Second Spy: What do we do now?
First Spy: Start swimming!
Second Spy: I can't swim!
First Spy: Then start drowning!”Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang”
In case you were not aware, Christmas is just around the corner. Combined with my North American friends recently celebrating thanksgiving, there is a lot of family gatherings going on. 90% of my family are pretty cool – and I know I’m lucky with that. We have our odd black sheep, but don’t all families? Being from a country town, families tend to start pretty young too. This means now that I’m mid 20’s, all my Auties and Uncles, as well as my parents, are still young enough to enjoy a beer and a laugh with us. Mum and Dad were both the eldest of their siblings, so that contributes to the favourable age gap too. It’s funny when I hear some of our friends who have parents in their 60’s and 70’s, when mine haven’t started their 50’s yet. Anyway, I’m getting off track for what I wanted to say…
Basically, my family is a pretty cool bunch. Every now and then though, something special happens where I become overwhelmed with pride. I will recount to examples here – one from many years ago and one from just last week.
Fristly, my uncle. This Christmas, the Distraction and I are heading up to an uncle’s house just outside Sydney. We will be joined by the youngest of my Dad’s brothers, who looks like Howard Lederer (no joking, except he is about 3 inches shorter). Since Howard (that’s not his name, but it’ll do) is coming in flying in, I offered to pick him up from the airport and drive up. Anyways, he called up to see what was going on, etc...Then he gets to how there have been a heap of Christmas parties down his way of late, and he’s been having a few big nights with them. He’s a bit of a corporate guy these days, high up in his current company and moving soon to manage another large chain of restaurants.
At one in particular, after the large group dropped a $3K bar tab at dinner, he went to the casino with one of his mates. The gambling kept up with the drinking, and before long they were on to the shooters –Cowboys, they call them down here. Well, Cock Sucking Cowboys is the actual name, but just Cowboys for those that are too embarrassed. All it entails is Butterscotch Schnapps and Bailey’s Irish Crème in a shot glass. It’s a popular shot because it actually tastes pretty good.
After winning and then giving back everything at blackjack, he’s gone up to the bar once again for yet another round of Cowboys at the Adelaide Casino. And they denied him service. Why? Because he was drunk? They probably should have, but no. Because he was rude or abusive? Not that one either. They denied him service because him and his mate had run the entire casino dry of Schnapps.
I think when this happens, the bar staff should be required to take your photo and put it up behind the bar. God knows how many bars now dry of Southern Comfort would have a picture of Al up if this were tradition.
The other event which sparked pride was many years ago, when my younger brother was just starting high school. He was dating this girl who made herself annoying very quickly. When she wasn’t around, she would call. Not daily - hourly.
Little brother comes home one day to see his two older brothers sitting in the lounge room. The conversation went a little something like this.
Me: “Lisa called for you.”
Him: “Ok, she’ll call back if it’s important.”
Me: “She called 4 times.”
Him: “Well, she obviously knows the number then.”
I looked at my other brother, and we started clapping.
It’s just such a proud moment when they grow up right.