Our topic today was the word pretentious, and that gave me the perfect opportunity to tell you all about my asshole, 2 -year older brother Morton. Morton, as he is still living, is proof of the old adage that only the good die young. And naturally, you night ask, why do I think he is an asshole?

One of the reasons is that in the 55 years, I have been married during the times he visited us, or we visited him he has never once picked up the check or even made an attempt to do so. When he comes to visit, he brings no credit cards or seemingly any cash, that is unless he secretly hides it in his underwear. All he apparently carries his passport. Another reason he is an asshole, he has three grown children that hate him so much that except for one who manages to put up with him occasionally, absolutely refuse to have any contact with him.

OK, I am totally digressing so I will get back to pretentious.

When I initially looked in the dictionary for the definition of Pretentious and read that one of the definitions is making false claims, I almost expected to find a picture there of Morton. When that didn’t happen, I tried looking at the definition of Narcissist for his picture with again no luck. I finally gave up looking for him in the dictionary as I could not find an entry there for either Habitual Lier or Full of Shit.

Before I go into all his false claims and bullshit, let me first tell you about the amazing things he actually did.

Morton was very accomplished as a teenager. In High School, he excelled in both sports and also in the bedroom. At North Hollywood High School, which we both attended, in1954-5 he was captain of the baseball team and quarterback of the football team. In his Senior year at the age of 17, he was also a paid gigolo as the attractive 30 something-year-old wife of the Vice President of Marquette Aircraft bought him a new Chevrolet Bel-Air Hardtop convertible and would take him up to her cabin up in the mountains at Big Bear Lake for a weekend tryst. He always came back with a contented smile on his face and a lot of spending money in his pockets.

And, based on the comments and feedback I got at my 50th high school reunion, I am sure Morton dated all the attractive girls in my class and slept with many of them. At my reunion, none of the women there gave a crap about me; all they wanted to know about was how Morton was doing.

Also, if that isn’t enough indicator of his prowess with women, he actually took the then-aspiring young actress, 16-year-old Natalie Woods as his date to his senior prom and knowing his ongoing performance record I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he slept with her.

Was I jealous of Morton? Oh, I sure as hell was.

So, you may ask what the heck is pretentious about him? So far, it seems like he is a very talented and in a man’s viewpoint a very lucky fellow, but that didn’t last forever.

When Morton was about 21 years old, he went back to Muncie, Indiana and married a childhood sweetheart who surprisingly wasn’t even the least bit attractive. I was busy over in Vietnam playing games with the Marine Corps at this time and never have quite figured out that one.

Morton and his new bride returned to Los Angeles where he completed a bachelor’s degree in biology at UCLA; as he originally wanted to become a doctor. Afterward, he went on and started on an MBA program at UCLA, and I recently got him to admit that his career change was because he could not get accepted into any Medical School.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that during this time, my parents were supporting them with numerous large loans that Morton clearly had no intention of repaying. Morton totally drained all their retirement savings. Another of the good reasons I think he is an asshole.

While he was studying for his MBA, Morton read about a company in the Netherlands, The Aluminum Company of the Netherlands, that was going through the equivalent of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Morton contacted them and told them if they hired him and brought him over to Amsterdam to run their company, he would have them in the black within two years. I can’t imagine what he told them his credentials were, but they hired him, and somehow, he actually, as if by magic, made them successful.

Over the many ongoing years, I hear from him he is now a Director of the parent company of The Aluminum Company of the Netherlands, Dutch Steel, and a few years later the VP of Marine Products Development for Hunter Douglas Corporation and that him in his wife and their now three children are living in a luxurious old castle in Luxemburg.

OK, you ask where does this have to do with being pretentious. He doesn’t need to be pretentious; he had it made, or so he claims.

As an opener, while he was working for Hunter Douglas, he claims he personally invented the breakthrough technology they use to extrude tapered aluminum sailboat masts. An amazing feat for someone that has zero engineering background and not the slightest bit of mechanical skill. He never could figure out even how to change the oil in his cars. The only thing I knew he was ever capable of fixing was an erection.

Well, he did have it made until he was abruptly fired for we assume, padding his resume. Not only was he fired, but he was also blackballed throughout most of the larger companies in Europe. What kind of lies pray tell are that bad? How about patently saying you have not one but three PhDs and can speak eight languages fluently when you never even finished your Master’s degree and now after living in Turkey with your new wife for 30 years you still can’t learn to speak even that language. At best, he might have learned to say hello and goodbye in a few of those eight languages.

So, what is he doing in Turkey? It turns out he was sleeping with his wife’s best friend, a recently divorced Turkish lady. His then wife of 25 years divorced him, and he married the Turkish friend and moved to Istanbul to mooch off of her influential family.

That was almost 30 years ago, and since then, he has become in my wife’s words, an unsuccessful entrepreneur. He always has grandiose schemes that he is supposedly working on that somehow he always turns into a failure. I always say whatever he tries he somehow manages to turn into shit due to his outright lies and pretenses.

Unfortunately, all of the fruitless funding for his ambitious failures came at the costs of investments from his new wife’s family and their friends, which has not particularly endeared him over there. As far as I know, he hasn’t earned a cent since he moved to Turkey and he has no friends.

So what else has he done so bad besides lying about his languages skills, his education credentials and squandering the money of his family and friends?

Well, it turns out real life was never enough for Morton, so one of the other tales he has invented and told to all my friends and me and maybe put on his resume is that he is a retired Navy Admiral and commandeered a Nuclear submarine fleet. That actually is not too far off as he was an enlisted man in the Navy Reserve for four years and he did sail at least once on a nuclear submarine. Maybe they fast track promoted him in the few months while he was aboard the ship?? However, that would be one hell of a fast track!

Another one of his latest pretenses and my favorite is that he was also a CIA agent and was involved in a highly dangerous clandestine mission to destroy a top-secret Russian submarine base. He also claims that during that mission, he was exposed to excessive radiation, and it is why he has since developed bladder cancer. I was really not sure how he managed to squeeze this in a while working fulltime and raising a family, so I innocently asked him during his last visit several weeks ago when this mission was, and he told my wife and me it was back in 1954 which I found even more truly amazing. I wasn’t under the impression that the CIA had agents working for them in the field that was only 16 years old. And here all this time I thought Morton worked at a drive-in restaurant near our house during his HS summers. Boy am I ever surprised! What a neat summer job opportunity for teenagers, go join the CIA.

So, what is he doing now? He has been working for at least the last 15 years, so he boasts continuously, on a huge multi-national solar project that is going to be installed in Cypress. He tells us he personally initiated the project and is the main technical and business consultant on it. According to him the technology they will be using is so advanced it will be 100% efficient, and his commission for his astonishing efforts is 6.3 M Euros, about $8M which he expects to get any day. Not a bad paycheck for a person 80 years old with the onset of dementia.

For over the last ten years I have been telling him please send me a photo of his first paycheck so that we can celebrate together. I am still waiting.

And no, I have never shared my own exploits and accomplishments with my brother as he is not at all interested in me or, for that matter anyone else and all it would do is egg him on to invent even more incredulous achievements.

And that my friends is Morton, a pretentious person who also happens to be a narcissist and a big asshole.