I want so much to believe my sense of humour has been elevated a notch or two by my long-time association with the official comedian of our family; my brother – who is a couple of years younger than me. However, there’s a bigger probability I am deluding myself. You see, he’s got this I’ll-make-you-laugh-until-you-pee-in-your-underwear brand of wit. It’s a talent I could kill for. Glib and gregarious, my brother can easily become the darling of any party. People enjoy having him around. A natural comic that he is, he can deliver a barrage of punch lines, sometimes with an accompanying pantomime that can turn a mundane matter into something hysterical. All I have to do is giggle endlessly. Or laugh out real hard until my jaw literally hurts, or I start getting tears in my eyes.
Most men are humorous, quite true. That is the principal reason I like hanging around with them. They almost always make me laugh and I get happier in the aftermath. Not to mention, they are lighter to deal with; in contrast to the heaviness I feel due to pettiness I sometimes encounter in my dealings with women. I have met several men who could be way out zany. Still, the number one funny guy on my list turns out to be this dear brother of mine – who’s got the engaging ability to come up swiftly with hilarious similes and crazy analogies about anything or anyone.
He’d insist, every so often, that our sister’s Chinese-looking young son is secretly the last Emperor of China. He’d lovingly remind us to be careful everywhere, and be even more and more extra careful; or else, we might fall into the swimming pfool (yeah it rhymes. Still, it’s plain silly, right? :-)). He will animatedly narrate to anyone who’s willing to listen, how he witnessed our mother jumped down a mere two steps from the top of an 18-flight stairs right after she convinced herself she’d seen a ghost in her bedroom. He tends to exaggerate, I’m sure, but that’s how he invariably becomes wackier.
There was this phase, during our juvenile era, when he got crazy over pigeons and doves. Yes, you got that right – pigeons plus doves. I honestly couldn’t tell which is which. They are lovely, delightful birds all the same. Unlike girls, most adolescent boys don’t go gaga over the opposite gender yet at that age. They get busy with other more – I suppose – worthwhile (?) concerns. Even if we’re talking about, you know, pigeons. Or doves. All breeds of them – of sundry colours – I could have already laid eyes on in my teen-age years – thanks to my dear brother who collected and nurtured them aggregately in average-sized bird houses he built on the roof of our house. If Tarzan had his famous shout while up on a tree, my brother had his crazy loud clap, while up on the roof, to attract the attention of his flying pets. I also remember how he and his pals would bike their way twice a week to the nearest province and, upon destination, release the pigeons or doves they were carrying – mainly for the thrill of betting which one would find their way back home first. Incredible. In the early evening, he’d take some time to count them all and make sure his “babies” were safe and sound. My brother, needless to say, smelled of (pungent) dove 24/7 in all those years.
I simply want to home in on the positive, wonderful recollections I still preserve regarding my brother as I look back on my life these days. Things have been different. In the decades that went by, squabbles and complexities got in the way; partisanship divided us all family members. We don’t see each other often anymore the way we used to. Yet I still cherish my memories of the little brother I once had…from a long time ago when we were still little children. The little brother who looked up to me as his big sister. The one who constantly played and ran with me, and followed me everywhere I went. My baby brother, with whom I shared a P2.00 tall glass of delicious pineapple juice from our favorite community store to drink – after every afternoon that we finished biking around the neighborhood. My partner in crime (according to my parents) to boot, in picking up and taking home baby kittens that had been mercilessly thrown or left on the streets. The same little brother who’d come to me, during our grade school days, crying like a baby after his classmates had bullied him – which would incite me to hunt for and bully his culpable classmates in return (They shouldn’t have messed with my brother, ok? :-)).
Never the bookish, soulful type, my brother shares little in common with me. He and I are actually worlds apart in character. I’d like to believe my brother’s personality gleams with incandescence like the sun…while mine glows softly like the moon. Yet we’ve always had fun whenever we get together. Because when we do; he kids around, cracks jokes and executes his innate device for comedy – to show off perhaps or to benefit everyone in need of a laugh. I, together with the other members of our family, chuckle hard and get highly entertained. Every time. That has basically been the pleasurable equation of our blood alliance as of late – which suits both of us just fine. Just endearingly fine.