Sunday, February 21, 2010


I was in Los Angeles last week seeing how the west coast looks from a hot, windowless casting call room (it looks like desperation). But Friday night I opted to take the redeye home. Those of you who aren’t idiots who got into advertising may not know what the redeye actually means. I sat down in my airline seat (technically ½ of a seat since the fatso next to me needed the room) at midnight and landed in Chicago at 6am. Despite the overnightness of it all, they do their best to prevent you from sleeping. Seating me next to an obese person, purposely aiming towards turbulence, banging my elbow with the $7 a beer drink cart, it took a greater toll on me than any transatlantic flight ever did.

Why would I put myself through the special kind of hell only a major airline can?

Because the Hamann cousins were gathering at my dad’s house. My work schedule, combined with my inherit laziness has prevented Elijah from getting to see his other cousin Fox Hamann, a mere three hours away. Yeah, he can’t go three days without fighting with Finn, but he hasn’t had any good Fox time since they were both too young to care.

So Finn, Steve, Eli and I drove down to my dad’s with little or no difficulty other than my sleepiness. Thank you, inventor of the portable DVD player. Thank you, inventor of the portable bag of cheddar bunnies.

A little while after my dad and stepmom busted out their delicious venison sausage, my older brother Dave arrived with his wife and two kids. His oldest kid, Josh, doesn’t play into this story because he’s too old find cars and Curious George interesting.

After a little shyness, it began. The Chase. Little did my dad realize when he bought his house, but the layout is perfect for The Chase. If you are age 2-4, The Chase is the greatest game on Earth. The Chase basically involves running in a circle for 6 hours, stopping only to: 1) grab a fist full of venison sausage 2) Smash your head on furniture.

I could tell Elijah was really comfortable with his cousin Fox. Because he removed his pants. So the game of The Chase added a new rule: Avoid the boy with the wiener.

After the three boys were so tired that they didn’t even mind sharing toys, I took Eli, Fox and Finn up to take a bath. The combination of the three of them in the tub bordered on illegal cuteness. But before the photo shoot could begin, Finn took one look at the two other naked Hamann boys urinating on each other in the tub and said, “Um. I think I’ll stay out here and help you, uncle Rick.

p.s. I just realized I didn’t count Luca in the Hamann cousins. He stayed in Evanston with his mother, not crying and generally being perfect.

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