Goober, n. Pronunciation: /Goo·bər/
1) The peanut Arachis hypogaea.
2) A lovable, silly, light-hearted goofball.
Brandon Parker is a goober. Parents often say, 'Stop making that face or you’ll get stuck that way!' I’m pretty sure Brandon disregarded those warnings as a kid. It’s rare to find a decent photo of him, one without some goofy expression, but here’s one I snapped almost a year ago.
Most friendships have a hazy dawn - they flourish from shared laughs, bike rides and weekend trips. My friendship with Brandon has a clear start: it was in 2013 when someone said, "Hey, you should clarify that with Brandon."
And here we are, 3 years later with countless board game nights, a trip to Las Vegas and a trek through Utah. One episode stands out for me. There was a long drive ahead of us, a few hours made worse by the accumulating traffic out of Squamish Music Festival that was bound to double our time in the car.
We had all agreed to leave at 8pm, knowing that if we left any later, we would only get home very late. After all, the next morning promised a flurry of early alarms, work commutes and the like. However, when it was time to leave, Josh was missing.
“Try texting him again?” Still no response. “He’s not picking up, did he lose track of time?” Over an hour later, we located Josh and got stuck in traffic. Stern silence and knotted brows filled the car. Exhausted and frustrated, each of us took to a window and looked out. This boulder of irritation was building up but immediately vanished when Brandon turned to Josh and said, “Don't worry about it, we love you man.”
Brandon is a man with a reputation that precedes him. He braids sensitivity with bravado and has the superpower of spotting the silly in anything. He has taught me the lightness of saying yes, the fun of environmental design and the rules of Dutch Blitz.