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Why Youngest Siblings Might Be Detroit's Best Hope

03/13/2014 12:21 EDT | Updated 05/13/2014 05:59 EDT

In the Winter of 2001 both of my older sisters were sick. One had weird nerve damage in her back (the nerve damage wasn't weird but she is) and the other was the hipster of Gluten intolerance (i.e. doctor's didn't know what gluten was so she just puked constantly) and I was a strange little 10-year-old whose mom had just bought her fake leather pants at Zellers for a Sonny and Cher costume she was putting together. So, you could say, it was a dark time in Jack family history.

Being the unhelpful freak I was I took it upon myself to put on a sort of variety show each night for my couch-ridden puke face sister, Emma. Which mostly consisted of me doing (in hindsight) highly sexual dances to the 2001 Grammy's compilation CD played from our five disk changer in our basement. This CD was phenomenal, it had N'sync's "Tearing up my Heart," whatever Eminem's first single was, and a weird Steely Dan song. The perfect soundtrack to an idiot sister's gyrating.

One fateful day I was donning my pleather Zellers pants and deep lounging to the sounds of either Macy Gray's "I Try" or Destiny's Child "Survivor" when my shoddily made Cherokee Kids pants ripped all the way along the crotch. It was my Sistine Chapel. I still to this day have never seen my sister laugh harder than this very moment. Sometimes even the mere mention of this incident can set her off. Not to say that I'm a regular Patch Adams but this case seems pretty compelling because for a brief moment in February of 2001 this frail, creepy, "I see dead people" looking, sick teenage girl laughed so hard at pleather pants that she forgot she was unable to keep water down. I'm gonna go ahead and call that a win.

Now here's where I change gears and weirdly bring Detroit into this touching tale. For those of you who know me personally and have hung out with me in the last six months you'll know that I'm in a pretty serious relationship with Detroit. I'm so immersed in my love for Detroit and its hard times that sister once said "God, you just love to love that city don't ya!" and she was right, I really do. Now you may ask, "Hannah, do you love Motown music?" Only if it's featured on The Big Chill soundtrack! "Hannah, do you prefer your motors to be general?" Nah, not really, my parents drive Volvos! "Hannah, Is your favourite childhood sitcom Home Improvement?" Hah! surely you jest! it's Sister,Sister. (I just googled Sister, Sister and it "apparently" also took place in Detroit, so that was kind of a moot point.)

I can sometimes have a sort of obsessive personality where once one thing sticks in my brain it's all I can talk about, read about, watch documentaries about, and try to casually but not at all casually bring up in conversation. The truth is I have a huge boner for underdog stories and Detroit is the biggest one of the last decade.

Now, just like that annoying 10-year-old, I still have no real helpful skills to help the people and or city of Detroit. I have no idea how to lower crime, create more jobs, or insure that the average arrival time of emergency services is less than 58 minutes. (That is the actual current arrival time of a cop in Detroit! You could order a pizza and it would get to a stabbing sooner than a cop!) That being said, maybe the city of Detroit could use a little laugh sesh!

There is something innately born to youngest siblings that gives us a) the need to be the centre of attention and b) the gift of deflection through laughter. So, yes, Detroit needs a tonne of help but maybe we should start by metaphorically dancing in pleather pants. Detroit needs to make a call for actors, writers, artists, comedians, photographers, to work on a sense of community through laughter, joy and creative expression! It's not a solution but it certainly wouldn't hurt. Detroit needs a younger sibling to make sure that they don't get swallowed up in their own sadness.

Since my sisters are all grown up now, maybe I should move on to Detroit.

K. Thanks. Bye!

-HJ

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