To talk about my friend Bubba is to embark on a million stories.
I’m surprised I haven’t written a post dedicated solely to him yet, but keen readers of my Below Average Blog will no doubt have seen mention of him in numerous posts. He’s traveled with me to many places, played countless games with me, and indulged my weirder habits.
He’s one of my bestest friends, and this post is for him.
Side note: Hey, Bubba! I know you’re reading this!
The first thing you should know about Bubba is that his real name isn’t actually Bubba. It’s Genaro.
The story of how he got the nickname “Bubba” is before my time. I think when he was in elementary, some friends of his just decided to call him that.
The second thing you should know about Bubba is that he’s a fantastic human being.
We kind of met during freshman year of high school. Our lunch tables were close to each other, and we were aware of each other’s existence, but we didn’t really talk.
Our friendship really started chugging along come junior year of high school.
And we reached maximum levels of buddiness during our college years.
We would have manversations while playing Halo. We tried starting a YouTube channel that hasn’t seen any activity in years now. We would stay up till early hours just talking about goddamn anything.
And I don’t know if Bubba feels this way, but I think the universe confirmed we’re supposed to be friends when it gave us jury duty at the same time.
One of the greatest things about Bubba is his sense of playfulness. There is no one (aside from my sister) who I would rather explore a new place with or try a new game with, than Bubba. He taps into my inner goofball and we can both have insane amounts of fun just being stupid together.
We played though Alien: Isolation together because I was too afraid to play it alone, and the game got so stressful for us, we set a timer for ten minutes, effectively limiting how long one of us would play before handing the controller off to another person. Eventually, we would actually throw the controller at the other person when the timer sounded, no mater if the Xenomorph was inches away from killing us.
We have gone to the beach at six in the morning, and because we’re so eager to just jump into the water, we freeze our tits off by wading in before the sun has properly come out. I remember complaining about how my recently shaved legs were blistering from the icy salt water, and as Bubba laughed at me, a perfectly timed, frigid wave just slapped him in the sack.
We once even braved an epic knife fight at a casino together while trying to escape a dreaded Oompa Loompa bonus.
Side note: I’m exaggerating, Bubba, I know. But come on! It was intense!
We’ve also waited in line after line at Disneyland together like a couple of motherflubbin’ champs.
And there is no one I would rather camp with outside of a movie theater, waiting for a premiere, for twelve hours.
The ability to be “stupid” with a person doesn’t sound like a compliment on the surface. But it’s one of the highest pieces of praise I can lay on Bubba’s shoulders. He doesn’t make me think about how I’m behaving or what words are coming out of my mouth or what my face looks like. I can be totally natural in front of Bubba, and I hope the reverse is true for him.
He is the first person I think of when I consider going out to have fun. He is one of those rare people who can truly make you forget anything wrong going on in your life. Seriously, the apocalypse could be happening, and Bubba and I would be able to laugh about it while playing Minecraft.
During this pandemic, he’s been the person keeping me sane. We play together over Xbox Live, and even though miles separate us, it feels like he’s sitting right next to me as we mess around in the Nether. I can picture his expressions perfectly.
You might be wondering at this point why this post calls him “my shaka brah.”
Well, see, I got a free download of the game Life Is Strange, in which a bunch of whiny hipster teenagers go through some trials and tribulations. At one point, the main character makes a joke and says, I shit you not, “Ready for the mosh pit, shaka brah.”
Bubba had been watching me play through this game the whole time. As soon as this line was spoken, we looked at each other and just shared the biggest groan/chuckle/screech you’ve ever heard. It was like our humor and our disgust got together, had a baby, and this was the baby’s first noise.
After that, we started calling each other “shaka brah,” you know, to be ironic.
And, well, it stuck.
It’s gotten so bad that we actually label gifts to each other as being from “shaka brah” to “shaka brah.”
And the rest is history.