Sometimes the funniest things in my life are the everyday interactions. Let me introduce you to a couple of my favorite characters, Happy and Ming. Separately, they are sweet, loving, opinionated pricks from the Boston suburbs. Together they are a hysterical comedy show. They bicker like an old married couple yet adore each others company. It’s a relationship that might appear abusive to outsiders but is truly a blend of brotherly love and mutual respect that most families yearn for.
Why do we call him Happy? Well, that’s a good question. It sure as hell isn’t because he’s happy. Someone thought he resembled the character Happy from the movie Happy Gilmore. He has a great laugh and he loves golf so I guess it makes sense. Well, it stuck. That’s how nicknames happen.
He is my brother-in-law. He’s only in his 40’s but if I wrote down his daily routine for you, you might think he is 80. As a sharp contrast, he can party like a 20-year-old. The man can throw back more beers than a mo-fo. Impressive yet arguably disturbing. Married to Ming’s sister, he fit into the family instantly. He has the thick skin needed to survive in the Doherty family and can absorb the mental abuse as easily as he can dish it out. My personal favorite thing about him is his laugh. It’s fabulous. He has the kind of laugh that makes you laugh even if you have no idea what he’s laughing about. He’s a great guy. You always know where you stand with Happy because he is brutally honest and in recent years we have learned that he has the inability to whisper. He physically can’t do it. In a public setting you may find a group of his closest friends “shh-shing” him all night. My kids think he’s a professional chef and my husband refers to him as the leisure sport king.(cards, darts, golf, bocce, pool, croquet, etc). He is totally lovable. We all kinda fight over Uncle Happy. I want him in the kitchen, the kids want to play driveway hockey with him and Ming needs him for man time.
Yup..he’s my husband and he is quite a character. Why do we call him Ming? He played rugby in college and someone thought he looked like Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordan.
What can I say? Rugby nicknames are hard to shake.
Anyway, when you meet him you won’t forget him…even if you want to. He has a strong presence and tends to take over a room. He is one of the most loyal friends you will ever meet. When we have visitors in our home he bends over backwards to ensure a memorable visit. The man is like a locomotive when it comes to partying. He picks up speed when the rest of the world is ready to go to sleep. Yes indeed. I think nearly everyone would agree that he is an awesome host but don’t expect him to break his character. He always stays true to himself. Once he falls asleep, there is no waking him up. He’s a 38 year old that sleeps more than any human I have ever met yet he is always complaining about how tired he is. I personally think it’s his behavior that everyone finds so interesting. His day starts at noon. Always. I’m not sure how he pulls it off but he is not an early riser. In fact, he is totally useless in the morning. I used to fight it but now I’d rather him sleep. I can’t stand to watch him stumble around complaining about this ache and that pain while trying to fix himself a cup of coffee. The whole scene is hard to watch. It makes me want to throw his ass in a wheel chair and hand him a cup of joe just to get on with my day. I’m sorry. It’s true. I love him, I do. Strangely I think everyone does, yet nobody knows why. Perhaps it’s the unbearable amount of quirks he has or maybe it’s his keen ability to laugh at himself. Who knows? All I do know is that he is full of passion and most walk away from a conversation with him scratching their heads trying to figure him out. Molly describes her father perfectly. She says “He’s like a bear. Sometimes a grizzly bear and sometimes a teddy bear.”
Happy and Ming Together
A typical night with Ming and Happy at Doherty’s pub. I wrote their insanely thick Boston accents into the dialog. You’re welcome.
Ming: “Who needs a beeya?”
Happy: “Yes please.”
Ming: “Um, No. You can’t have one. Anyone else?”
Happy: (eye roll) “Heeh we go. No. I wanna hear this. Go ahead. Tell me. Why not?”
Ming: “You’ve already had your quota for the night and you’ll be asleep in thirty minutes.”
Happy:(disgusted by Ming’s comment) “Are you serious?”
Ming: “Hey? I never asked you to grocery shop at 5 am.”
They laugh because it’s true. It’s a known fact. Happy grocery shops at the ass crack of dawn.
Ming: “There is no way yo-ah lastin till midnight.”
He address’s the whole bar.
Ming: “What’s the ovah/undah on Happy passing out?”
Happy: “Shut the hell up. Who asked you? Like yor-ah real prize Ming. Ah ya real proud of yourself that ya booze all night and sleep all day? I know how it is. Ya abuse me now but ya love me when I feed ya kids breakfast.
Then he continues his rant with an imaginary conversation with the kids.
Happy: “Oh hi kids…sure I’ll make you omelets, if we wait for daddy to get up we’ll all be freakin stahving.”
Ming: (chuckling because he got Happy all fired up)
Happy: “Get me a damn beer and shut the hell up ya ass wipe.”
Ming grabs Happy a beer and slides it down the bar.
Ming: “Wake up,asshole!”
Happy cracks open the beer without making eye contact with Ming.
Happy: “Ya know what? Cut the shit. Just watch the game, will ya. You’re angering me.” (The term “angering” is a Happy classic.)
Ming: “Mmm? You’re cranky. You tie-yad? Why don’t ya take a little nap on the couch? Ya know ya want to?” (smirk)
Happy: “Whatever. STOP! Seriously? Ya such an ass!”
He laughs his contagious laugh and tries to focus on watching the Red Sox game.
Ming stares at Happy just to piss him off and chuckles while doing so. There is a long pause and then Ming says what he always says when he can’t think of anything else to say.
Ming: “By the way. Nobody likes you Happy.”
Everyone erupts with laughter. It’s mean as hell but it’s Ming’s go-to one-liner. I know it’s elementary but let’s all be honest. There is really no good way to respond to “nobody likes you”, now is there?
Happy: (Laughing) “Go have yah massive and get it ovah with, will ya?”
Ming rubs his chest slowly with concern. He wonders if he will have a heart attack.
Ming: “Is that why I feel like this? I think it’s happening. (laughing) Let’s all be honest. I’m a fat fuck. It’s gonna happen soona or latah.”
He looks at his stomach and his swollen cankles. His face suddenly looks depressed. Then he checks out Happy’s physique and it cheers him up again.
Ming: “Yah no better than me dude. Who’s goin down first. You or me?”
Happy: “Um hello? That’s a no brainah. Look at ya. Yah done. All done. Toast! Better up your life insurance douchebag.
While sitting on the bar stool he holds his chest and fakes a heart attack and then laughs uncontrollably.
Ming stares at the bar in silence, thinking. He’s still rubbing his chest, then he snaps out of his funk and chugs the rest of his beer as he stands up. He walks towards the fridge and slaps Happy on the back in a brotherly way.
Ming: “Ya need one?”
Happy: “Yes please.”
Ming brings him a beer and turns the music up. That’s right baby, it’s Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton singing Islands in the Stream. He loves this song and apparently so does Happy. They belt out the lyrics in unison.
Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah-ha
From one lover to another, ah-ha
and just like that… they are lovers again. Who knew that waiting on the massive would be so fun? I love these idiots.