazy Southern Sunday, it was customary for me to do absolutely not a damn thing. I was lying on the couch at Mom and Dad’s when they crossed paths in the living room.

One could just sniff out some shit going on in our house with little effort. It became obvious when Dad’s face went flush with seriousness, and he half whispered to Mom, “Do you think something funny is going on with Cass and Chris?”

She replied, “What do you mean?” and he said, “You know, like something funny is going on.”

He did not say this with a happy tone. Oh, far from it. This would be a full-on Kentucky tragedy, and it would be the greatest joy of my life at the time.

This is, perhaps, painting our father in a shade that is a little worse than maybe his reality. He is a thinking man, and we broach many subjects political.

It’s true, he can be the old man that watches too much Fox News. Yet, he can also be calm and rational, and he knows and sympathizes with what many LGBTQ folks must go through growing up, possibly having to live a lie in fear the truth might cost them the people they love. We have discussed these things and he gets it.

It’s just that the blood does not wash easily off of an old-school rural Southern Man. The roots run too deep, for better or worse. Cass being a lesbian would have been a shock to his Southern system.

It was likely difficult for him to bring it up to my mother. As for her reaction? It was perfection—meaning, highly entertaining. To me.

“What on Earth are you talking about?” she said.

But Dad didn’t reply because she was laughing so hard.

“She is not gay,” Mom said in a tone that made the statement sound more like, “You are fucking insane.”

“Did you see them on the damned couch?” he asked, arms flung up in exasperation. “They are grown. Grown women don’t sit around playing with each other’s hair like that.”

I believe she laughed again, called him a fool, and walked away. The details of the specifics are fuzzy, but the message is still crystal clear, and has been for some twenty years.

For about two hours that day, I sat there savoring it with a smile, as this one was going to be the best of them all. I would hang onto it and deliver it with impeccable timing.

However, being the impatient guy I am, I found I couldn’t wait. I held out as long as I could before a call was placed.

“So, how’s it going?” I asked. This one needed to be dropped in smooth, I couldn’t merely blurt it out. I’ll let Cass tell the rest. It’s so much better to hear it from her side.



Cass

During my tenure at Hanover College, I rarely felt the need to come home. My parents lived less than an hour away and we spoke almost daily. I never felt like I was missing out on anything on the homefront.

I did miss seeing my family, but it wasn’t like we were out of touch. In fact, my parents had a 1-800 number and I could call home anytime I wanted.

I didn’t know this wasn’t normal until Chris kindly pointed out most families wouldn’t even know that a 1-800 number was available to a private residence, much less consider paying for one.

Chris was from Indianapolis. And, while she didn’t grow up in an urban area of the city, her life had been far different than mine.

She once told me people in Indy didn’t drive out of their “areas” to hang out in other parts. I didn’t get that. To go anywhere in Oldham County, we had to drive. The closest movie theatre was a county away.

She thought my accent was great, especially when she found out I was from Oldham County, not Odem County. She was very interested in all my stories of life in Kentucky. So, one weekend, I asked if she wanted to visit my home.

The campus was usually dead on Friday nights during football season, so we picked a Friday and drove the crazy, curvy, two-lane highways that led to my parents’ front door.

Mom cooked dinner, and we sat and ate and had some laughs with my family. Afterwards, Chris and I got into my dad’s stash of alcohol. We spent the rest of the evening sipping wine and watching movies on the couch in the living room.

Chris and I both had relatively long hair. If you are a female, you are probably used to your friends, at some point in your life, playing with your hair. It’s a completely normal thing for girls to do. Apparently, I didn’t have enough friends over to the house in my younger years and my father was beside himself with our couch activity.

Let me set the scene for you so you can get a good visual. It was fall and getting close to opening season for some animal my father wanted to kill and eat. Whenever he knew he would be using his rifles or shotguns, he typically got them out and cleaned them.

Dad and my younger brother, Corey, set up shop on the floor of the living room. A blanket was covering the carpet and no less than four hunting rifles were spread out in near-perfect parallel lines.

Chris found this fascinating, and also a little weird. I thought nothing of it. It was a typical Friday night in the Edwards house. My Dad and Corey cleaning guns. C.C. on one sofa, waiting until late to go out for the night, and Chris and I on the other sofa.

Chris and I were half-lit from imbibing. I was getting sleepy. I wanted to lie down, but first I asked Chris to braid my hair.

I hated having my hair in my face, so it was almost always pulled up. But lying down with a ponytail isn’t very comfortable. I thought a French braid was a better option.

I shifted to sit between Chris’s legs, so she could get to my hair. First, she combed it so it was less tangled, much like my mother did my entire childhood.

As we sat like that, I felt my father’s stare. I glanced over, and he looked away, going back to cleaning and oiling the gun in his hand. I looked back to the television. A minute later, the same thing happened.

Each time my eyes went to his, he would look down. It was odd. My father doesn’t back down from a stare. He has the scariest stare I’ve ever seen. In fact, he’s killed men in three states just by looking at them—that’s a joke, people, but you catch my drift.

Thankfully, braiding hair doesn’t take very long. Once Chris tied off the bottom, I moved to lie down on the couch and I put my feet in Chris’s lap. Again, totally normal thing to do. Hell, my own brother would do this and ask me to massage his feet. This usually resulted in me pulling on his toes until he left me alone.

After the movie ended and I put in a new one to watch, I sat next to Chris because I wanted to play with her hair. It’s easier practicing up-dos on other people. Many girls enjoy doing exactly what I was doing.


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