When I was a nipper, all the neighbours were given the honorific of Uncle or Aunt (if they were nice) and Mr or Mrs (if they weren't). One would never have dared to call them by their first name. Similarly, my parents' friends became adopted uncles and aunts (if they were nice) or Mr and Mrs (if they were
One lovely adopted uncle was Uncle Donald H., a giant of a man, in stature and in reputation. I adored him. He would see my father home on a Friday night, late, squiffy, but bearing fish & chips and crisp £1 notes for the children. He was famous for practical jokes: spitting out his false teeth and perching them on top of an ice-cream sundae then calling the waitress back to complain; taking a gun from a soldier during the military coup in Portugal and placing a flower in the barrel (Make love not war, Son); jumping on the bed and ordering his wife, the long-suffering Dorrie, to scream (she, aged seventy-two, was smoking a cigarette and doing the crossword) in order to outdo the honeymoon couple on the other side of the paper-thin hotel wall.
I heard a new tale over the weekend.
Uncle Don had been drinking with his friend Gerry. At closing time, a scallywag nipped into the pub selling meat that had fallen off the back of a lorry. Uncle Don paid a tenner for a leg of pork.
Outside the back door of his home, he turned to Gerry. "This is how you handle women, Son. Watch and learn."
He opened the door and shouted for Dorrie. As she appeared from the living room, he slammed the leg of pork onto the kitchen counter. "Cook this for my supper, Dorrie, and make it quick. I'm hungry!"
Dorrie picked up the joint of meat, whacked her husband over the head knocking him to the ground, dropped the joint and returned to the living room without a word.
Uncle Don clambered to his feet. "I haven't finished yet, Son," he said and ransacked the cupboards until he found a bottle of ketchup. He squirted it over his scalp, rubbing it down his cheek and onto his shirt front. He splashed himself with water to make the 'blood' more liquid and staggered into the living room clasping the leg of pork.
"Oh, Dorrie, you've done for me!" he said. "I'm mortally wounded! Phone for the doctor - but cook me my supper first!"
Dorrie got up from her armchair, took the leg of pork from her husband, and whacked him on the other side of his head, then turned back to Coronation Street.
From the floor, Uncle Don looked up at Gerry and winked. "This plan needs refining, Son. Put kettle on."
My question is, did you have any legendary relatives/adopted relatives in your family?