Saturday, August 21, 2010

Brad, will you be my friend? Please?!

Could my morning have started off any worse than waking up to read Andy's comments in the last post?

Answer: Yes.

But only were Andy and Harvey to conspire to share with you, reader, all the things that were hidden from you for a reason.

For your own good.

The only good news that came from that post was the discovery that the person who claimed to be Brad actually was Brad.

So Brad, it's really you!


I’ll try to contain my excitement and preserve some dignity, so let me just say I’m really really really really happy you visited my blog. Whatever you want, you got.


Who is Brad?

Brad is Andy’s younger brother, true, but that doesn’t quite convey to you, reader, who he is because you’re surely now thinking of a mini-Andy, and that doesn’t quite get it.

Dalai Lama. Jack Kerouac. David Byrne. Wes Anderson.

Combine these dudes and you have someone almost as hipster zen cool as Brad. Add a dose of Andy Kaufman’s intentional head-scratching twilight zone-ish blur between reality and pure for-consumption personae, and you’re really getting somewhere. Brad is so ironic, he meets himself on the flip-side and the result is pure earnestness.

Reader, Brad and I had this kind of relationship, or virtually so, back in the day, mostly high school and college. Asymmetry defined. He’d like to sit in an easy chair, and he'd rock and rock in this chair at a tempo designed to put everyone else in the room in a trance-like state of being. I would ask him question after question about all manner of things in life--art, god, music--and so on, and he'd answer with one-word answers. I desperately wanted to discover the uber-cool depth beneath the uber-cool surface because clearly genius was driving it all. And Brad was utterly inscrutable. A living secret. Sometimes he'd tease with an answer that promised oh so very much but would ultimately terminate with the implicit message that I’m not worthy to glimpse the depths. He might respond to a question of mine with something like, "Well, that's really hard...." and then he'd scratch his chin and look upward, showing he was giving it real thought. And then.....nothing. That would be it. Nothing more would come. It would be as though he found his answer but forgot that I had asked the question. I'd wait and wait, leaning forward, all bright-eyed and expectant...and...nothing. And Brad would be at perfect Zen peace, the proverbial Wise Man at the top of the mountain, but more or less unaware that he had company.

And because there’s something thrilling about Brad, I'd inevitably end up putting aside all my self-respect and ask something like, "So Brad, can I please please please be your friend?" To which he'd reply languorously, without missing a beat of his rocking chair:

"Nah, that's ok. I’m kinda booked.”

Rock, rock, rock, rock.

So that's why I consider it almost too good to be true that it's really Brad on the blog.

And as for Andy, I won't dignify his “history” of living with me with a comment apart from saying this: I don't remember the black paper.

Photo forthcoming.


timekeeper said...

I also knew Brad forever. In fact, I knew Brad from the time he was a baby. I proudly claim to know both brothers longer than professormikey has known them. Our families often got together and the kids would hang out. Brad was a nice kid. He was quiet. He liked to play video games, as I remember. He seemed shy. He now seems to be a nice, quiet, respectable adult and devoted father of twins. Don't scare him away, professormikey.

Andy D. said...

MB, this post very well conveys the sense of Brad to the outside world. Yet I fear TK is right -- don't make any sudden moves (funny that we have to still warn you about this after knowing Brad for what, 25 years now...). Much like a fox or chipmunk or other small fast clever animal with its own agenda, you really can't even say "don't make any sudden moves." You just have to go about your business and then one day, when you sense him there, just keep on going about your business. Ignore him and he'll stay for a few extra moments. But move on he will. So in the end you just have to be happy getting a sense of him I'm afraid. Otherwise, if you put on a big show, or try to tease him into coming around -- nada. I've seen it happen time and time again.

It's like I'm talking to the wall with this advice, ain't it TK?

On a related note (not to Brad but to small fast animals), for the last 6 weeks I have let my hummingbird feeder go dry and stay dry. With the 100 degree heat and the ants, it just got depressing seeing no birds... But this morning for some reason, I filled it back up. And now just 3 hours later, badabing, Mr. Hummingbird, back in the saddle, rides again.


Mike Bailey said...

Never has advice fallen on deafer ears.

Brad--be my friend??!!!



Technoprairie said...

I remember hanging out with Andy and Brad and listening to Steve Martin on Andy's record player. It was so cool and Steve was so funny! Plus A and B had Pong!! What more could a kid ask for on New Year's Eve than Steve Martin records and Pong.

Andy D. said...

And as TK can attest, we had a popcorn/Cheetos mix to die for, for which I am still famous to this day thanks to my 8 year old snacker! We sometimes threw in peanuts and pretzels, but that would only be on a truly special New Years Eve.


Anonymous said...

What do I like more than reading Mike's blog? Reading Mike's blog about me. I've always been a huge fan of Mike's as well. When he talks, he blurts out his sentences very quickly, as if he expects something bad is about to happen. I once made a bowl in ceramics class that Mike claimed made him happy. He would hold it in front of his face and laugh and laugh until he had to set it down to catch his breath. I think my parents ended up giving it to him about ten years later. One time I took a bunch of plastic skeletons and wrapped rubber bands around them and it turned into the "skeleton ball". Mike insisted on taking that too.

In 1986ish I went to see Van Halen with Mike and Andy. Some guy next to us turned and tried to pass off a bottle of whiskey onto Mike when the security started heading toward them, and Mike, wanting nothing to do with it, let it drop to the floor. I believe he told us that story several times in the car on the way home. A week later I asked him about it, "Did that guy really try to give you his whiskey bottle at Van Halen?" and he told it again. I remember enjoying that story.

- Brad

Mike Bailey said...


See what I mean, people?


There's something magical about this guy.

And I tell you one thing, too. I always expect bad things to happen to me when I'm speaking.

No one has ever noticed that before.

But it's true.

That's the kind of insight I'm talking about.

Let's give him some space, people. Don't crowd. I bet you we'll get even more from Brad.

Right, Brad?


Andy D. said...

MB -- now, don't take this the wrong way. And note, I'm much more concerned about how you'll take it, than how Brad will take it.

But it seems like the blog is basically "not enthused at all," about Brad being here, or at least not nearly to the degree you are.

The crazy, nutty, irrational degree, that you are.

As my captch says, not nearly to the "eredudal" degree, that you are.


justcurious said...

Whatchu talkin 'bout, AD? You're going to scare Anonymous Brad away! We're loving the stories he's telling... oh, I get it now -- you're afraid of what we might hear, aren't you?!

Hey Brad - more stories, please!

Technoprairie said...

I'm voting for Brad to join us!! Stay Brad Stay! Don't listen to Andy. Listen to Mike!

Steven Taylor said...

"at least not nearly to the degree you are."

Is anybody, anywhere "to the degree" MB is on, well, anything?