Friday, December 6, 2013


Not too long ago, Katherine and I were down in Kansas City. The occasion was my brother John's birthday. Most of the family was there, including my parents all my siblings, in-laws etc.

Anyway, John and Connie had us all stay in their home. It's spacious and comfy and stuff, but there were lots of people there. In the room next to us was younger brother Brendan and Karen and their two year old, Charlotte. Charlotte's my godchild. She's nearly always adorable. I say almost because 99% of the time she truly is a bundle of joy. That other 1% is when she gets hungry. And when she's hungry, look out.

One such hanger fit occurred at about 5:00 AM Sunday morning. Bless her dear little heart, screaming bloody murder for a cracker or something.

Anyway, once carbed up, she was all charm.

I suspect that the hangry gene runs in the Murphy family. There's no doubt in my mind that Charlotte inherited most of that from Brendan. For one, he was exactly like that when he was Charlotte's age. But even as an adult, he can still be that way. Don't get me wrong. My kid brother is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. But when he's bonking, watch out.

Like that one time we ran 19 miles together in the rolling dairy land of the Wisconsin country side. It was supposed to be an easy seven mile jaunt before a family reunion. Eight miles later, we realized that we had made a serious mapping error: our round trip was going to be more than 15, quite possibly 20 miles.

At around the 12th mile, we stopped at a convenience store to ward off some pre-bonky feelings. Fortunately, Brendan had a few sweaty dollars tucked away in a pocket, so we had enough for two cokes and one Snickers bar.

That Coke and Snickers bought us about 20 minutes of happiness before things started going down hill. The heat was taking its toll. There was no breeze to speak of. We were both getting fussy. A melt down was immanent. The funny thing was how it was triggered. You'd think it would have been somebody yelling or throwing garbage at us from a passing car. Or a farm dog chasing us. Or a billboard of Rush Limbaugh sneering at us for a country mile. Nope.

It was simply the sound of my breathing. Only a few moments before, Brendan had picked up the pace without saying a word. He later explained that he was trying to drop me because my laborious breathing was annoying him. But at the time, not a word. He just started running faster. The plan probably seemed legit in his bonking stupor. But his folly was that he didn't count on me sticking with him at that fast clip. The faster pace only made my breathing louder.

Suddenly he stopped, turned and screamed in my face that my breathing was driving him nuts.

You see? Hanger gene dominance

We talked it out for a few minutes along the shoulder of that county highway. In the end, we decided that I'd go a half mile up the road before he started running. We soloed in the rest of the run that way.

An hour later, we were stuffing our faces with pulled pork and chasing it down with cold beer. All smiles. Yeah, pretty good. Hanger curtailed, we were good buddies once more.

Happy Friday. Thanks for reading.


  1. I've never had "hanger induced" anything, sounds pretty much like a cross between hunger and hate.......YPG

  2. Hunger+Anger= 'hanger" or being "hangry" Luckily I am beyond such gauche behavior; but my wife, our kids and my siblings are not. It's so hard to be humble when OH MY GOD I NEED SOME PEANUT BUTTER SMEARED ON A GRANOLA BAR...>GAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

  3. Charlotte got upset at me this morning because I was breathing heavy. So it goes.