Thursday, April 30, 2009

My family tree's got Dutch Elm's Disease.

I've always been jealous of people who know their family heritage. Friends of mine who are 100% Irish or adopted from Korea seem to have a sense of pride that a regular ambiguous mutt like myself can't share. I can say I'm American, but so can Toby Keith, Morgan Freeman, Yakov Smirnoff and every Native American. So that doesn't really help much. I asked my parents about our heritage and I got a bucketful of vagueness. Still, my curiosity has spurred me onward. Here's what I've deduced so far from asking questions and a little googling:

Brody: (Gaelic) "Muddy place or ditch"
My mom's maiden name - Shogren: (Swedish - Sjögren) "Sea branch"
Analysis: I am the mixture of a dirty place and a useless thing. What the hell is a sea branch anyway? There's no trees in the ocean!

According to my parents, we are mostly Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. Probably. Even though "Brody" is Gaelic. We just really wanted to be associated with gunk, so we stole a name from another culture I guess. Also, my dad says, my family once farmed the land that is now Wall Street. Supposedly when the land was no longer productive, we just packed up and left it. So, in my dad's own words: "Technically, we might kind of own Wall Street. But that'd be a little hard to prove." Ya think, Dad? "Hey stock-brokers! Step aside, the Brody's are back! Get the seed corn! Hey, where'd the mud go?"

My family history is also full of pointless information. According to my dad, my grandpa was blood brothers with Chief Sitting Bull's grandson. On my mom's side, my great-great-grandpa might have known the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson's great-great-grandpa. Do you know what that means? That means my family is "that guy". You know that guy. The guy that when someone talks about Terry Bradshaw they'll tell a story about how their uncle-in-law saw him buying oatmeal in Omaha once. (True story.)

Sjögren's Syndrome is also the name of something that gives you dry mouth and eyes. Even our disease is boring and not worth mentioning. I'm not saying I want to be associated with some horrible calamity, but maybe we could be something that at least gives you the runs. "Damn you Sjögren's Revenge!" Instead it's "Oy, my eyes are so dry today. Better get the spray."

I actually wrote my grandma not too long ago to try and get some information out of her, but she wrote me a letter back about what she had for lunch. It was meatloaf. She's getting tired of meatloaf. It's dry, like Sjögren's Disease.

So you know what? I'm just going to forget about my supposed family heritage and make up my own. I'm sure if I just try hard enough, I can make myself believe it's true. From now on, I am Mike Megatron...Half fire god/half sexy robot/all man. My grandfather WAS Brian Wilson, my grandmother was Terry Bradshaw and the mere mention of my name gives you explosive diarrhea.

That's what I'm going with. It's easier than research.


  1. At least the branches of your family tree don't reconnect in other places like mine. I guess that's NH for you.

  2. My mother is 100% Italian and my Father is a mut. Interesting combo.

  3. you put things in brackets inside parenthesis
    (Just so you [Mike Brody] are aware)

  4. Sea branch - are we driftwood? Gary Shogren