My brother is famous. Not the rock star, in the public eye, get caught by the prying eyes of the media stepping out of your limo in a miniskirt kind of way. But when you say his name everybody knows him. Geriatric great grandmothers whose only link to the outside world is AM radio and Matlock reruns. The Swedish Bikini Team. The Amish. Everybody.
Consequently, the world can be divided into two separate categories. One- people that know me, know my brother, and wish I was him. Two- people that know my brother, don’t know me, and think I’m him. (Hint- I’m older, fatter and don’t reek of Polo.)
The second category has actually made for a rather enjoyable, Walter Mitty kind of experience for me. I have been accused of being thrown out of bars I’ve never stepped foot in, had several ’80s movie stars profess to meeting me that I’ve only seen on Celebrity Fit Club, and had the thrill of leading a KISS tribute band in a rousing chorus of “Rock and Roll All Night.” None of this would have been possible had I not been linked genetically to everyone’s favorite neighbor/coworker/drinking buddy/fellow heavy metal music aficionado.
No, the problem is the first group. Once people realize I am not my brother they usually want to talk about him. What he likes to eat. His most recent tatoo. His views on the United Nations Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. But often they just want to know what it was like to grow up with him.
Below is an excerpt from a day of Twitter back-and-forth. Before Twitter and text messages we would have these conversations on the phone or even face to face if work, spouse, child, or house arrest obligations allowed. It is fairly indicative of our relationship as adults. As children the vocabulary wasn’t as colorful and whatever arguments we initiated tended to end with cartoon like violence involving plastic wiffle ball bats and Atari controllers. But you’ll get the idea.