As I’ve stated before, not only do I find Cousin Fester’s friends less repulsive than him, I also get along with them like a house on fire, especially the Brothers. Again, they are not religious, but I call them that because of their hipster bro cult. That, and the fact that Cousin Fester is very drawn to spiritual elements, and sees himself as the leader of an abbey from another life.
They are friends with girls, do not undermine their female colleagues, no one is openly gay (Cousin Fester is bi, and I have my suspicions about some of the other Brothers and yet, it is all very hush-hush, it is also not my place nor duty to out them, so enough said about that), yet they prefer each other’s company in social settings.
They are welcoming once they’ve accepted you, and you have calmed their initial suspicions about them. This is understandable, as they are the ones who have Cousin Fester’s ear, the King’s advisers if you will. My attitude has always been that while it would have been great to work with Cousin Fester due to his knowledge and point of view, I can get the job done without his input. Though his thoughts would be very valuable, the difference between watching a movie in VIP seating and regular seats. But what can’t be won’t be, for the time being at least.
I was hanging out with an acquaintance at a company function, when I spied Brothers Helsing and Harker with a female colleague. Having been educated at an American high school, I went over to say hi. You laugh at this, but I’ve seen good friends, even family, not acknowledge each other on the same premise, because one was on a date or had company. My acquaintance decided to leave, but when I asked if he could join us anyway, after they’d greeted me and told me to sit down, Brother Harker very subtly shook his head no. My acquaintance was too far away (and too hung over) to notice and on his way home anyway.
The Brothers were very nice, their colleague immediately included me in the round of drinks, and she and I later ended up becoming friends. The party was less of success. At least to us, everyone was getting bored, everyone was restless. Perhaps because Cousin Fester wasn’t there. Cousin Fester always makes the party, if not physically, then by proxy, when someone will bring him up in conversation. Which doesn’t happen too often when I’m there. Even the Brothers are convinced I know Cousins Fester and Gomez really well. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, I could say I know them the way a relative does, and I know which buttons to push (as do they), but beyond that and the few words exchanged, usually inquiring about the whereabouts of whichever Brother I’m looking for, I wouldn’t call it an interaction. The Brothers all assume that Cousins Fester, Gomez, and I have made a silent pact not to acknowledge family ties, and they will respect that. If we ever did breathe such ties into life, it wasn’t on this plane.
But back to to the party. Brother Helsing invited us to his office, with the warning that he only had three cans of beer. I told him not to worry about it as I’m fine without alcohol, so Brother Helsing motioned for us to follow him up the stairs. It was remote enough, so we could chat, but close enough so it didn’t feel like we were trekking to Alaska. Inside it looked like . . . well, let’s just say there’s a very good reason Cousin Fester likes a certain part of the U.S. Any interior decorator seeing this would have been proud. And I say this without the slightest trace of sarcasm. I told Brother Helsing as much, while he and the colleague brought out enough glasses for us and started measuring out the beer. I took a another look around.
It really was an awesome place, combining the American region with medieval European elements. Not my favorite era, though I love Gregorian chants, but I can appreciate beauty when I see it. I pointed to one such object and commented in it. Brother Helsing mentioned that it had been a present from one of Cousin Fester’s minions. Naturally, he used his nickname. Even more naturally, I pretended not to know. This is characteristic of me, especially when it comes to Cousin Fester’s crew. Before I can control it, I’m either rolling my eyes when they enter, or deny their existence by pretending I don’t know who any of them are, unless we’re on speaking terms. Only much later did I realize that Brother Helsing saw me talking to the guy’s spouse (a very distant relative of mine, though I wasn’t aware of it when we met). But, as I said, the Brothers are nothing if not discreet. If I’m not claiming any connections, they figure there’s a good reason, and being who they are, they won’t pry. He did give me a look for trying to deny the guy’s existence, which I lobed right back. Brother Helsing was undeterred.
“Well anyway,” he stated, “they all helped me decorate this place.” Meaning Cousin Fester and his minions.
What slipped out of my mouth was purely unintentional but shows exactly what I think of the minions, and Cousin Fester. There really is no hope.
“Even so, you guys did a really great job.”
Brother Helsing just turned away and laughed. Then again, who in their right mind wants to get in the middle of a family fight?