I Declare This a Blog Entry

My brother came and visited my us (my mom and I) yesterday.

Well, that's partially true. He did visit...but his main purpose for dropping by was to deposit that monstrosity of a mini-fridge I'm borrowing from his girlfriend.

It was quite enjoyable to see him, though the first half-hour was filled with discussion as to why my brother has, for the last four years, been billed for a credit card debt he isn't responsible for. Keith (my brother) is afraid that it is identity theft. I say it's a scam.

For instance, each "bill" looks entirely different from the others; each comes from a different bank. Secondly, Keith is "not authorized to receive" personal information about his card (activation dates and such)--something that the jerk-face at the other end of a threatening phone call told him before hanging up when Keith asked for his name. Lastly, Keith does not have a credit card, nor has he ever had one.

After mom listened to a deranged computerized voicemail on Keith's phone and promised to "do something about it," we ate a wonderfully delicious meal: turkey, mashed potatoes, roast, carrots, homemade bread, fresh fruit, rolls, cucumber and onions...there were even two types of gravy. "One for the turkey, and one for roast," my mom declared.

"What about the mashed potatoes?" I inquired.

"So sorry," she quipped. "I didn't have time to make three gravies."

"It just reminds me of that Friends episode when they are all spending Thanksgiving together and Monica attempts to make everyone their favorite type of potato."

"That's right," my mom remembered. "And then they get locked out and everything is ruined."

"Correct," I added. "'Potatoes are ruined. Potatoes are ruined. Potatoes are ruined,’" I quoted Monica.

Keith shook his head and handed me a plate. "ROLL," he said deeply, more of a statement than a question. I ripped one off nonetheless, beginning to fill my plate like the other two members of my family.

My mouth was watering before I even took my first bite of turkey, for my mother is a wonderful cook. In fact, she is--as I must boast--the best cook I know. And, no, I'm just saying that because she is my mother. She really is just that fantastic of a culinarian. (She can even read my internal clock and be able to tell precisely when I am hungry.)

When I was finished eating, I pushed my plate off to the left. My elbows found their way onto the table and I propped my chin up, my hands stretching up to my ears. "Thanks," I smirked.

"He-ey," Keith drawled, looking at me. "I didn't know you had dimples!"

I gave him what my mom calls my "what the hell--" face. "What?" I asked, looking back to my mom. "How do you not know? I've had them since I was born!"

Mom laughed as Keith answered. "No, I knew you had them. I just forgot."

Now it was my turn to giggle. "How did you forget such a famous quirk of mine?"

Instead of immediately answering, Keith poked his right index finger into my left 'divot.' "DIMP. LE," he articulated deeply.

Mom and I laughed a bit harder as Keith dug his finger even deeper into my dimple.

"Get your finger out of my facial crevice!"

A loud belch that stretched across four octaves was his answer.

Later, the three of us were in the living room. My mom was seated in the antique rocking chair while Keith and I were parked on the couch. I was flipping through the Sunday World Herald ads trying to find a bargain-priced futon. Keith sat to my right, reclining on three-fourths of the couch. He languidly turned through a K-Mart advertisement, meticulously analyzing each item.

"You need these! See?" He pointed at the bottom-left-hand corner of the second page. "Two for six-dollar file crates. You NEED these."

"I'm sure."

"No, but look! You could stock up on intimate apparel!"


"Seriously! They're starting at only $3.99!"

A couple minutes passed by quietly. I searched through the ShopKo and Target ads, still looking for some item that might appear necessary for college this year.

Keith broke the silence. "You sure you don’t need a blender?

"No, I'm good."

"It has fourteen different speeds..."

"I'm fine."

"How about three pounds of some really good chicken? Mmmm....chicken." He drooled like Homer Simpson.

"No, Keith," I giggled. "That's okay."

Each item held the same pattern: Keith would jokingly praise it, make up reasons for why I would need a trampoline or a sixteen-pound bag of cat food for college. I would repeatedly shoot him down, decline with a "No, I already have it," or "No thank you. I don't need it."

Finally he reached a $60, five-in-one air mattress. "THIS!" he said, excitedly pointing to a picture of a couch-like structure below a printed picture of a strangely-decked out tent. "You NEED this! It can be a twin double-high, a king-sized bed, even a sofa! See? And it's cheap!"

"Yes, and then I could build a fort around it using the pizza boxes and duct tape I told you about."

Mom, who had been bemusedly listening to us, laughed along with Keith. "Yeah," he said. "Make a nest in your castle and sleep." He clapped his hands to together, placed him by his ear, and began to snore.

A castle. "Yeah," I could use a moat," I mused.

"You could even put up a flag to declare it as your area," Keith said as he mimed poking a flag about the size of a straw into the ground. "Dawn's Bed."

Mom, by this time, was completely giddy with our antics. She leaned over in the rocking chair, her face buried in one of her hands. She shook her head in laughter.

I thought back to the air mattress. "It would pop, Keith."

"How?" he inquired.

"Well, I would probably have some enemies that would try to get in," I reasoned. "They would shoot arrows at my fort. Some would go over the walls and into the air mattress. And, well, you know..."

He nodded sadly. "True."

He casually flipped through the last of the glossy pages before tossing the ad back onto the coffee table. "How about I just buy you groceries?"


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