Sunday, September 19, 2010

Did You Hear This One?

There are, perhaps, only two people in the world who share my finely-tuned sense of humor. One is Boy#1. (I knew we were humor soul-mates the day Boy#3 looked at us sharing the nuance of a joke, rolled his eyes, and said "You two are idiots.")

The other is my brother Fred, the youngest of my four siblings. He once was talking to a date about his siblings, and explained his roots. "We all think we're pretty smart and pretty funny," he told her. "Yes," she replied, "and you all need to get over that."

Frankly, I don't understand why he didn't marry her right there. That response alone should have made him propose. I tell the story, though, because it explains why I so enjoyed the bluegrass festival this year.

Yesterday Fred joined the throngs of hippie wannabes who double the size of our little town every September and listen to three days of fabulous music. It was hot, it was crowded, and it was tremendous fun because Fred was there.

Being with Fred is like being with my inner child's best friend, but instead of completing my sentences, Fred finishes my jokes.

One band front man announced sadly, "This is our last performance as a band," and I turned to Fred expectantly. He didn't disappoint. "Officials are waiting in this auditorium to escort our bass player to his new command in the naval forces of the Third Reich," he read my mind. And we giggled uncontrollably. (It was a "Sound of Music" reference--you didn't get it?)

He shared my appreciation for the varied clothing choices of festival-goers, including the guy in the knee-length plaid pleated skirt (no, it wasn't a kilt; it was a skirt) and the other guy with the tambourine around his neck: "I could probably wear a tie-dyed chicken suit around here and the only thing people would ask was whether it was hot," he observed.

One singer started her set by announcing "This is a song I wrote about my favorite animal, the goat." "You know," Fred observed, "that's a sentence you don't hear nearly often enough."

We marveled at one young band that both of us predict will go far. "It's like finding out that in their early years the Beatles did a lot of hoe-down," he pointed out.

Today my face is approximately the same color I used to spray-paint last week (Brick Red, in case you forgot) but I'm smiling. Yesterday, I got to spend all day with my smart, funny brother.

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