What Ever Became of...Bobby Brady?

Like so many troubled young adults, Bobby’s problems began in high school.  With the elder Brady children no longer at home and his parents preoccupied by step-sister Cindy’s compulsory reassignment as a “special needs” student by the local school board, Bobby turned toward the “stoner” community at Encino High for mentorship and social support.  Given the still palpable reputations of his oldest brother and sister for academic excellence and athletic achievement, Bobby appears to have fashioned his own social identity around indiscriminate drug use and increasingly public displays of anti-social behavior.  Already a suspect in the spray-painting of “FUCK” on the school’s tennis court, Bobby narrowly avoided expulsion after stealing a power-sander from shop class and abrading the word “BITCH” on a popular cheerleader’s recently acquired Camero.  In the summer preceding his senior year, Bobby was arrested for possession of a controlled substance after attempting to smuggle psychotropic mushrooms into a Rush concert at the Anaheim Convention Center, an event that greatly increased tensions in the Brady household and led to Bobby briefly crashing at his friend “Weasel’s” apartment in Van Nuys.  Entreaties from Greg, now a successful investment banker in Los Angeles, only further stoked family tension when Bobby told his older brother “to mind his own goddamn business.” 

Through extensive surveillance and perpetual threats of military school on the part of Mr. Brady, Bobby graduated in 1982 and then enrolled at Cal State-Fullerton to begin coursework in the fall.  The family was somewhat encouraged at this point in that Bobby expressed a belief that college wouldn’t “suck donkey dick” in the same way as high school.  Unfortunately, by the spring quarter of his freshman year, Bobby’s extraordinary appetite for marijuana and a table-top version of Ms. Pac-Man at a local pizza emporium resulted in his expulsion for poor attendance and bad grades.  An unexpected windfall of $1000--Bobby’s share of the royalties earned from a family recording made during happier times--allowed the troubled teenager to conceal his failure from his parents by renting an efficiency in Sun Valley and pretending to still attend classes.  Here Bobby embarked on a business venture that he was convinced would show his friends and family once and for all that college was for “stupid shitheads” and that he did indeed “know what the fuck” he was doing. 

Plying local high school kids with free pot, Bobby secured the use of a kiln to produce a series of custom-glazed bongs fashioned to resemble characters from the then extremely popular Star Wars movies.  The venture came to a rather ignominious end, however, when a profoundly high Bobby—his fingers still greasy from the remnants of a Del Taco chicken burrito—dropped and shattered his entire inventory in the parking lot of an Orange Country flea market.  A brief effort was made to regroup, but having been spotted by an ambitious young studio attorney who had been at the market in search of retro furniture for his new nursery, Bobby received a “cease and desist” order the following week for copyright infringement.  

Out of school and out of money, Bobby had no other option than to return to the Brady household.  Bobby’s attempt to pawn a necklace stolen from the nursing home of former housekeeper Alice led to another brutal argument with Greg over the 1983 Christmas holiday.  When a cat carcass was discovered in the trunk of Greg’s prized Z-28 shortly after New Year, there was a growing consensus among the family that Bobby was more than a “total fuck-up” and might in fact be mentally ill.  Mrs. Brady counseled against a direct confrontation, however, promising Bobby was still in the process of “finding himself.”  As Mr. Brady had by this time “washed his hands of the little fucker,” Mrs. Brady’s wishes were respected and the incident eventually forgotten.   

With Cindy now removed to a training-facility for the mentally disabled, Bobby dedicated himself to transforming the girls’ old bedroom into a combination “fuck pad” and band rehearsal space.  Jamming most afternoons with Weasel, himself recently released after a brief stint at Vacaville, Bobby entered what can now only be described as a “manic phase” in which he continually boasted of the inevitable success of his new progressive-rock band, “Falcon Apocalypse.”  An attempt was made to book a gig by renting time at a nearby roller-rink, but plans appear to have collapsed when the bass player decided to move back to Atlanta and live with his “slightly less bogus” father. 

Bobby’s most dramatic crisis appears to have stemmed from a still murky series of events during the summer of his 24th year.  Mr. and Mrs. Brady woke one morning to find a hastily scrawled note from Bobby announcing that he had suddenly realized a need to spend some time in the desert to “get his shit together.”  Three weeks later, state police discovered the Brady’s station wagon abandoned in the parking lot of a Jiffy Lube in Taos, New Mexico.  Two weeks after that, the Bradys received a phone call from the Colorado Highway Patrol informing them that Bobby was undergoing a mandatory 48-hour psychiatric evaluation at a hospital in Ft. Collins.  Though the complete story could not be completely pieced together, officers believed that an unfortunate convergence of LSD, heat stroke, and a colony of “talking” prairie dogs had convinced Bobby that an evil entity was attempting to eat the earth from within and that all of humanity would soon fall through the planet’s weakened crust. An attempt by Mrs. Brady to blame this delusion on Mr. Brady’s incessant discussion of “the Big One” during Bobby’s formative years only further inflamed the situation.  The couple soon parted.

Upon discharge, an attempt was made to secure some form of vocational training for Bobby.   After his repeated institutionalization for schizophrenic episodes threatened to deplete the family’s medical plan, however, it was decided that Bobby should live at home and collect S.S.I.  After Mr. Brady’s death in 1991, Bobby and his step-mother moved to a smaller apartment near Glendale.  Upon her death, he is expected to become a permanent ward of the Metropolitan State Hospital in Los Angeles as no other member of the Brady family is willing, in Greg’s words, “to put up with his bullshit.”  

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