During dinner I would often hear my brother moving around inside the vents. If the food smelled especially good that night, he would make a scraping, scuttling noise like a pair of oversized rats wrestling. He did this to make us feel bad for him, and sometimes it worked (except on me because I always felt bad for him). One evening, after a few drinks, my father got up, unlocked the stainless steel grate, and threw in half of his pork chop. A chewy, smacking sound followed. “Thank you, Dad,” my brother said in a meek voice much raspier and...