Ever since I can remember, my brother Bill would interrupt dinners asking my sister and me how much we’d pay him to lick the cat. Somehow crazy-ass Bill had surmised that there’s a hidden demand in our house for people willing to run their tongues down the back of Percival—our Al Bundy-like Siamese male. When Ted Turner started CNN, he went on a hunch that the world wanted news twenty-four hours a day. My older brother also had the same business savvy—as my sister and I would’ve paid almost any price to watch him snatch Percival from the floor during the middle of dinner, then lick that cat from head to toe. We’d laugh so hard that we’d forget everything we needed to. My mom would try to be angry--but had to laugh. My Dad would just stare at him, speechless—trying to block out what future mental or emotional problems Bill’s cat licking foretold. Then, my mom, after the shock had worn off, would look at my brother in the eye and ask, “William Mossberg Greenberg, que la chingada? What the fuck is wrong with you?”
Yes, my brother has the unfortunate distinction of having a Jewish last name for a middle name. The Mossbergs are the family that took my mom from her Mexican youth, and turned her into the hostile Mexi-Jew that she is today. To honor them, she gave their last name to her first born child. Jewish tradition states that you’re not supposed to name a child after a living relative because it actually means that you want them dead. But technically the Mossbergs aren’t related, so I guess she said screw it. And so my brother is William Mossberg Greenberg. And me, being young and not having figured how to coordinate tongue, teeth and sound used to call him Will-Moss. As I grew older and repeatedly witnessed him say things that would make those around gasp for breath—it became Wildmouth.