In the Light
“So, John’s in South Africa?” I asked.
I was trying not to sound scared.
I could imagine, at the least, an international debacle — a sort of standoff between American and South African diplomats over something my brother had done.
“What do you mean, ‘No Pizza Hut?’”
“I’ll put a Kalamazoo Arm Twist on someone,” he’d say.
I don’t know if South Africa has Pizza Huts. I hope so.
And all of this fearful speculation does have a history to back it up.
My brothers still fondly recall the “New Mexico Parade of Ugly Women.”
What a hoot that was.
The last words from my brother before departing for South Africa was a cryptic text: “In Atlanta. Flight to Johannesburg in three hours.”
Then he texted a photo of his airline ticket.
My first thought was: “You can text pictures?”
They don’t call me the modern man.
My brother, Joe, once went to Spain for two weeks. I found out after he came back and was, at the time, in Germany.
Joe’s also been to Japan. So has John.
Not at the same time of course. Otherwise there would have been news stories about the return of Godzilla(s).
I’ve visited Kentucky.
My brother, Ron, has visited Vonore and Greenback.
Between the four of us there is some serious world traveling going on.
I’m saving my world traveling exploits for a trip to Australia.
Ron is saving his world traveling exploits for a trip to Oneida.
John and Joe laugh at us.
We remind John about a trip he took to Japan — the one where his luggage arrived as he was leaving.
He spent two weeks wearing clothes that didn’t quite fit and left him with a rash around his neck.
They have clothes our size (you know, regular American male size) in Vonore and Greenback, according to Ron.
Okay, but can you text pictures of those clothes?
When Joe was in Germany he said a couple of guys at the factory he was visiting took him out to a different beer garden every night.
He drank water because he couldn’t figure out which German beer tasted like Bud Light.
Later Joe would travel to France and Italy on vacation. He drank a lot of water then, too.
“They look at you funny if you ask for a glass of red wine,” he explained.
“You have to ask for … You know, something like ‘Marco Polo Chauterbrese 1877’ or they just laugh at you.”
Vonore and Greenback have red wine. And White.
According to Ron.
He texted me a picture.
It looked like a couple of bottles of water.