For my brother Steve’s birthday, I thought I’d post my favorite photo of the two of us. I knew I had the original in a box somewhere so I commenced searching. An hour later I found it (aha! I knew it was in there) but in the meantime, I was smiling and chortling and rolling my eyes at the various other things I stumbled upon. Here is one worth sharing.
If I ever need evidence to support my claim that I grew up in a family of weirdos, here is exhibit A. The Shopping List. My mom had taped this paper to the fridge (I notice that it was attached with strapping tape -- a reminder that certain things like regular masking tape, scissors, clean spoons, and apparently the ability to take anything seriously were hard to come by in my home). Mom started the list innocently enough with the words “vacuum bags” and then it all went downhill from there.
I can almost tell from the handwriting which items were contributed by which of my crazy 8 siblings (I only claim the musical notes and the rabbit food. They tell me I was adopted). Most of the items require little explanation if you’ve seen the films that defined our generation: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Star Trek, and Monty Python. A few others are inside family jokes made at the expense of, for example, a certain sibling who was infatuated with Harrison Ford and had recently been involved in a fender bender with a Ford Mustang sporting a $500 emerald green paint job. Some – like the Stella androids? – I still can’t figure out.
The parts that make me laugh the hardest are the unassuming little items like “bird seed” and “light bulbs” that were actually needed at the store. As if there were ANY hope of this list making it off the fridge and into a store in our lifetimes. The fact that she saved it speaks highly of my mother, who bred all these lunatics with patience and creativity. She deserves some kind of holiday in her honor. Oh, yeah. They’ve already got one of those.
“Bones you know I’m allergic to retineys!”
My Son, Luke
I’ll never join you! (followed by a “leap” and a line that falls to the bottom of the page where it says “Chewie! Get under him”)
A Hamster and a microwave
[some Chinese characters I can’t read.]
A fold up tent
The action in M*A*S*H* is intents.
freeze dried lizard skin
European swallow meat
a large wooden badger
essence of Gelfling
1 holy hand grenade
4 coconut cream pies!
(crash bang thunk)
coffee filters for filtering fuzzy orange juice
a purple elephant gun
Ford Mustang (with $500 emerald green paint job)
Tea and biscuits
No, not the biscuits!
The castle of AAAAAAaaaaah
No! Not the bore worms!
500 “Stella” androids
Breakfast cereals and lice and fruit bats and anchovies and orangutans
a speak and spell
tinfoil and a saw blade (ouch)
Old Spice aftershave
No! Not the Sea Breeze!
Fried Worms (with ketchup)
And here’s the photo I was looking for of me and my little brother Steve. Yes he is as weird as the rest of them but has managed to channel all his creativity into an amazing career in video game production. I admire the heck out of him for taking the heart-stoppingly brave leap into starting his own business and making it work. He is also as kind-hearted as they come, very smart, the father of 3 wonderful kids, the husband of a woman I love like one of my own sisters (only without the hair-pulling-fight history), an aficionado of card games galore, my very first and most loyal blog reader, and a walking Groundhog Day soundtrack. What more could I ask for in a brother? Happy Birthday Steve.
Don’t drive angry.