For a dollar I jumped at the chance. First he told me we must get the water out. Made sense to me. He insisted I stretch the cutoff water hose as tight as it would go. He placed one end in the tank and as calmly as he could muster, told me to suck hard as I can on the other end of the hose just long enough to begin the water siphoning. I did of course. Moments into this nasty business, I sucked a mother snail into my throat. My brother laughed so hard he fell against the fish tank almost bringing it crashing to the floor. I could have sworn he peed his pants watching me trying to hack up that nasty slimy snail running all around the living room arms flailing in the air like a mad woman.
Did I mention he once shot me in the butt with a BB-gun after he gave me a 5 second head start to run or that he tied me around the tree in the front yard with just my underwear on in three feet of snow and without shoes? All the result of tricks by the way. The snow was a double-dare. He dared me to run to the curb and back for more dough. When I reached out to the patio door to return, he slammed it in my face. When he finally let me in all while dying laughing, I insisted on the money he promised. When I would not give up asking, he tied me around the tree. My mother beat him for that. That's when I got my laugh.
The tricks that were played on me made me stronger indeed. I learned to see the various angles in people's motives. I learned that you must listen to both what they are telling you and what they are not telling you. I got it down to a simple rule. I ask myself, does this scenario even make sense? That usually helps me sniff out the motivation behind a thing. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
One last story. Once my same crazy brother made fish bait shaped like small cookie dough. It was convincingly persuasive all even and brown and round and glistening on that cookie sheet. All in even rows. Trouble is it was nothing of the sort. There were worms and crud and guts in them. He called me into the kitchen and said, "I made cookie dough but it is not ready yet." They are on the counter in these even rows. "Don't you dare touch them", he chided. This story does not end well. Suffice to say, he made me finish what I started.
Be happy I did not end on the story where he made me hold dog poo in my hand for an hour because I would not take my turn and clean it up. That trick really stank.
What does not kill you makes you wonder.