Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Brother Rich

One of the things I'm most looking forward to doing while on vacation is going for walks with my brother Rich. He can be a truly hilarious person without even trying. For instance, when I lived in Santa Monica and we used to go for walks into Venice a lot, every time and I do mean EVERY time we passed this restaurant called The Firehouse he would ask me if I had ever seen the movie Pumping Iron. Then he would go on to tell me a story about how Arnold Schwarzenegger and other body builders ate breakfast there back in the day. He literally had the same spiel every time. The first probably 5 times I think he genuinely didn't remember that he had told me the story already. Every other time after that, his re-telling of the same story, in exactly the same way, was just comedy gold. I can't wait to hear the question "Have you ever seen the movie Pumping Iron?" come out of his mouth as soon as we're close enough to see the building.

Another funny thing he used to do on walks was I would comment on a pretty plant or flower and he would say "Yes, that's a variety of the starilla genus." The first time he did this I was momentarily impressed that he knew this kind of detailed plant information, until I asked him how he knew it and he honestly answered without any hesitation "I don't; I just made it up."

One of the funniest conversations we had while on a walk was when he tried to school me on family history, but everything he said was dead wrong. He was telling me all about our Grandma Lamb, starting with her maiden name Henrietta Rachel (Actual name: Noraetta Raithel). He followed that up with explaining to me how she used to speak with a German accent (No, she didn't). He said "Don't you remember, she was always saying 'Shut up, dummkopf!'" Our grandma was the sweetest, kindest, most soft-spoken lady that ever lived (as was our Grandma Horner) and would never have told anyone to shut up or called anyone something like dummkopf, and she definitely wouldn't have done either of those things with a German accent. At that point he was just hamming it up and I couldn't stop laughing. I'm laughing about it now, just remembering it.

Rich has a great laugh that never fails to warm my heart. If I'm lucky, when I'm there I'll say something funny enough to crack him up because it's a real treat to hear him laugh.

Side note - One day I found out that Rich had never even eaten at The Firehouse that he knew so much about (this kind of thing is Classic Rich), so we went in and had breakfast. A fellow breakfaster was not a body builder, but a creepy old guy with fingernails like six inches long. It was kind of hard to enjoy eating once we knew Old Naily was on the other side of the room because even though we tried not to glance at him again, just the knowledge that he was there grossed us out.


  1. I always loved it when Grandma Lamb would bake us a nice Blechkechen on Heiligabend.

  2. Aw, you and Rich have some similar made-up memories!
    I only remember there was always German chocolate cake and German potato salad at family gatherings. And ham and baked beans and olives.

  3. Reminds me of the Beach Boys classic "Goose-steppin' Granny from Glockenschploozin'"

    Remember that time me you and Renee (and Guy) ate at The Firehouse and he thought we had set you and him upon a date?

  4. My bad... wasn't the Beach Boys, it was Jan & Dean.

  5. Don't ever make an oldies mistake like that again. And yes, I remember that. I followed him outside to smoke a cig after we ate and he said something about "it's not like we're on a date" and I was like whaaaaaaaat?