Lockdown Day 11: The Kid Brother / Encierro Día 11: El Hermanito

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

IT TOOK ALL my self control but I waited until last night to phone The Kid Brother. I knew he was already a bit stressed about the coronavirus and I would only add to the stress by calling days earlier than planned without first discussing a change. Our weekly calls are on Tuesday.

Surprisingly, he’s been home lately when I phone. OK, last week his roommate Chris told me, yet again, “He just stepped out.” I asked Chris how he was doing (their management office had talked to them about covid-19) and Chris told me he was being very careful. He said, “I gotta wash my hands every day!” “And every time you come home and before you eat, too,” I added, to which he responded, “Oh, that’s a good idea.”

New York City, along with the entire State of New York and many other parts of the country, is finally in lockdown. I can’t imagine locking down a city like New York. I can see a lot of people saying, “Lockdown?!? Lockdown this!!!” and pointing to their crotches. (It’s a New York thing… or at least it used to be. I haven’t lived there for a very long time.) However, I’ve read that people are being very cooperative. I hope so.

I asked The Kid Brother if he had food in the house and he said, “I’m stocked up.” The Kid Brother used to like to cook. Now, I think, he prefers frozen dinners and ready made meals. But he used to make the best scrambled eggs in creation. His OCD came in handy. He’d beat eggs and milk into an explosive froth. The fluffiest scrambled eggs I ever had.

He used to watch television cooking shows with My Mother the Dowager Duchess. She loved to quote “rules” to San Geraldo when he cooked. “Why are you doing it that way?” she would demand. “Rachael says you should…” or “Frugal says you should…” It drove him crazy. The Duchess was on a first-name basis with all the celebrity chefs, like Rachael (Ray), and Frugal (The Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith), although she stopped quoting him after he was accused of sexual abuse and pedophelia.

But back to the Kid Brother. He went to a summer camp for special children for several years. When he was in his late teens, he began to work at the camp as a waiter. He’s got a lot more skills than his older brother. I can manage to carry one bowl of soup to the table. On a really good day. He hefted entire trays without a problem.

Some time back, after watching the show “Yan Can Cook” (Martin Yan; the Duchess loved him and called him Yancancook), The Kid Brother said he wanted (needed) a wok. So The Duchess bought him one. Initially, he used it all the time. I asked, “Chuck, what do you cook in your wok?” He proudly replied, “Pork chops!” I wonder if he learned that from Yancancook. It’s unusual for The Kid Brother to directly respond to a question. So pork chops was a surprise in other ways.

Last night when I asked what he had for dinner, he shocked me again, “I went to the pizza place. I got a meatball hero and a Snapple… Peach.” He’s full of surprises. I was concerned, though, that his pizza place was still open but he then volunteered that he could only order at the window from the street. “AND,” he added, “the barber shop’s closed!!!”

This is his bowling season. Every Saturday. He looks forward to it all year and has no room for all the trophies he’s accumulated. Bowling was cancelled beginning this past Saturday. He told me, “I was disgusted!”

He works at a Rite Aid drugstore and he’s working today. I wonder how long that will last. He’s doing fine, understands the seriousness of the situation and is happy to follow the rules. I’m just glad they’ve got cable TV. And that Chris is washing his hands… every day.


ME TOMÓ TODO mi autocontrol, pero esperé hasta anoche para llamar a El Hermanito. Sabía que ya estaba un poco estresado por el coronavirus y solo agregaría estrés al llamar días antes de lo planeado sin discutir primero un cambio. Nuestras llamadas semanales son los martes.

Sorprendentemente, él ha estado en casa últimamente cuando llamo por teléfono. OK, la semana pasada su compañero de cuarto Chris me dijo, una vez más, “Él acaba de salir”. Le pregunté a Chris cómo estaba (su oficina de administración les había hablado sobre covid-19) y Chris me dijo que estaba siendo muy cuidadoso. Él dijo: “¡Tengo que lavarme las manos todos los días!” “Y cada vez que vuelves a casa y antes de comer también”, agregué, a lo que él respondió: “Oh, esa es una buena idea”.

