Friday, May 06, 2005

About My Brother ...

Forgive the personal tone of this entry, but indulge me a brief moment to address something that has been bothering me for some time now.

My brother can be pretty friggin' weird.

Now, mind you, this is a very, very smart guy. Decorum prohibits my revealing his profession, but suffice it to say he has a big brain and is paid to use it.

It was a few months ago that, during a family get-together), my brother turned up his nose at an apple pie and pecan pie that someone had been kind enough to bring. Why? I asked.

He went on to explain that he hates pecan pie and apple pie. He hates them so much, in fact -- and this part he added with a baffling trace of pride in his voice -- that he had never tried them in his entire life.

Now, this is a guy already notorious in my family for a number of, well, quirks.

He has an obsessive dislike of beans, at least in their pre-mashed form (something about the texture, he says). At restaurants, he cannot order soup without getting repeated assurance from the suddenly-on-the-defensive waitperson that no wayward bean will find its way into the pristine broth. He has even refused to shop at L.L. Bean because the name is so ... so ... gross.

He is an enthusiastic devotee of "Law & Order" in all its various forms and incarnations, so much so that he (and this is according to his wife) jumps up from the sofa and does an original Law & Order Dance once the theme music kicks in. At one family function, in fact, my sister-in-law coerced my brother to perform his jig, which bore a striking resemblance to the gyrations of someone needing to go to the bathroom really, really badly.

When we were growing up, we had separate rooms but shared a bathroom. He is seven years older than me, and so I was 10 when he was in high school. It was during those years I had to hear him singing in the shower each morning, and always, always one of two songs: Mouth & MacNeal's "How Do You Do?" or Helen Reddy's "Delta Dawn." The first one, belted out at 7 a.m. each morning, was particularly traumatizing: "How do you do? / Say huh? / And nah, nah nah, nah nah nah nah ..." The latter song was just depressing, and likely shaped my views of human mortality.

But a month ago, his eccentricity reached a new limit, or nadir, with this business about despising pie he had never tried.

That is beyond eccentric. It's just plain wrong.

Ethan, I implore you -- I beg you -- to heed the words of Eleanor Roosevelt.

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face," she said, presumably before her death. "You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."

Try the friggin' pie.


At 8:53 AM, Blogger LilRed said...

Wow. Your brother sounds a lot like, well, me. Maybe we were separated at birth.

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Ceres said...

How could you not love apple pie? That is so unAmerican.

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Marcia Brady said...

That sounds like my brother who used to ask me and all my high school friends if we wanted some gefilte fish. Like they were M & M's or something. "You guys want some Gefilte Fish?"

At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chase - Listen, and listen well. I don't WANT him eating the pie. I want to eat the pie - or at least part of it, and that simply won't happen if your brother ever develops a taste for them

Given the way he DOES eat what he likes - what exactly do you suppose the odds are that you and I are going to have so much of a sliver of either left to us by the time the pies pass his station at the table. Keep in mind - I HAVE sen the two of you eat two entire turkeys at one Thanksgiving meal.

If he ever eeven HINTS that he's about to try the pie, I for one will be damned sure he knows that I make ALL my Apple and Pecan pies with beans in the crusts.

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is indeed shocking on many fronts. If lired is correct, Chase, there's another member of your family running around.

As for your brother and his pie problem, I am sympathetic to you and taken aback by the comment suggesting that he should not eat the pie. My own mother raised me with the dictum that: you don't know if you don't like it unless you try it. Your mother ... and his ... probably said the same thing.

Chase, I wish you the best of luck with your brother and the pie.

You do realize that if he eats the pie and realizes it's delicious, there won't be as much for you. Of course you realize that. Chase, you are truly altruistic.

At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well chase, this is my first time to read your blog and it really hits home. my mother always said how do you know you don't like it if you don't try it. well, i took her advice and yakked bell peppers all over the dinner table. i suggest to ethan to try the friggen pie, just bring a barf bag

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Ethan's Wife said...

He is still singing "How Do You Do?"

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is fantastic fodder for film writers (and dare i say writers everywhere)...the kind of everyday detail so few choose to pick up on....the aversion to beans, the irrational disdain of pie...these are the endearing oddities that make any of us human (think flannery o'connor's characters sans limbs). Imagine what giamati could do with this? Thank you Chase for giving me a smile with this. Perhaps next time, you could explore Big Gulp economics...which, after years of retrospect, i've decided is a solid, prudent model. Although I apply the theory to Starbucks.

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Baldemar Huerta said...

Perhaps, a la "Seinfeld," he once saw someone kneading pie dough following a hygiene-free bathroom visit. Nothing will put you off your feed faster than knowing that someone was shaking their tanger before baking a delicious taste treat.


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