Sure, when we glue together the backboard, she doesn’t even pretend it’s a democracy. It’s a full blown, totalitarian-regime dictatorship. I’m her sidekick. I don’t even get to touch the glue gun. I’m lucky if I’m allowed to feeb around with the masking tape while saying stuff like, “Gee willickers Science Fair Girl, this is one hell of a tough project!” And before we’re judged, she reminds me to make full eye contact and speak clearly.
But there are also some definite benefits to having my sister as a science fair partner.
For one thing, I can trust her to make the backboard pretty. The backboard will not only have complimentary colours, but it’ll be balanced with equally-sized pictures on either side. If I didn’t have her as a partner, my project would be easy to spot. It would be the one with all the tape showing.
Then there’s the fact that, if I was partners with someone who wasn’t a sibling, and they proposed a title that sucked, I would have to delicately inform them that although their title is great and everything, it might not quite apply to the project and convey the meaning of what we’re trying to communicate.
With my sister, all I have to say is, “No, that’s stupid.”
But best of all, if she gets too bossy, if her regime becomes too harsh, or she decides I’m not mature enough for the glue stick after I realize it looks kinda like a light saber if I roll it out all the way, all I have to say is, “Stop being mean and bossy, or I’m telling!”
BIO: For the past three years, Scott Dobson-Mitchell has been writing a weekly newspaper column, Scott’s View, for the Seaway News in Cornwall, Ontario. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org