In one week, my little brother will be fifty-one(!) years old.
My birthday is twelve days before his special day. For a million years, he would send me a twenty-dollar bill in a card, and a week later I would mail his card with a twenty in it. Sometimes it was the very same twenty.
But, one year I had a thought. What if we stopped the transfer of funds, and tried something new? When it came time for Bud to send me the annual twenty, I gave my little brother a hundred dollar Monopoly bill (Hey, it’s pretend cash, we might as well go for it). He could write happy B-day, sign and date it.My mom was not on board at first. But we liked it, and it was our special little tradition. In three years, the first bill got filled up, so we just took a new Monopoly C-note and stapled it to the first. This year is the fourteenth year. Other than a kinda sweet, kinda sappy sibling tradition thing, I love it for a far more important reason.
Bud has the later birthday so, when I send it to him, he’s got to hold on to it for a year. I only have to keep if safe for about a week before I mail it to him. If I had to hold onto it for a year, our sweet little tradition would have been a one and done.Each year we try to find cards that are so rude (Not dirty, just extra snarky), the only person you could send it to is a sibling—they already know you’re a jerk. Shoot, they had a hand in molding your clay into jerk-like form.
This year my card from him advised me to hold on to all the wax from my candles as there would be enough to wax both my legs and my mustache.Shows how much he knows; my mustache has gone gray, so I don’t have to wax it anymore.
He was born when we were stationed in Mobile. When my parents brought him home from the hospital, they brought me a baton.
At the time, I liked the baton better.I had a few lessons in twirling, but I was never very good at. It did come in useful when I wanted to whack something or someone on the head—not to hurt them, just to get their attention.
He grew up to be a mechanical engineer, but since birth my brother’s loved to tinker. We were all sitting around one night watching TV when Bud was about three. Suddenly, the coffee table collapsed, scaring the bejesus out of us all. He’d removed all the screws from it, because he could.When I was in college, I had some minor surgery. One evening my folks came to visit me in the hospital, having left my fourteen-year-old brother at home. The next night when they visited, they told me that the mirror in the bathroom my brother and I shared had shattered. Nobody knew what had happened, but it was completely busted when they got home.
I looked over at Bud, who had accompanied them.“Were you trying to make a blow torch?”
He’d been contemplating his shoes. He looked up at me, with a sheepish expression, and no eyebrows. I busted out laughing.
He’d seen the Bond movie, ‘Live and Let Die’. In it, 007 made a homemade weapon to kill a tarantula (that’s all the info you get from me; google it or rent the movie). When my little bro gave it a go, he’d happened to have it aimed at the mirror, and the glass did what it does when subjected to open flame.
He actually did become an engineer.
Happy birthday, Bud.
Thanks for your time.