La ciudad de Nueva York, junto con todo el estado de Nueva York y muchas otras partes del país, está finalmente encerrada. No me puedo imaginar cerrar una ciudad como Nueva York. Puedo ver a mucha gente diciendo: “¿¡¿¡¿Bloqueo?!? ¡Bloquea esto!” y señalando sus entrepiernas. (Es una cosa de Nueva York … o al menos solía serlo. No he vivido allí durante mucho tiempo). Sin embargo, he leído que la gente está siendo muy cooperativa. Yo espero que sí.

Le pregunté a El Hermanito si tenía comida en la casa y él dijo: “Estoy abastecido”. A El Hermanito le gustaba cocinar. Ahora, creo, él prefiere cenas congeladas y comidas preparadas. Pero solía hacer los mejores huevos revueltos en la creación. Su TOC fue útil. Había batido los huevos y la leche en una espuma explosiva. Los huevos revueltos más esponjosos que he probado.

Solía ​​ver programas de cocina en televisión con Mi Madre la Duquesa Viuda. Le encantaba citar “reglas” a San Geraldo cuando cocinaba. “¿Por qué lo haces de esa manera?” ella exigiría. “Rachael dice que deberías …” o “Frugal dice que deberías …” Lo volvía loco. La duquesa se identificaba con todos los chefs famosos, como Rachael (Ray) y Frugal (El Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith), aunque dejó de citarlo después de que fue acusado de abuso sexual y pedofilia.

Pero volvamos a El Hermanito. Fue a un campamento de verano para niños especiales durante varios años. Cuando estaba en su adolescencia, comenzó a trabajar en el campamento como camarero. Tiene muchas más habilidades que su hermano mayor. Puedo llevar un plato de sopa a la mesa. En un muy buen día. Levantó bandejas enteras sin ningún problema.

Hace algún tiempo, después de ver el programa “Yan Can Cook” [“Yan Puede Cocinar”] (Martin Yan; la duquesa lo amaba y lo llamó Yancancook), El Hermanito dijo que quería (necesitaba) un wok. Entonces La Duquesa le compró uno. Inicialmente, lo usaba todo el tiempo. Le pregunté: “Chuck, ¿qué cocinas en tu wok?” Él respondió con orgullo: “¡Chuletas de cerdo!” Me pregunto si lo aprendió de Yancancook. Es inusual que El Hermanito responda directamente a una pregunta. Así que las chuletas de cerdo fueron una sorpresa en otros sentidos.

Anoche, cuando le pregunté qué había cenado, me sorprendió de nuevo: “Fui a la pizzería. Tengo un bocadillo de albóndigas y un Snapple (té frio) … Melocotón”. Me preocupaba que su pizzería todavía estuviera abierta, pero luego se ofreció como voluntario para que solo pudiera ordenar en la ventana desde la calle.

Esta es su temporada de bolos. Cada sábado. Lo espera todo el año y no tiene espacio para todos los trofeos que ha acumulado. Los bolos fueron cancelados a partir del sábado pasado. Él me dijo: “¡Estaba asqueado!” Trabaja en una farmacia de Rite Aid y trabaja hoy. Me pregunto cuánto tiempo durará. Le va bien, entiende la gravedad de la situación y está feliz de seguir las reglas. ¡Me alegra que tengan televisión por cable. Y que Chris se lava las manos … todos los días.

Serving “something” in Parksville, New York.
Sirviendo “algo” en Parksville, Nueva York.
Cooking pasta in Guilford, Connecticut.
Cocinar pasta en Guilford, Connecticut.
Late 1970s. Still a camper. Catskill Mountains.
Finales de los setenta. Sigue siendo un campista. Montañas Catskill.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

36 thoughts on “Lockdown Day 11: The Kid Brother / Encierro Día 11: El Hermanito”

    1. Willym:
      It warms my heart to know that you’re thinking of him. He has a better understanding of it all than many others in the world.

    1. sillygirl:
      That cracked me up. I groaned to myself and thought “How do I respond?” He was so proud of himself.

    1. Bob:
      He actually listed off for me reasons he could go out and what was open and closed. He could give lessons.

  1. Good to hear Chuck is doing well and being more spontaneously responsive on occasion.
    I couldn’t imagine carrying that full tray around! He loves his routine as most of us do.
    Be well and take care.

    1. anne marie:
      I hope he stays well, too. I explained to him, in a way he could understand, that he may even already have had or has the virus. I told him most people don’t even get sick or are only a little sick, and that the reason to be super careful was to protect other people from catching it from him because they may not be as strong and healthy as he is. He obviously relaxed at that. And he’s got a lot of empathy, so I’m sure it helped. And, yep, Chuck is SO NYC.

