Tuesday, December 05, 2006

7 in Kansas

I know many Brians, Dr. Brian being only one of them. All from varying backgrounds, most were born between 1968 and 1972.

I have previously shared my theories concerning our mothers and the movie, Brian's Song. So I won't go into that again here.

Suffice to say, I once knew a guy named Brian, which, in light of my opening paragraph, shouldn't be a surprise to any one.

This Brian was a year or two older than me, and came from a fairly affluent family. By "affluent," I mean his family lived in a gated hillside community in Southern California where wealthy white folks lived to get away from brown-skinned folks. That, however, was not Brian's fault, nor is it the point of this post.

Brian was a very nice guy. Book-smart, spiritual and musically-talented, he often went out of his way to help those in need, usually preaching the gospel to them along the way.

Well, as these stories often go, one day, Brian lost his fucking mind. Bonkers. Nuts. Goony as a loon.

I was at home. He dropped by. He had lost weight quickly as he apparently was living on a peanut and water diet. Everything he owned was in his car. He had a wild maniacal look in his eye.

He bounced around my house, never quite sitting in one place for more than a minute. He spoke rapidly, repeating phrases, laying out his plan for surviving the apocalypse.

"I'm going to drive to Panama and bury a bicycle in the jungle." He said.

"uh." Was all I managed."

"Then, during the tribulation, before the rapture, if we run out of gasoline, I can walk to Panama and dig up my Bike."

I thought for moment, then, "That's an awfully long walk."

He was ready for that though, "Oh, not to worry, I will walk from town to town, preaching the gospel in Spanish, and stay with believers along the way. Hey, do you have any spaghetti??"

He then went into a frighteningly obtuse exposition about pasta and pan lids. I zoned out.

Insanity, as you well know, annoys me.

While he went on, I reviewed his plan in my head. Something bothered me about it, and I'm not talking about the obviously insane part. Something about it flipped a switch, and I was slow to identify what it was.

Later, after he was gone, in the still quiet of the night, I finally figured out what it was. What if he COULDN'T find his bike?? What if he walked all the way back to Panama through persecution and plague, only to realize that the jungle is a big place and his bike was lost?? What if someone stole it?

These are the things that I fret about when I am far from my belongings. I am a firm believer in "A place for everything, and everything in its place," and the tropical jungle is no place to bury a bike, regardless of how crazy you are or who you think your god is.

Which leads me to this morning.

I drove this morning, earlier than was prudent, out to the quaint rural hamlet of Mc Minnville for a deposition. Names and facts are not important. All you need to know is that the deponent did a bad thing and it is going to cost him a lot of money.

As we slogged our way through the questions and answers, it became apparent that the small smelly old man was land rich but cash poor. He had also accumulated many separate investment, checking and savings accounts, IRAs, 401ks, and various funds for stashing cash. They were spread out all over the state. Thing is, they were all near empty, containing but mere pocket change for the sake of keeping them open.

But WHY??

Why not have one account, and funnel the remaining meager funds into it?

Then there was the forgotten account. It was a retirement account that he had forgotten about. It potentially had thousands of dollars in it. However, the fund manager had since stopped sending statements, and he had forgotten all about it.

That raised several lawyerly eyebrows all around the room. However, it just confirmed my fear about spreading my things out beyond my scope of control.

But then came the topper. Seems there was some land too. 7 parcels to be exact, located in a small town in Kansas. 7 parcels purchased in the 70s, when he was a young man living in the area. The land was cheap, and he needed a place to park his mobile home until surrounding land prices improved.

As time went on, he moved away, and has continued to pay $13 per year in property taxes. No rent. No improvements. He has not even gone back to look at it since 1978. One field divided into 7 lots, sitting empty. Perhaps tempting trespassers? Squatters? Adverse possessors?

If I held land, unseen for 28 years, unimproved, and unguarded; I would never be able to sleep. I would worry about it all day and all night. Worrying about the upkeep, and worrying about liability. I cannot abide a loose end. It would drive me CRAZY.

...Which would be convenient. If I owned land in Kansas, and lost my mind in the trade, I would at least have a place to bury my bicycle.


  1. I'm tempted to buy a piece of land in your name in some remote corner of the world just to see what that does to you.

  2. It would drive me up the fucking wall, is what it would do.

  3. We could club together and buy him an acre of land on the moon..

  4. Mrs. G&T10:45 AM

    Fred & Lisa -- if you really want to see some fun, buy Brian land in a city he is unfamiliar with and don't tell him where it is. Then, in addition to the "loose end", he will have a crisis of not knowing the best traffic-free way to get there during rush hour.

  5. right, and hide a storm trooper action figure there while you're at it...

  6. I was JUST going to say "And I have your storm trooper." I find it very upsetting that we think anything remotely alike. Although, to be fair, I have sent you photographic evidence of my posession of said storm trooperr.

  7. I'm going to buy you a Christmas present and not send it to you.

  8. Wait, which Brian was this?

  9. This may be, quite simply, the best piece of rubbish put out by this blog. The comments suck more than usual, but the post is the dog's bollocks!

  10. Princess Leah - We've all got photos of Brian's "stormtrooper." If, for heaven's sake, he would wear pants more often, there might be some mystery behind that.

    Anyway - I'm going to buy some land...somewhere... and bury the sign from Burt Lee's Tahiti there!

  11. Mitch, you have the sign from Burt Lee's Tahiti? Are you fucking kidding?

  12. You know, Being anal retentive and organized are not the first things that I think of regarding Brian.
    But who knows, maybe that Oregon air has changed him. Alcoholic...now thats a word.

  13. ya, you really wanna watch me go bananas? Bury a bottle of Bunnahabain...

  14. K Fed4:47 PM

    I just want you guys to know that I'm doing ok without Brittany

  15. What would happen if I took one of your movies (for example, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly) and buried it? Better or worse than the buried bottle of scotch?

    And, what if I buried the movie with a bowl of bread pudding?

  16. I think I would cry.

  17. hilarious. It would drive me so crazy i would have sold it long ago and watched someone else make millions off it...

  18. Reading it again I probably wouldn't have given away "land rich" as early as you did. Sapped a little from the punch (and too direct as forshadowing).

    Really, this one is good. Stop posting the other drivel. Actually, you should consider quitting now while you are on top since it can only go down from here.

  19. I second the quitting now.


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