Never trust your big brother with a brick
During the last war, when i was about eight, i was walking through bomb-damaged streets with my brother, who was two years older than me. i spotted an air raid warden’s tin helmet, put it on my head and asked my brother how it could save someone’s life. Older brothers know everything, after all. ‘During an air raid, metal shrapnel falls from the sky and if it hits the helmet, it bounces off without causing injury,’ he told me. ‘When we get home, i’ll show you.’ He told me to stand against the house and went up three floors with a large brick. He leant out of a window and shouted down: ‘Put the helmet on and don’t move!’ The next moment, the brick hit the helmet — i’ve never felt pain like it. He came down and said: ‘OK?’ i told him no — it was awful. He said ‘That’s strange,’ and checked the helmet. ‘i think i know what happened. There’s supposed to be a layer of foam and straps inside.’ The pain was dreadful, but not as bad as finding out the idea that big brothers know everything is a fairy story. Brian V. Reynolds,
Herne Bay, Kent.