"Being a big brother is tough work!"
Those were the words Emilio Estevez announced to the house as he wiped his forehead and walked through the sliding glass door leading into the kitchen.
"Whaaaaat?" said Emilio's mom.
Janet Estevez heard him say something, but never followed up, thinking if it were truly important, Emilio would have repeated it. Besides, she was occupied; this was June of 1971 and there was major news involving a family friend. One of Howard Hughes' DC-9s had run smack dab into a F-4 Phantom jet fighter somewhere just east of L.A. killing 50 people.
"So much for that Big Sky Theory..." Uncle Joe Estevez mumbled to himself.
Four days later, the U.S. would end its trade embargo against communist China in the midst of their fight against the North Vietnamese. Personal electronics would never be the same. Four minutes earlier, Emilio Estevez was beating his kid-brother Carlos while he was hog tied and strapped to the top rail of their swing set with cheap-itchy yellow rope. Charlie Sheen, like those little Chinamen, would never be the same.
"So much for that Domino Theory..." Uncle Joe didn't say that, though he probably should have.
Papa bear Martin Sheen had just finished filming his third picture, the satirical anti-war piece "Catch-22." When Emilio asked his father what "Catch-22" meant, Martin sighed, "It's a no-win situation."
"I thought you said there are only two types of people - winners and losers..." young Emilio was confused; it would not be the last time.
"No, well yeah, that's what I said and that's true. But, but look at our current situation with those monkey fuckers in Vietnam. Bunch of guys in black pajamas jumping out of holes - you don't know who's who! You going to shoot at all of em' Emilio? They don't wear name tags you know. Could ask who they are, but you think they speak English?" Martin had lost his train of thought and tried to sum it all up, "Lookit... It just means you're damned if you do damned if you don't."
Emilio was still confused. He was also nine years old and had recently acquired a fondness for torturing his younger brothers. It's not that he's an asshole - he's a real nice guy- he keeps his necked shaved and wears black socks. But this is not Coach Gordon Bombay were talking about, this is a nine-year old with two younger brothers and a real big set of teeth. There are no DUI convictions, no community service, no gold medals, and definitely no brothers on ice, skating on scholarship. We're talking big teeth on a rich kid who was small for his age. A grill worthy of a nickname.
If it wasn't for the maxillary central incisors getting so out of control, being called "Bucktooth" wouldn't have much meaning, or at least it wouldn't have the same meaning. Your dentist may call 'em E or F, or maybe 8 or 9 (you can do the math, it don't add up, then again dentists aren't the brightest of the bunch - the med school equivalent of P.E. teachers, perhaps). Charlie called them "Emilio's big toofs." But "Bucktooth" had plenty of meaning to Emilio – he even refused to watch the Little Rascals reruns because just hearing Buckwheat left a certain sting on him. Charlie loved Buckwheat, and loved to run around the house yelling "O-Tay! O-Tay! O-Tay!" This would of course only infuriate Emilio. One night after 30 minutes of receiving non-stop Indian burns to both forearms, Charlie decided "enough is enough, Emilio." (It was actually pretty cute the way he said it, sobbing with spit bubbles coming out his mouth and bright red forearms.)
Paleontologists and police use a tooth to identify fossils and the fire-charred; Charlie, tapping into the simple sadistic sibling emotions building from his constant ass whippings, decided that revenge would best be served upon Emilio's big toof!
Martin Sheen wasn't much of a handyman, when given the choice between drama and shop at Dayton Ohio's Chaminade High, he didn't think that was much of a choice. Hell, Martin even ran off to New York City at 18 to pursue a career on Broadway (after borrowing a hundred bucks from his priest, but that may be a whole other story). Yeah, Martin never made a door, let alone a picture frame, but he still had the tool box one of his nine brothers had given him when he married Janet. Charlie removed a hammer and nail from said tool box then hid them under his pillow. Later that night, Charlie snuck into Emilio's room, climbed carefully beside his brother's head, lined up the nail to Emilio's right deciduous maxillary central incisor... tooth E... number 8 – it would have been cool if Charlie had said "E for Emilio" right before bringing the hammer down, but Charlie was only five and lucky enough to make contact with the nail, let alone make a funny like that. The yelp exulted from Emilio's mouth was wet with blood, full of fear and woke up everyone (except Uncle Joe – but he lived in the basement, two stories down).
It was lost on Charlie that by knocking his big brother's tooth out he had actually done him a huge favor. The reconstructive surgery gave Emilio a new set of teeth and enough self-confidence to ditch the Sheen moniker and strike out on his own, taking his grandfather's name to the stage. That cranky Spaniard, Francisco Estevez would have been proud.
When filming that masterpiece of teen tragicomedy, Lucas, Charlie was asked by Winona Ryder from where he was gathering such inspiration. A rather pretentious question, this was Winona's first feature film and it seemed like the type of thing you say to another actor. Charlie replied that he was modeling "Cappie" after who he wanted Emilio to be growing up, but never was. That vulnerability got Charlie laid on the set for the first time. A few hours later, in true Morrisettian irony, Charlie found him self chasing and beating Corey Haim with his football helmet.
"Come here you monkey fucker!! It's no win situation Haim!! MONKEY FUCKER!!"
BTreotch is a chemist and artist from Tampa, FL. He is currently living in Antartica.
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