Say Hello to Uncle Brett
I have a colorful household to say the least. My brother-in-law Brett just walked by wearing his usual nightly attire. His striped tank top is tightly tucked into his smiley face pajama pants. Brett is 6’3″ and the pants are pulled to his chest creating an unflattering empire waist / moose knuckle combination. His camelbro’s come in many colors. On a tall gentleman like him this undoubtedly creates a highwater effect. Fortunately, this better accentuates his striped tube socks and fully laced high top tennis shoes. Brett is my wife’s brother and he lives with us as well. He is forty-four years old but mentally remains a twelve year old boy. In the seventies he was diagnosed as emotionally disturbed but by today’s standards he would be considered to be somewhere on the autism spectrum. Brett is very independent and takes great pride in that. He has never been on government assistance because he chooses to work. Although he is a very dedicated employee he will never make enough money to fully support himself. Unfortunately, the system chooses to punish people like him. I have tried to get him disability assistance but because he has a twenty plus year history of washing dishes he does not qualify. I have been told by Social Security that the only way he would qualify is if something happened to his hands that would physically prevent him from washing dishes. Although he only earns minimum wage with part time hours, the job makes him feel good about himself. Honestly, we would never want to take that away from him. Therefore, Brett can live with us as long as he wants.
Brett spends most of his time at home playing video games and watching television. He is particularly fond of shows like CSI and Law and Order. While watching these shows he is frequently heard talking to the television. He gets excited when the criminal gets caught and exclaims things such as “That asshole got just what he deserves!” or “That’s good for that son of a bitch!” When the show is over it’s time to play video games or sing karaoke. He sings loudly for hours each day. The best way for me to describe his singing voice is to tell you a brief story.
One morning my wife, Julee woke up asking me why the neighbor was running a chain saw so early. I walked down the hallway to take a look out the front door. It turns out the chainsaw was actually Brett singing “Walking on Sunshine.”
Brett has very regimented routines. He wakes up at 5:00 a.m. sharp every morning and makes himself a cup of coffee. Sometime he actually makes his coffee at 5:00 a.m. and goes back to sleep. I know this because he is very loud as he stomps through the kitchen banging cabinets and clanging dishes. If he doesn’t go back to sleep he gets on his scooter and goes to the gym. Of course there’s no better way to reward yourself for hard work at the gym than picking up a sausage biscuit, hash browns and large soda. He then takes his food home and changes back into his pajamas because “You are supposed to eat breakfast in your pajamas,” moose knuckle and all.
On any given day Brett leaves a large can of cheap beer in the refrigerator. That may not seem odd at first but picture this. The can is usually half empty with a paper towel shoved in the opening to preserve freshness. He finishes it the next day. The idea of day old cheap beer that has gone flat does nothing for me, but I applaud him for his resourcefulness.
Brett and I have made up names for each other. It started one day when he called me a “tote.” By the context of the sentence a “tote” is the equivalent of an asshole. We spend most of the day in fake arguments calling each other names such as “dribble drot,” “scuba squat” and “jawanna doob.” When he calls me something new I sometime ask what it means. He usually responds “It’s a tote.”
It’s getting late. I just noticed the time. Good night to all. It will soon be 5:00 a.m.
Kelly Jude Melerine