Mickey’s favorite wrestler was Rowdy Roddy Piper. I don’t know why. See, this was back in the 80s when wrestling really started its big comeback and people were just going nuts over it. Maybe they were rediscovering the beauty of the Atomic Back Breaker. Maybe they were mesmerized by the flying body slams of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka or they fell in love with the sense of American pride that Sgt. Slaughter symbolized. Not really sure. All’s I can tell you is Mickey loved him some Rowdy Roddy.

So of course one Christmas comes and doesn’t little Mickey get a Rowdy Roddy Piper doll all wrapped up pretty, waitin’ for him under the tree? Sure enough. But my problem is, Mickey’s a little too old for a doll—don’t matter that he insists I call it an “action figure”—he’s too old. Fifteen-year-old kid like that ought to be out shooting guns or under the hood of a car, getting ready for his sixteenth, you know?

Anyway, that’s why I had to beat the shit out of him that night. School was the next day, and I knew Mickey was intent on bringing that goddamn doll with him to school. I couldn’t allow that. Not being his elder brother. No way.

So I took him out to the K-mart, told him I was gonna get him a Sgt. Slaughter doll to go with Rowdy Roddy. I was only planning on swelling his face a little. Who knew brains could swell too?