Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day Late and the Debit Card Covers the Shortage

Yesterday was United Nations Day-and you probably didn't send any of the Lower Manhattan double and triple parkers a birthday card did you? Don't feel bad, they wouldn't have read it once they checked the  inside of the envelope and didn't find cash or the next generation of fighter plane or armored vehicle. Perhaps a small umbrella to help with their balance up there. I'm sure we can both guess where they can store it when it's not raining.

Actually, and much more importantly, yesterday was my brother Kelly's birthday. It is a little known fact that he is 237 years old though his youthful appearance and childlike innocence and enthusiasm (plus a lot of plastic surgery) belies his age. Truth to tell, I have no exact idea as to his age having last seen him if memory serves sitting on the floor in my sister Evan's apartment in Jersey City as Sigrid and I were heading for the airport to fly back to (West) Germany when she and I were all we had at some point in the latter part of the previous century. I don't imagine he's aged a day but does own a thoroughly thumbed copy of an Oscar Wilde Novel.

In a large family of kids who all resemble one another  Kelly was the tall, blond kid who looked exactly like, well, exactly like Kelly. It was an interesting house growing up with a brother who locked himself in the little boy's room while simultaneously locking Mrs. Brennan, the teacher, out at Saint Peter's kindergarten in New Brunswick. I have a memory of her calling the house and our Mom speaking into the telephone in an attempt to coax Kelly out. I believe he eventually decided to exit of his own accord.

But years before that I recall sharing a bedroom with Kelly and by the dawn's earliest light he would awaken, stand up in the crib, clutch the rails, and shout exuberantly, 'Everybody up! Kelly's belly empy!' launching a frantic feed the child effort not seen again until Jon and Kate Need to Roller Skate Instead of Mate on TLC. His wife Linda tells me he's still got that pep in his step.

Kelly might have had a career as a physicist since at a very early age in a finished basement in the house on Bloomfield Avenue he managed to flip over a massive TV console (those barge-like furniture stylings that said 'muricah in the early 60's) trying to retrieve a toy car that had rolled underneath it despite the complete absence of leverage or a fulcrum. If only we hadn't lived in a universe with a yellow sun? Perhaps just as well; he has always hated tights.

As it is, Kelly in this universe is more than a terrific deal for his spouse, children and grandchildren not to mention the members only contingent composed of his brothers and sisters. If someone could have ended the NHL owners' lockout yesterday so that he has some idea when his beloved Rangers will retake the ice, it would have been the perfect ending to cap his birthday. As it is, I hope it was stellar and steadfast-like the celebrant.
-bill kenny  

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