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40.

Family lore says that my brother was born on December 9, 1972, following a moderate snowfall in Wichita, Kansas, that made it a little difficult to get the hospital. We’re not talking being blown off the road and waiting hours for AAA—they left that one to me to do thirty winters later. No, it was just, “Oh, we weren’t sure that we were going to make it okay, but we did.”

I found out on Saturday morning that Doug has to work first thing on Monday morning, which spoiled my underground plan to leave for south Mississippi in about nine hours to surprise him. I mean, I have one brother, right? And he turns 40 today! And I haven’t seen him since May, so we’re due. But we’ll just have to wait a couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll greet him with a shaving cream pie.

A number of you who read this site have met me, so that photo in the header may leave you wondering if we really have the same parents. He’s slight built, dark-haired, dark-complected, and so dark-eyed that it’s nearly impossible to know where his pupils end and irises begin. He’s introverted, but not shy. He has a big radio voice.

But we both have the same propensity to tell bad jokes—although his are worse!—the same family, and the same values. (Okay, I’m the family Democrat.) We’re pretty different, but we were in tandem back in May as Dad recovered from surgery. We have a rhythm, and when we hit our stride, we’re a hell of a lot of fun.

Doug Morris is my brother, and you may not have him. Nope.