I just found out some bad news. My brother hates me.
So as not to embarrass him or air our family's dirty laundry, I won't identify him (Gabriel Santos of California). I'm better than that.
I'm not trying to say we were a perfect family. We had all the normal sibling rivalries and arguments, stuff like that, but to think that my own flesh and blood, who shall remain nameless (Gabriel Santos of California who lives in a brown house on a corner and drives a van) actually hates me?
That's a tough pill to swallow.
He hasn't actually come out and said he hates me. He's much too clever for that.
Instead he has taken a very sneaky route to show his hatred. He sent my son a drum set.
A very loud drum set.
With a cymbal.
And a big bass drum.
Yep, he hates me.
I guess I should have known this evilness was lurking under the surface. I have a photo taken years ago, I was around two and he was five, that shows the two of us sitting on a bench. He has a big smile on his face and it appears that he has his arm around my shoulder in a nice, brotherly embrace.
But in light of his recent actions involving my offspring and WMD's (Weapons of Music & Drums), I now know he was actually trying to strangle me.
I've discussed this betrayal with some friends and co-workers, and they all seem to believe this is some sort of payback for something bad I did as a child.
Of course they're way off base, as I was a perfect child, a virtual angel among boys, never doing anything that would invite this kind of behavior.
So why would anyone buy a sweet innocent child like my son something as horrible as a drum?
I've read that drums can be a gateway instrument. Some start innocently enough, pounding away on pails or oatmeal boxes, then the next thing you know they're roaming the streets in marching bands, wearing tall hats and braided jackets.
Then comes the hard stuff - tubas, pianos, xylophones, and, of course, electric guitars.
So why does he hate me? Why did he do this horrible, horrible thing to my family?
Why a drum? Why not a, I don't know, a box of crayons or finger paints?
How about a toy truck or something quiet like a BB gun?
But a drum set? A big, loud, keeps-me-up-at-night-and-wakes-me-up-early-in-the-morning drum set?
Yep - he hates me, and I don't know why.
Matt Santos is the reporter for the Chino Valley Review.