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A Different Kind of Story

I'm all messed up. It's Saturday night and I'm typing. I'm not waiting for tomorrow, I'm not sure I'll be able to write. I know why I write this stuff, I like to make people laugh, but the truth is; no one likes to laugh more than me.

I like to think life is funny. so laugh at it. This week a couple really funny things happened. I wanted to tell you about them.

I wanted to tell the story of me spending the week in an extended stay motel near my construction job. The same extended stay motel without a on site fitness room. I'm preparing for my next "race", so this motel was going to be unacceptable. But then the motel manager informed me the motel had partnership with an exclusive health club a mile down the road.

I wanted you to know I went to that health club; looking like the least likely guy to be at an exclusive health club. I ran on a treadmill just like I knew what I was doing, wearing my plastic frocs for running shoes. I think it might have been funny to tell about how my cheap shoes caused me to slip on the treadmill and go shooting off the back of the treadmill like an internet video. (Except, thank God, I landed on my feet.) For some reason, the women to machine over didn't laugh, she just gave me a look without turning her head and kept running. I think she hated my shoes.

When this happened I couldn't wait to write about it. I'm not feeling it now.

I was going to tell the story about the senior citizen driving his BMW SUV (Wow, that's a bunch of letters) to the parking lot near my construction site. This guy was angry because we had barricades across the entrance to "his" parking lot, making it impossible to get to his doctor's appointment. I guess he didn't want to use the parking lot entrance the detour signs directed him to use. I couldn't wait to write about this guy walking across the construction site using (construction language) that would have made the president's supporters blush. When he jumped across an eleven foot deep, three feet wide trench, I thought here's the subject of my Sunday story. It got even better when one of the workers grabbed him to make sure he didn't fall in the trench and the old guy screamed, "Someone call the police, he is assaulting me!" I don't feel like telling the story.

I want to talk about my brother; my younger brother.

I don't think Larry reads these stories, but I'll bet he and I have discussed the contents and happenings of ninety percents of them. We've laughed a lot over the years, but I still remember the first time he made me cry.

It was the 4th of July, 1962. Larry was almost one year old. Our family was getting ready for a day at the park. Larry was asleep in his crib and I asked Mom if I could get Larry out of the crib. Mom said "Be careful." I lifted Larry over the railing and turned around. I didn't notice my blue stuffed poodle was at my feet. (Yes, I said a blue stuffed poodle.) I took a step and launched Larry into the air. Larry landed on the floor, unscathed. Me? I hit my head on the dresser.. The result, seven stitches. I cried.

Larry never gave me the shirt off his back, but he did one better. He gave me his car to take on my honeymoon. Elaine and I married with no money and really no plan. We decided to take off to California. I mentioned to Larry, I didn't want to drive my truck (My only transportation) all the way to California. Larry replied, "Take my Camaro!" My family really likes cars and for Larry to offer his, was amazing. I shed a tear over his generosity. (Hey, I'm emotional.)

On our honeymoon, in the Circus Circus parking lot in Las Vegas, I ran into a Cadillac with Larry's Camaro. Elaine and I were having our first (OK, it was an) argument. I got distracted and hit another car. My ordeal wasn't over, 30 miles west of Laramie, Wyoming a rock broke the front window. Did I mention my family really likes their cars ? While I was driving another brother's jeep one day, the rear view mirror vibrated off. My brother is still mad, Don't believe it, ask him. Larry never said a word about his Camaro. It makes me tear up just telling this story.

Larry made me emotional when he asked me to be the "best man" at his wedding. Not to the woman of his dreams, it was to the other woman. As a gift he gave me a pocket watch with Ol' No. 7 on the face. I think that might have been the most thoughtfull gift I have ever received from anyone other than Elaine or the kids. I think it surprised him how emotional I could get.

Larry made me cry one other time. I'm pretty sure he doesn't know I cried. Larry likes drag racing. He built a drag car in his spare time after work. If you've ever been around a drag car, you'll know what I'm talking about. When Larry started his car buildings shook. (Not kidding) There is a smell of fruit in the air. (The fuel is alcohol with a fruit smell added.) If you don't cover your ears, your entire head starts to pound.

One day Larry asked me if I wanted a ride. "Where?", I asked. "Let's take it down the street!" I knew it was highly illegal and we might go to jail. I said, "Let's do it." He opened the garage door and fired up the car. The entire building was shaking. I was thinking about watermelon.

We drove the car down to the end of the road in an unoccupied industrial park. Larry turned the car around and pointed it towards "home". When Larry hit the gas, the car's front wheels came off the ground. I was pinned to my seat. We were in a (construction language) rocket headed up the road. I was so full of adrenaline and emotion, I burst into tears. I don't think Larry noticed. He was calmly headed up the road to put the car away, before someone called the police. Larry, that was a thrill of a lifetime.

Friday morning, before work I received a phone call. Larry was in the hospital. His battle with COPD was coming to an end. Jesus needs someone to put the car in the garage.

You cannot love someone and not expect to laugh and cry. Larry, we did both. Thank you. I love you. God Bless!

Thanks for reading. Hug the ones you love.

Our crazy lives!


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