The first thing I have to explain about Chuck is that “Chuck” is not his real name. His real name is Ken, but one day when we were kids, my older brother looked at him and said, “You don’t look like a Ken. You look like someone who should be named Chuckie Huddleburger.” And so his name has since been Chuck, whether he liked it or not. He should consider himself lucky to be nicknamed Chuck. My brother also nicknamed Chuck’s older brother “Aper” due to his resemblance to an ape. The other member of our foursome is nicknamed “Gooby,” so I think Chuck realized that as far as nicknames go, he got off easy. That apparently is about the only way Chuck got off. He has always had an uncanny ability to avoid hooking up with women no matter how hard he tried. At one point, as an adult heterosexual male in his 20’s he went over 2 years without convincing anyone to have sex with him! He is not a candidate for Extreme Makeover. He has an actual personality and the verbal ability to express himself. He also has rosy, red cheeks. Year round. Whether it’s hot or cold. When we were younger, Chuck was always the tag along little brother to the older three of us. He was the youngest by a year or two and was moderately vertically challenged, but definitely not dwarf-like. Unfortunately for him, these traits also made him the group scapegoat for practical jokes. If there is any justice in the world, Chuck will one day own a billion dollar corporation, hire the rest of the Golden Boys, and then fire us just out of spite for the abuse we heaped upon him when we were younger. He had three older brothers of his own, but he wisely chose us three as his role models. One of our first tasks as Chuck’s mentors in high school was to get rid of his hopelessly outdated hairstyle that we referred to as “The Wave.” This hairstyle was so 1950’s corny, that one winter we memorialized it with a 10 foot tall snow sculpture of his head on his front lawn.
Self-proclaimed grand poobah of leisure and author of humorous suspense novels The Sneaker Tree & White Picket Prisons, the humor essay book Fifty Shades of Phil and the long running blog The Phil Factor. thephilfactor.com
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