  2. I’m glad to hear The Kid Brother is doing good so far. I think of him every time I hear news about New York City and wish him well.

    1. Debra:
      Thanks for thinking of him. I told him he has fan club on my blog, that he was famous, and he loved that.

  3. I was thinking about Chuck yesterday, amid all of the lockdown seriousness in New York, and wondering how he was taking the change to routine… and, how you were taking the added worries. I’m glad you got to talk to him.
    I’m loving the header picture changing– I haven’t figured out yet, how it changes — are you changing it for each post? I am chuckling at myself for not grasping how you’re doing this. ¡Explain-a-me por favor !

    1. Judy:
      Thanks so much, as always, for your kindness. He’s great. I just hope his other roommate doesn’t get on his nerves. He’s a really nice guy, but a slob … Oscar to Chuck’s Felix. As for the banner, I’m learning more about WordPress (and it’s functionality is becoming more consistent). There’s a randomize feature that allows me to load a bunch of different headers that will cycle through randomly. I’m having a ball.

  4. So your brother is one of the unsung heroes working in the drugstore…kudos to him. Yan can cook was from Vancouver, I loved watching that show. He really took normal ingredients and made them into fabulous things. Mom has one of his cookbooks. Since we only had 2 channels when I was a kid on tv (with a gigantic antenna you put on the roof) that show was on one of our two national tv stations.

    1. Cheapchick:
      Yeah, I was surprised they still had him coming in. I’ll find out next week if that continues. I told him how grateful everyone is for all those people like him who have to keep working. He said, “It’s gotta get done!” I’m familiar with all those old celebrity chefs (and only some of the contemporary ones) because my mother watched them starting with Julia Child and then Chucky would always turn to them when he visited her. As you can imagine, I didn’t have much interest myself.

  5. Thanks for clearing that up! I was worrying how he was doing. New York City is now the epi center for our country with this virus. It’s insane. They are even thinking of closing the boarders in and out of the state, I thought I heard.

    Keep us posted Mitchell. Im sure his friends will be looking in on him too. He’s quite comical. Why you too never took your show on the road is beyond me.

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      It is all so hard to fathom. Strange enough to be in lockdown here in our little city of 75,000 people and knowing the rest of the country is doing the same. But NYC! And many parts of the USA (which I think should be ALL), it’s unreal. Thanks for thinking about Chuck. This is how I’ve taken our show on the road; Chuck would never perform for an audience.

    1. Wilma:
      Thanks so much. He quite often surprises me with his smarts. His compassion never surprises me. A good person.

  6. That’s a snazzy jacket he’s wearing in the first photo. I’m glad he’s okay. You make me want to know everyone you mention.


    1. janiejunebug:
      Do you BELIEVE that jacket? He inherited it from a stylin’ uncle who never wore anything for more than one season. So, I’m sure at one time it was very cool (and absurdly expensive). Never my style! Thanks for that statement about wanting to know everyone. I try to make the people in my life real to you when I tell my stories.

  7. I don’t blame him for being disgusted. We’re all disgusted with this crazy situation, aren’t we? I’m glad there’s some serious hand-washing going on and he’s doing well. Did you blur his shirt out in that camper photo? What did it say? (I used to be a reporter so I have to be nosey. 🙂 )

  8. I’m glad there’s a lot of hand-washing going on there and your brother is doing well! Did you blur out the writing on his shirt in the camper photo? What did it say? (Enquiring minds want to know!)

    1. larrymuffin:
      May you and Will enjoy the lack of noisy tourists and both stay well. Thanks for your kinds thoughts for Chuck. He can be amazing in a tough situation.

  9. Every time I hear New York I think of you brother and a few of my New York friends. I am glad to know he is OK so far.

  10. Every time I learn something new about the Kid Brother, I love him more! I think it fabulous that he likes to cook and is a good waiter. And you’re such a good Big Brother to him. I’m glad he’s being careful and understands the severity of the situation. And in case you didn’t know, the daily briefings with Andrew Cuomo have been captivating the whole country. He’s doing such a great job!

    1. Jennifer,
      Sorry WordPress was throwing comments into spam again! The Kid Brother is full of surprises.

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