Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Children of a Rat Stabber

This is my brother Brian, one of the funniest humans walking the earth. He can imitate almost any animal, including a camel. It hurts my throat to try and imitate it. He also does a superb mosquito imitation.

We are the extroverted children of two introverts. How did this happen? I do not know. My mother used to say to Brian when he left the house, "For God's sake, act human."

"Don't encourage him," she would say to me and anyone else at the dinner table, and she'd get very irritated if you laughed. Meanwhile, Brian would be behind her, arms outstretched over her head like Frankenstein ready to kill her. If you were eating at the time, you were guaranteed to choke. My poor ex-husband helplessly incurred my mother's wrath because he couldn't stop.

Brian makes an entire football team out of his fingers, or a pair of ice skaters gracefully swirling about, or a lion. You can try this at home. Stick your middle finger out (upside down from the normal crude way) and put it through a potato chip, which will look remarkably like a mane. Your other four fingers, thumb included, make the four legs of the lion. Presto! And you can have one on each hand so they can kung fu fight!!

A lot of people try to imitate Brian's "bat." This is made simply by your thumb and pinky flapping as "wings" and ascending upward. It has to be accompanied by a "foo foo" sort of silent sound. Some animals can morph into each other with great ease, such as "hefferty Joe," a four-legged beast rather like the lion but without the potato chip, always with the middle finger leading the way as the "head." Hefferty Joe does a lot of sniffing and then flies away as the bat.

We never said we didn't need professional help.

My trips to Arkansas skyrocket in fun and plummet in productivity when I visit my brother and his wonderful wife Joyce. Brian didn't get to witness my father's mutilation of the rat during my recent Thanksgiving trip, but he was sorry to hear about it. He loves animals and is what my mother used to call "tender-hearted."

She was right about that.

Footnote to rat story: Clarissa, my dad's helper, said to him that he could have used a steak knife on it, which would have been sharper and might not have required two, as the screwdriver did. Dad nodded in approval at this suggestion, but then Clarissa told him she would not allow the steak knife back into the silverware drawer afterwards. It would have to be thrown out, she said. Oh no, Dad said, that's not necessary. It can be cauterized and returned to regular use.

Don't eat steak at his house.

It's a great life if you don't weaken (another saying of my mother's.

I've written three chapters of Dalliance Woman. It's emerging through the fog.

A bientot


At 9:19 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

Okay, I'm having trouble making a hole in my potato chip without breaking it...

At 11:34 PM , Blogger Becky said...

Keep working at it, SM.



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