Neither my brother nor I was aware it was “Sibling Day” as we sped down 400 miles of flat West Texas highway Thursday from Sonora to El Paso.
Our styrofoam cups of Dairy Queen ice tea sat in two of the cup holders with Gussie’s tuna in the third cup holder. I dropped my elbow into the tuna several times. My mom and Gussie slept in the back seat.
We rolled into an El Paso I hadn’t seen in 25 years. Not since I drove out in January of 1989, leaving a job as an anchor for KVIA-TV toward my new job at KUAT-TV in Tucson, Az.
Gussie is never alone so we eat in shifts. Jim and I had prime rib at a delicious barbecue place called Stateline. I remembered it from the five years I lived here from 1984 to 1989. Then, I had coffee and dessert there while my mom ate dinner.
After we ate, we were channel flipping and my mom and I squealed when we came across “Project Runway.”
“You’ll live,” I said. “It’s just an hour.”
“Then I need another beer,” he said, then did an elaborate sashay to the refrigerator in his baggy Denver Bronco pajama pants.
Then he blocked the TV and wiggled his butt.
“MOVE!” my mother and I said.
He minced over to his bed with his beer. He threatened to fart if we didn’t change the channel.
“I ate the same place you did,” I warned him. “Don’t throw down the gauntlet.”
Jim suffered through an hour of my mother and I cooing and booing over each fashion design.
“Oh I love that. Look how it moves.” And “Why did he put lace on the back? How can you wear a bra with that?” And “Not in that color. It looks like the inside of a coffin.”
The show finally ended and Jim reached for the remote. Then we realized the finale was being run next, back to back with the episode he just endured.
“If I have to watch another one of these, I’m breaking out the hard liquor from the trunk,” he said.
He wandered in again a few minutes later with airline-sized liquor bottles bristling through his fingers.
One of the designers on TV was gushing over her collection:
“It’s my ‘Nefertiti was reincarnated and lives in Harlem’ collection.”
Jim shook his head and emptied a bottle of bourbon into a cup of ice.
“We need to watch Nascar after this,” Jim said.
Jim plopped on his bed, watching the “Project Runway” models strut down the runway.
“She’s hot,” Jim said.
“Shhh!” we said. “The judges don’t care about that kind of thing.”
“I do,” he said. “I’ve got to add some heterosexuality to this.”
Jim took a gulp of his bourbon concoction.
“That one’s a single-tracker,” he said, pointing to a model walking down the runway.
“A what?” I asked.
“Dog sled huskies. Some of them are single=trackers. One foot in front of the other.”
We ignored him. He kept talking.
“It makes their butts wiggle,” he said. “Looks better on the models. With the dogs, they’re just wiggling that curly tail.”
“Project Runway” finally ended with kisses and hugs and shrieks of joy onscreen. Jim wanted to change the channel .We wanted to watch all the way through the credits.
“We watched the climax,” my mom explained to him. “This is the smoking part.”
Jim shoved himself under the covers, turned over and buried his head under the pillows. Then, he issued a thunderous fart.
“I’m from a high altitude,” Jim said. “I’m equalizing.”
Happy Sibling Day.