Monday, July 19, 2010

Ask the young, they know everything!

Remember, as far as anyone knows, we're a nice, normal family.
                                                -  Homer Simpson

July 19th is a big day.  It is my brother Sam's birthday, my cousin Zara's birthday, my friend Susan's birthday, and my brother Josh's wedding anniversary.  Happy happy, all!

As I've said before, Sam is one of my favorite people in the world.  Of course I love him because he's my brother, but he's also funny, super-smart, creative, and interesting.  He was like that from the day he was born.  Always seeing things in a new way that nobody else thought of, coming up with random, intriguing stories.  When he was about 11 or so, he wrote this very dark mystery story about a detective in Anchorage, Alaska, investigating a murder after finding a severed hand in a field.  A) He's never been to Anchorage, so how totally random, and B) WTF??

Plus he has my ability to see a movie once or twice and then be able to recite most of the dialogue.  So frequently our conversations will take these bizarre detours when something reminds one of us of a quote from a movie, so we'll say the quote, and if there are other people around, they're all, what the fuck are you talking about?

But Sam and I, we don't miss a beat.  We'll know exactly what the other is talking about, we'll share a good chuckle, and then we'll continue with the conversation.

Lately, when Jason and I look at Zeke, we've remarked to each other how much he's starting to resemble Sam.  In particular, there's this hilarious photo that my dad took of Sam when he was about a year and a half old.  We were at the beach and the lifeguard was giving some safety demonstration.  Sam felt like standing with everyone else didn't give him enough of an appreciation of what was going on, so he went closer to get a better look.

There's something about Sam in that picture that just says "Zeke" to me.

Do you see it too?

Then at my reunion a few weeks ago, there were some AES yearbooks from my junior and senior years up for auction that a friend of mine bought.  We had a good time looking through them and signing them ("Best friends 4eva!  Have fun in college next year!").  I decided to look for pictures of my brothers, and found this picture of Sam:

Sam's the one on the right.  He's older than Zeke in this picture, but I look at it 
and see what Zeke will look like in a few years.

Jason and I both looked at it and said, "Holy shit, that's Zeke!!"

They're alike in other ways than just appearance.  

When Sam was about 5 or 6 and we were living in Israel, some friends came out for a visit.  It was the family of a girl I had been friends with in Virginia when I was in 4th and 5th grades.  Her parents had always let me call them by their first names, but Sam wasn't sure about this.  

So he asked the dad what he should call him.

"Do you want me to call you David?  Or Dr. L?  What should I call you?"

And Dr. L, being funny and sweet, said, "Sammy, you can call me anything you want, as long as you don't call me late for dinner."

Sam thought about it for a second, and being literal-minded, said, "OK, Penis Breath!"*  

Oy.  But also, hahahaha!

So while I'm on the verge of spraining my eyeballs from rolling them at all of the penis talk in my house these days, at least Zeke comes by it honestly.

*This was right after the summer that E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial came out.  Sam had seen it in the theaters and it made a big impression, particularly the line when Elliot calls his older brother "penis breath."  Also, hat-tip to my friend Susan L., who read the post about Zeke thinking milk made his penis strong and reminded me of this story about Sam.


  1. If I'm anything at all like Young Master Zeke, then I'm honored. I love that little guy.

  2. I really do think he has many of your traits. Inquisitive, intelligent, funny and sweet. ;)

  3. If it weren't for the color and those rockin' swimsuits, I would have assumed that top photo was Zeke. Seriously - that's quite the likeness!