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Well, there’s a reason we call him Crazy D. He does this. He goes off to parts unknown for work and play and comes back full of tales. That’s just what he does. I suppose it might be unusual if we weren’t already used to it, I mean if all of a sudden some other family adopted him I’m pretty sure they’d lose their minds. But we’re used to it.

Though, now and again, I do tend to veer towards The Mom’s way of thinking and do a bit of worrying. Like when he’s about to go to a country right next to one where a nasty war’s breaking out. Or to a country that’s near to one where they’ve got over 400 confirmed cases of ebola. Or when I’m watching the CNN news and even Anderson Cooper is about to pack up and get out of the way of the approaching tornado.

But bless him, Crazy D doesn’t ever appear to worry about such trivialities. You know the saying, the good Lord protects fools and drunks. I suppose that’s quite true. And Crazy D is living proof.

I get texts from him, randomly, in the middle of the night because he can’t remember what time zone he’s in or what one I’m in, and they’re usually just a picture of some mossy overgrown area with the hint of a bike tire in the foreground. Or otherwise there’s a bit more jungle which leads me to believe he’s not in Canada, and then if I can see the fuzzy tip of his mic, then I know he’s probably at work. But even then, it’s hard to say.

What I can rely on is that somehow, in some way, he’s doing his best to taunt death and or the weather.

The one time The Mom left me alone in her house, for 72 hours, there was a province- wide tornado watch, one of the canaries died, and I was trying to give Crazy D and his buddy tips on where to find as much mayhem and destruction as possible in the aftermath of epic floods with encroaching tornadoes.

I remember texting him, furiously, to get the hell out of Joplin because even CNN was looking nervous. And he texted back that it was all fine and they were eating some good burgers and would get on the road shortly, and that I ought not worry because Anderson Cooper was still there.

So I was sat in front of the TV at The Mom’s picturing my brother, with a canoe on his roof rack, covered in meat juice, sitting next to Anderson Cooper comparing notes about when they really ought to get out of town as a massive great tornado was approaching.

And it was doubly weird because I was watching this sort of in real time on the TV set while trying to figure out how to get The Dog in the basement, should the tornado we were expecting turn up, and how to explain to The Mom that I’d broken the only rule she’d left me with, which was nobody dies.

When I saw Anderson Cooper had left and checked the satellite images of the tornado that was coming for Crazy D and his burger, I texted him and instructed him in no uncertain terms to get out. He did not reply and so I had to break down and actually ring.

When The Mom gets panicked she gets very high pitched, but not me. When I mean business I speak in a very calm slow manner that is so unlike me it gets people’s attention.

“Hiya,” Crazy D said cheerfully.

“I need you to get in the car now and drive north east along this highway. The tornado is moving at 115 miles per hour and is in the next town.”

“Oh, is –

“I need you to do this for me now.”

There was a pause.

“Now,” I said firmly, and calmly.

“Okay, we’re getting on the road.”

“Have your buddy text me your location in 15 minutes.”

“Is this really nece-

“In fifteen minutes. Do you understand?”


This tone of voice is the only way you can really get his attention. It’s my old lifeguard voice and I use it once or maybe twice a year when Shit Gets Real. So I don’t bother phoning him when he’s driving into a small tornado at home, I figure he can sort that out on his own now. I’m waiting for the next big emergency when The Mom’s head will start to spin.