Friday, February 24, 2012

He's Not Proud, He's My Brother

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I am the middle child from my parents’ first marriage, my birth sandwiched in-between my brother Paul and my sister Diana. We were raised as nerds with music lessons, good grades, braces, glasses, little athletic ability and the annoying tendency to turn everything we hear into a song (often from a Broadway musical).

Diana, Paul and me in 1979
My brother Paul, being two years older than I, led the way as the ultimate geek with his passion for comic books, Star Trek, high school musicals, marching band and stupid jokes. Paul studied books like 1001 Insults and Corny Jokes That Adolescents Repeat Until You Want to Strangle Them. One of Paul’s standard jokes is/was his play on words. For example, when he was about eleven he was asked to pour milk in the glasses in preparation for the family meal, he took off his Ernie Douglas-style glasses, set them on the dinner table with the lenses face down, and you guess it, poured milk in them.  Another favorite he never tired of was his response to a declaration.  If you said, "I'm hungry, " Paul invariably replied, "Hi Hungry.  I'm Paul." 

Paul is now a fifty-year-old family man living in Arizona. He has a good job as a computer programmer (of course), sings in the church choir and still collects comic books. Although Paul is an intellectual, he has kept his adolescent sense of humor and ability to act stupid without embarrassment.

Paul’s alter ego when he comments on my blog is “Howard”, a reference to Howard the Duck, some comic book character that I’m sure he’d be glad to expound upon.  When I first started writing this blog in 2009, I didn’t realize that Howard was my brother. I have a friend named Howard and assumed it was him when I read the following comment on my blog:

I was a teenager in the eighties. Being born in 1963 means you would turn 13 in 1976 and you would turn 20 (end of teenagery) in 1983. 3 of your 7 teenaged years were in the 1970s. However, your fashion understanding is not incorrect. The trend toward more conservative dress began in the late 1970s and continued to the mid-1980s, when the miniskirt reappeared.

By howard on Teenagers on 4/28/09

For the Howard I knew, I thought it kind of rude of him to correct me on my blog. So I clicked on the link for his name. It led to Howard Bunt’s Blog with a URL of Suddenly, a little bell went off in my head (ding, ding, ding!); Howard was really Paul! I knew my brother wrote a blog, but he had been very secretive about what it was called. I assumed that either he was not one to brag about himself or it was something pornographic.

So Dear Reader, I hope that when you read my blogs, you also read Howard’s comments. I admit, I will often throw in something intended to elicit a response from my brother. He still makes me laugh and I love to get comments on my blog (hint, hint). I recently started looking back over all the blog comments and thought selective words from Howard might be entertaining and worthy of its own blog post. I may have to do this in more than one part as I could only edit it down to seven pages of Howardisms. The links are there for reference if you’d like to read the whole blog for context. My words are in italics, Howard’s are not. I’ve started these from the most recent and moved backward.

Leader of the flock
Is she really going out with him?
Well, there she is. Let's ask her.
Millie, is that Aslan's ring you're wearing?
Gee, it must be great egging with him.
Is he picking you up after coop today?
By the way, where'd you meet him?
I met him at the poultry show.
He turned around and smiled at me
You get the picture? (yes, we see)
That's when I fell for (the leader of the flock)
My folks were always putting him down (down, down)
They said he came from Eastern States Expositi-own (whatcha mean when ya say that he came from the Big E?)
They told me he was big
But I knew he liked to dig
That's why I fell for (the leader of the flock)

By howard on Size Does Matter - If You're a Chicken on 1/30/12

But life is not all about me; it’s really about the cats. Don't let the chickens hear you say that. They would be traumatized. I'm sure Jay already knows. return I’ll try harder to keep your litter box clean on a regular basis. With as many cats as you have in your house, is this like a daily cleaning? Or more often than that? Speaking of diet, I don’t put food out on the counter just for you. Kindly refrain from licking the butter or stealing food as if I won’t notice. I don’t eat your food so don’t eat mine. Now here is advice for the whole family, not just the cats.

By howard on New Year’s Resolutions…for the Cats on 1/6/12

Kelsey, who normally spends most of her time in her room on her laptop pretending to be annoyed with all things parental, learned to come in our room after family game time and keep us up late with conversation and flatulent humor. I am suddenly filled with family pride to see the great traditions have made it into the younger generation.

By howard on Reflections on Hurricane Irene - Like Camping with... on 9/30/11

I think the problem was the Punnett Squares. Monohybrid and Dihybrid crosses are a lot sexier.

By howard on Educating the Educators on 7/6/11

She's too old to try to place now, but I have since promised myself that all future retiring queens will be placed into other homes. If only everyone had this practice. They have had such trouble with that in England and in the Netherlands. Oh wait! You're talking about cats. Sorry!

By howard on Sassy - Ten Years Later on 4/18/11

To be continued...


  1. The photo is the best part of this whole story. The three of you have retained your youthful appearance.

  2. Other than biology, I claim no responsibility - and certainly no credit - for my children's sense of humor. But I am very proud!


  3. I'm glad you found all of the great photos of us from that era to include - oh, yea. They pretty much all looked that wonderful!