23 June 2008

Birthday Tribute - Al

This is the first of my Birthday Tributes to my friends. It's my friend Al's birthday, so I'll tell you about him.

Al is married to my previously-mentioned friend Jean. Well, not just married... She was my roommate, but I didn't need her, so I sold her to him. Then I remembered that she does the cooking and vacuuming. But I digress.

Al is the most honorable man I know. And it's all so stereotypical. He's an ex-marine, but way too smart to be an ex-marine. He was previously stationed at Camp Goliath, and was tasked with guarding the president. This was during Bush the First. Now, he works as an IT guru at a local college, and loves the job more than the pay.

He's a Janophile. And no, that has nothing to do with any Brady Bunch characters... It means that he likes Japanese stuff. He has a sizable collection of Japanese swords, watches anime in the original Japanese (he can't stand English dubs) and lets his wife, Jean, serve him tea. I've tried to talk him into making her wear a kimono, but he just mutters something about getting us both killed and wanders off.

Al's one fear is of spiders. This fact, combined with the aforementioned sword collection, is why I've kept my pet tarantulas away from him in the past. But that doesn't stop Jean from planting fake spiders around their house. She hopes to some day hear him scream like a little girl. It hasn't happened yet, but every now and then, I see him turn to face an imaginary judge and say, "And that's why I killed her, Your Honor."

He's a Perfect Man. He's loving, tender, generous, intelligent and good-looking. He treats his step-daughter as if she were his own. He shows love to every child that enters his home. (The good kind of love, not that sick kind they have in Florida.) He allows great latitude to his wife in bringing yet more animals into the house, violating the rules of their deed-restricted neighborhood. He does everything he's asked, helps his friends when they need it, and puts on whatever demeanor will make others the happiest. All this, and yet he's straight, unlike most other men who have these characteristics. And like all straight men who have these qualities... He's married.

And she doesn't properly appreciate him. But I digress.

In short, he's the one person I would most want at my side in a fight, and if he weren't married I would long ago have fallen in love with him. And he's the one person I trust most in the world, apart from my father. He's practically a super hero. Just without the tights. Although he does wear tights when he goes to the Renaissance Festival. And when he wears them he looks.... whew! Sorry, I had to catch my breath. But I digress.

And so, Happy Birthday,

No comments: