Brad and Me
I got a call from a friend of ours last week. Remember Brad Meyer? Reporter, food critic, magician, photographer— Magician? Oh, yeah, he once made my quarter disappear. After a lot of whining on my part, he returned it. The coin was in my ear all the time. I felt like an idiot.
What’s even weirder than the coin trick is the fact that Brad had called just to see how I was doing. Brad has asked me how I was doing TWICE. Once he did it as a way to inform me I had my shirt buttoned wrong. His exact words were, “How ya doin’, Binky?”
During our phone chat, I suggested Brad do a new headshot for me? He asked what was wrong with the last one he did, and I told him that the picture didn’t look much like me anymore. He said, “Yes?”
See my photo up there? I haven’t looked that good since the day after Brad took the picture. I’ve gained some pounds, and just last week, I shaved my beard, thus unmasking more of my flawed face. You can still recognize me from the picture, but it will require a double take. Makes me feel like a tricker guy.
Brad said he’d be glad to make me look worst than my previous picture. He instructed me to get my buns to his studio Monday morning, and said that he wouldn’t charge me anything for the headshot. Seriously. (By the way, he didn’t use the word “buns.” I was just trying to make him sound nice.)
Well, when I looked in the mirror Monday morning, I immediately got out of the mood for a photo shoot. Figured I’d wait a couple of years until I looked better. I phoned Bradford. He complained that he had just spent 40 minutes readying his studio. What a storyteller!
Instead of a photo shoot, I picked Bradson up and took him for breakfast. He feigned shock. When I tagged along with Brad for his restaurant reviews, the newspaper always paid for my meals, but Brad acted as if it was coming out of his pocket. He’d take the check from the waiter and say something like, “My father, here, has forgotten where he keeps his wallet.” Not once did a waiter ever see it as a joke.
We had breakfast at the 105 Café in Conroe. When the owner, Tom, saw us come in, he said, “Are you guys here on business or just to eat?” He pointed to my review that he had pinned to his bulletin board. -- I mean, “Brad’s” review. I get things mixed up.
People still tell me how much they enjoyed “our” restaurant reviews and videos. I was responsible for the videos, but Brad wrote all the reviews for the newspaper. He just brought me along for comic relief. People complimented me so much on the articles that I tired of correcting them. They didn’t seem to care one way or the other. Brad cared. It’s always about Brad.
In the Café we rehashed some of the not so old times. Brad and I once had a talk show on irlonestar.com. Brad never prepared anything. I’d jot down notes about different topics, and make up commercials for sponsors we didn’t have. Brad showed up and said whatever was on his mind. Most of it was pretty interesting, but would definitely not garner him a one-man act at the Crighton. Remember, he calls “buns” by a bad name?
I’ve got to admit that Bradford is so much more interesting than I am. The man has done some really cool things. Did you know that he was once a magician’s assistant? That’s where he learned to pull quarters out of people’s ears. When he was 19, he worked with a guy first and middle name of “The Amazing.”
Brad said that he once helped suspend The Amazing upside down on a plank atop a building in Chicago. The guy was wearing a straight jacket that had been strapped on way too tight by an ex-professional football player who was trying to impress. It’s a fascinating story, the end of which you’ll have to learn from Bradstone. You’ll probably have to buy him breakfast
Some of you may remember that Brad was also a referee of professional boxing matches. And, he’s managed resorts at several exotic places. He has a lot of history that man. And, his stories added much to the fine meal… which I paid for.
Weird thing, Brad e-mailed me that evening to thank me for the breakfast. I was flabbergasted. It was so unbradlike. -- The next morning he called to ask me to go with him to Kingwood to pick up an outdoor fireplace that he had found on Craig’s List. D’oh!
So, I got to spend more time with Brad than is healthy. Brad’s GPS (Angela) finally got us to a mansion in Kingwood, Bradly studied the outdoor fireplace for what seemed like a couple of days. He eventually got the owner down from $500 to $200. At one point the guy almost cried. It wasn’t that he needed the money; he just hated to be out done by Brad. Boy, could I tell him some stories.
Before leaving Brad’s house I asked him to do the disappearing quarter act for me. He told me he was a little rusty, but could probably manage to pull a nickel out of my “buns.” – I thought it an apt way to end the latest story in the saga of “Brad and Me.” – No, seriously, this is the end.