Friday, June 28, 2002

From The Brain of the Giant Head

Once I Had a Twin Brother

Every family has an extended family of friends. If yours was like mine, you were all friends because all the parents had kids roughly the same age and your moms were on the PTA together and your dads helped coach your little league team to an 0-12 record. You spent the night at each other’s houses every other weekend. You went on vacation together. You were babysat by the eldest siblings of the group, and by babysat I mean being forced to watch New Kids On The Block videos. You had some of the best times of your life.

This past weekend was quite an exciting time for me. And I’m not talking about the Benjamin I dropped at the floating casino or the cop that grabbed my private parts (which I’ll talk about in next week’s column — trust me, you won’t want to miss that). I’m talking about the extended family reunion picnic I attended.

Now a few of these people I had seen from time to time at the usual festivals and restaurants and adult bookstores, but there were quite a few that had been out of my radar screen since Vanilla Ice was the King of Rap. This was my chance to see some familiar faces, albeit with facial hair and adult features.

I admit, I was a little leery at first. Nerves kicked in when I started realizing that I hadn’t seen these kids since before I had sideburns. Sure, we were all great friends, but after a decade of being apart and discovering who we were in high school, how well would we fit together now?

How close were we, you ask? Well, my family of four morphed into a family of six every summer when we signed up for our Phillips swim-club passes. Although I only have one blood-related sister, I had a younger "sister" named Tiffany "Klems" and a twin brother named Adam "Klems." We spent about everyday together for three years.

I remember riding bikes down to Howie’s baseball card shop with Adam to buy the latest edition of Beckett Baseball Card Monthly to see how much our Lance Johnson cards were worth. It was at his house I had my first viewing of Spaceballs (still one of my favorites) and Disorderlies, the Fat Boys classic.

I remember playing basketball in the Brehms’ backyard and having Adam Martinez skunk me while being a good foot shorter than my admirable size of 4’11".

I remember making the late night news with Brian Brehm, which we recorded and, to be like the pros, made commercials for. The speed stick deodorant commercial with Hulk Hogan was my personal favorite. And I remember the giant map of New England that we made, but I can’t remember why, not to mention singing the killer church song "Blest Be The Lord" while riding in the station wagon. As you can see, we were cool even when we were younger.

I remember looking up to Randy and Johnny, the 2-years-older-than-me chick magnets. I remember my plan to turn Nick into the next Mark McGuire. I remember thinking the girls were icky until age 12, then just assuming I would marry one of them. I remember little Robbie...who isn’t so little anymore.

And as I saw them all again, playing Major League Cornhole and eating enough food to feed Zimbabwe, I realized we have all grown up. We all have new dreams and new plans and new sneaker sizes. But we all have the same ability to get along, just like we did before we had driver’s licenses. And I guess that’s quite a comforting thought.

The Brain would like to thank his Mom and Dad and everyone else that helped out to make this reunion possible, including everyone that showed up. Maybe we can make it an annual event. He would also like to curse his sister for waking him up at the ungodly hour of 7:30 in the a.m. to hold the picnic tables and for rubbing it in by beating him at War. I hope the dog leaves a present in your bed.