Bryan has a well-developed sense of humor. This weekend we were together in his apartment sorting through old kitchen utensils. He came across what looked like a large, blunt-ended meat fork. Grabbing it, he struck it against the corner of the sofa, then held it up to his ear, humming a pitch. We both looked at each other and cracked up. Bryan was imitating a conductor we both know who uses a pitch fork (a smaller version of what Bryan held in his hand) to give starting pitches for the choral group in which I sing. A quite accurate depiction, I might add!
Often, he imitates actions and lines from movies he loves – many times throwing out quotes during conversation at appropriate occasions. When we’re feeling down, Bryan will sing “There’s always tomorrow for dreams to come true” from the TV movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, “Cheer up Charlie” (changing ‘Charlie’ to the name of the sad person) as heard in Willy Wonka, or “Always look on the bright side of life” complete with whistling from The Life of Brian and Spamalot.
Sometimes these quotes can get messy while he is eating a meal. When he says “How does the piggy eat?” from A Christmas Story, you know he’s going to go face down in his food to demonstrate Ralphie’s little brother chowing down. Scenes from Young Frankenstein are often replayed during meals as well. “You haven’t touched your food” is followed by Bryan’s hands mashing what’s on his plate; AND “Who’s making yummy sounds?” concluding with a low, growling ‘Frankensteinian’ “MMMMMM!”
In fact, Bryan could probably quote from the entire Mel Brooks script. On one occasion, our friends were sitting in the back seat of our car with Bryan enroute to see the musical “Spamalot”. Bryan entertained them the entire way by recalling most of the best lines from that movie. When we arrived half an hour later, our friends were literally crying from laughing so hard at Bryan’s acting. Favorite enacted scenes include the Frau Blucher horse whiney; “put the candle beck (back)” as he mashes his face against the wall; “Roll in ze hay” sung in his best Terry Garr voice; Gene Hackman’s lighting Peter Boyle’s thumb instead of his cigar and exclaiming in disappointment : “Wait! Where are you going? I was gonna make espresso ” (which comes out sounding like “Make a pretzel”, but you get the idea!)
One time we were sitting at the kitchen table following a sad time in Bryan’s life when he had to move back home following an unfortunate altercation with his roommate. He wanted Chinese food and, so, we were enjoying our fare when Bryan looked down at his plate and sighed, saying, “I really missed you guys”. My mother’s heart swelled with love and I responded “Ah, buddy! We missed you, too”. He looked up at me as if I were nuts and said, “I was talking to my sweet and sour chicken nuggets.” Honest to a fault. I laughed hysterically!
Bryan was staying overnight at our house recently. We were out at a rehearsal. Upon returning home, we went upstairs to go to bed, as it was late. The upstairs hallway was strewn with a trail of clothing and boxes from the top of the stairwell to his bedroom. I heard chuckling coming from behind the bedroom door as we climbed the stairs. I angrily questioned what the mess was doing in the hallway. Bryan kept saying “tracks”. It was late at night and I was in no mood to play along. Finally, Dad remembered the line “Look. Tracks!” from the movie 101 Dalmatians. After Dad said the movie line, a voice from the darkened bedroom responded, “I love you!” as in the movie. Bryan was being silly and playful and found a creative way to say he loved us. The anger was gone in an instant!
These are just a small sampling of some of Bryan’s witticisms. There are countless more examples of how Bryan peppers our lives with humor as he always “looks on the bright side of life”. I hope you were able to chuckle along with this post today!