Okay, I might feel a little bad, because I’ve been exploiting my friendship with one Mr. Chris Brown (no, not that Chris Brown, the Yeti Detective Chris Brown) for going on, well, we’re into our second decade of friendship, and for people under 30, that’s a long time. You see, for as long as I’ve known the man, we’ve been simultaneously at odds and partners in crime.
The truth is, Chris is my best friend. I should probably honor him a little more than I do. I mean, not everyone has their own trained yeti laying around. That’s something a little special.
Unfortunately, in the rewrite of the book, I’m basically cutting out any of the sections that don’t fit directly into the story, and that pretty much means everything I’ve written about Chris, which honestly is a lot.
So, I thought I might share two quick excerpts, the first is how we met, and the second is about an argument that can still flare up from time to time… involving a ufo.
IT WAS A UFO, DAMN IT!
“Brown and Brotherton go next to each other on a seating chart. That is how we ended up meeting our senior year. The very first class we had that day was a class taught by my favorite teacher, Mr. Kornfeld entitled “Shakespeare, Etc.” Chris sat directly behind me in that class, which I believe had something to do with classic literature and poetry, but I only remember talking about Time Travel and Riboflavin.
Mr. Kornfeld had been my favorite teacher through most of high school, starting when I took his Mythology and Creative Writing classes my Sophomore year. I had been his T.A. several times, spent quite a bit of time talking to him, and had really only taken the class because he taught it. Then he got ill.
No body bothered to tell us what had sent Mr. Kornfeld to the hospital, only that he wouldn’t be back to school for a long time. Without my mentor, and beginning to fall into a serious depression anyway, I gave up on caring about school, or life in general. I moped a lot. I stopped doing homework. I became snarky and confrontational.
A few years later, when Chris was talking about how we became friends, he said, “I had to invite him to hang out, anyone could see this was a kid that was about to kill himself.”
I don’t know if he actually thought that or not at the time. I only heard him speak about it once. He was that type of person, though. He was intuitive and empathic, even more so back then. It could also have been the years of watching me cycle through wave after wave of depression though that had given a more retrospective Chris the ability to realize what it had been I was going though back then.
Either way, he had been right. I had been in trouble and needing a way out.”
“…Peeing in that phone booth was something every male friend I had from the time I got my car to when I moved to Springfield in 2002 had done. Humorously, I have never done so. I’m not sure if it is still there or not.
It was shortly after one of the stops at the telepiss booth that the most divisive moment in our friendship would occur. As we drove down Y-highway at roughly three in the morning, we saw the UFO. It was quick, the flash of aqua green light in the sky that burned above us. It flared quickly, and burned for a second in the shape of a check mark as though it had been left by something that had been hovering and suddenly burned it’s way across the sky. The exact nature of the sky-light was going to be debated for years to come. At the time, I remember saying, “Shit, that was a fucking UFO.”
Chris’s reply showed exactly how his mind works at all times, “Sweet, maybe we’ll get super powers.”
After we saw it, it was decided that we would head to IHOP and get breakfast where we could wait until time to head back to our respective homes well after our parents had left for work. As we sat at the IHOP in Grandview, which we referred to at the time as the IHOP of Destiny, we started talking about what it was that we saw.
I was convinced that it was in fact an alien scout ship searching for some sort of planetary weakness. “It makes sense for them to be here,” I would argue, “because of all the missile silos in the area. This is like the place to strike if you want to take out America’s nukes.”
Chris never offered an alternative explanation for the alien craft. He just adamantly refused to believe that it could be aliens. Sometimes he can have a stubborn refusal to budge on the most obvious of things, and will belittle you for seeing reality so clearly. Obviously the most likely and logical answer is aliens. There is no evidence to the contrary, thus we can assume they were in fact aliens.
Why can’t he just accept that already, clearly, he is the crazy one.”
I hope that gives you all a little more insight into the HalfDrunk Podcast. There is a lot of history there.