In Praise of David Thorpe's Brother
While I've never been inside Russ' apartment, I can only imagine that it's a pretty swingin' joint. His brother may have some peculiar living habits, such as hoarding thousands of TV Guide magazines and unholy amounts of Garfield memorabilia, but I bet Russ runs a real tight ship when it comes to his humble abode. David's apartment is a shameful sight indeed, cluttered to the point where any sudden movement could trigger a fatal avalanche.
I don't like to get careless with big words like "murder," but for a while there was a girl living with David and now there is not. Could she have been crushed beneath a pile of garbage? It's entirely plausible. He's lost a few cats that way.
Another thing that makes Russ shine next to David is that he doesn't sweat the small stuff. Take David's ridiculous TV Guide library for example. For years now David has been yammering on and on about how he's on the cusp of discovering the ultimate TV pattern. He says that as soon as he finds it, he'll be able to predict TV schedules as far into the future as 26 years. Russ, on the other hand, is a big picture kind of guy. He doesn't need to know what's going to be on channel 5 approximately 2,357 days in the future, because he knows there's more to life than television.
David's the kind of guy who looks at my house and barks, "What are you going to do with all those dogs?" Russ is at the other end of of the spectrum, in the ultracool range. He's the kind of guy who sees my collection of dogs and says, "Dude! You've got a ton of top quality dogs. Let's make something happen." Given the chance, Russ is exactly the kind of guy I'd love to go into business with. With my entrepreneurial acumen and his salesmanship, we could clean up.
Russ favors adult relationships. I'm not talking sexy adult relationships, but rather ones that are based on respect and common courtesy. Grownup stuff. In all my encounters with Russ, he was always quick to recall my name, which is Josh. For the past five years David has been calling me all manner of bizarre names, such as "Beft," "Dawf" and "Oach." His latest name for me is "Hodg," which I've never insisted on being called. David routinely makes up fanciful tales to distract from his complete inability to comprehend human names.
After a while you get used to David operating so far outside the boundaries of normalcy. It takes a great deal of patience to tolerate him, which is another thing I admire about Russ. He supports his dumb, stupid brother in spite of all his inane beliefs. Case in point: David's comical relationship with the laws of physics, which he claims to understand better than anyone. After having a bad dream, David suddenly came to the conclusion that his interpretation of gravity was off, making it an absolute certainity that he would float into space. Naturally, this made him afraid to go outside. Russ came to the rescue, making sure his brother did not starve to death. I even chipped in with some pristine canned goods from before the global impurity event.
Russ is just the sort of guy who would drop anything to help a friend in need. I've tried asking his brother for help, and he usually hems and haws for a few minutes, then says he is simply too busy collecting seeds, working in his map room, or that he's about to make a major breakthrough in the Jack the Ripper murders, which he recently became obsessed with solving. "It's a career case," he told me when I requested a ride to the doctor's office shortly after my car was stolen.
It's hard to deny that Russ is just an honest, trustworthy guy. He's not the sort of person to tell lies about his friends, or post in public things that they expressed in confidence. It's hard to believe such a stupendous guy could have such an absolute disgrace of a brother, but I suppose every man has his weakness. It's just too bad that Russell Thorpe's Achilles' heel is a large dumb baby named David.