Tuesday 31 October 2017

The Urban Goose

I've been visiting my family in Louisiana and Texas and I noticed that my family have a propensity to give things multiple names.

My niece has a dog named Sausages but because of his amazing ability to silently follow you around and then go to sleep at your feet he gets called "Trip Hazard". I also heard her lovingly call the dog "The Sausage Man" and assumed she was quoting from a nonsense song I keep hearing on the radio, she wasn't, and thought I was crazy when I called him "The Shadow Licker".

She keeps a horse named Beignet (a type of New Orleans breakfast doughnut) but when she enters competitions she calls him Topless so that the man with the mic will have to announce her like "Next into the arena we have H----- B---------- who will be riding topless."

I have long suspected that parents deliberately make situations more awkward and embarrassing when they're meeting their children's boyfriends/girlfriends. I was honoured to be present when my niece brought her boyfriend to meet her father and stepmother for the first time. To try to confuse and embarrass the young man we adopted unlikely and inappropriate nicknames and practiced using them for 24 hours: Babycakes, Cuddles, Snookums and Fuckstick.

The man took it in his stride, but my family also unwittingly adopted the character of borderline-alcoholic sports enthusiasts. We were drinking strong beer to pass the time and then taking shots of whiskey whenever the Houston Astros got a run or the LSU Tigers scored a touchdown. The new boyfriend doesn't have a well-honed alcohol tolerance and had to go to bed at 9:30 – he missed Drunken Over-Appreciation of Music Club.

I wasn't present later in the week when my niece met her beau's parents for the first time, but his father asked the waitress for "An Old Fashioned". To people who grew up in Aberdeen that’s slang for a hand job.

Richard "I only drink socially, and to keep the shakes under control" B

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