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March 29, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Twister sister


“Hold still, I can’t hit you while you’re moving.”

There is some satisfaction to be had in fighting with one’s siblings. There is even more in retelling stories of your little victories, with no effort to hide the smirk dripping with schadenfreude. Still, one day the shocking, all-true realisation hits you; you’re adults now. Is maiming your sister for the sake of Complete Remote Control Ownership still acceptable?

Last Friday, a 20-year-old woman faced a New South Wales Supreme Court charged with the manslaughter of her 18-year-old sister. Why, you ask? Well, apparently the two worked themselves into a heated brawl over a pair of hair straighteners. After learning of the attack one night last December, I awoke the following morning to find my 18-year-old sister religiously straightening her blonde hair. In a moment of panic, I quietly inquired as to whether Atticus would kill me over a hair straightener. Silence. Slowly, she turned and said, “Is it a GHD?”

Atticus and I actually get on quite well. Most of the time… I like to think so. Honestly, it’s up for debate. As a younger child, I revelled in the fact I had three inches on the tiny blonde. Now, she has four inches on me. You can see our relationship has improved considerably. But my conquests over her remain numerous. She has lost two front teeth in my presence (one tooth I’ll admit, the second is debateable), and when she broke her foot in the frozen vege section of Woolworths, I wet my pants laughing.

So, it should come as no shock that a little part of my unconscious self is devoted to the impending wrath of Atticus. I wonder how it would end, how she would finally snuff the bitch. Atticus is convinced she is Jedi, maybe I’ll go by Force Choke. But her options are endless. Last week a woman in the United States used the lid of a toilet tank to assault her sister. Her charming mug shot only sought to remind me that anything and everything in my home could be used to end my life in what would look like a tragic accident. I’m a renowned klutz; the notion I misjudged the distance between myself and a sharp, pointy object isn’t too farfetched.

But we’re adults now. Silly displays of aggression between siblings are few and far between. Thankfully, whenever Atticus and I get out of control, there is a mediator on hand. Always the diplomat, Mrs Bennet acts as a liaison between my sister and I during our spectacular displays of sibling rivalry. As she (morbidly) puts it, “One day, I will be dead. And you will have no one except your sister.” While her faith in my social skills never ceases to amaze me, I can’t help but seek to correct her:

“Once upon a time, in a land across the Tasman, there lived two sisters with one hair straightener…”


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