Kool Brother Rat

By Jon Sindell

Copyright 2007 Jon Sindell

In this story by the author of The Mighty Roman, first published in The Write Stuff, a thirteen–year–old younger brother searches for cool in the Wonder Years era.

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How cool, at thirteen, was my cool big brother, dubbed “Kool King Rat” by his cool-kid friends for his lucrative business selling Kool cigarettes behind the boys’ bathroom a la shrewd King Rat of the prison camp film? So cool that when he and his friends played department store ditch in the May Company, my bro had the brass to hide in a pallet of pillows near the basement loading dock where he was nabbed – though not before setting the all-time record for longest time hiding without being found, mind you – by a six-foot-four-inch security guard with a handlebar `stache and an Eastwood sneer who said these very words as he kicked my bro out with a pointed cowboy boot to the butt: “If you ever set foot in my shop again, I’ll kick your sweet ass back to Kalamazoo!” Though this was L.A. and no one knew where Kalamazoo was, “I’ll kick your sweet ass back to Kalamazoo!” became the catch-phrase for my cool big bro and his friends that year.

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