Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Crazy Uncle Syndrome

Uncle Norman and his wife spent Thanksgiving somewhere else this year, but whenever the family gathers, you can be sure Uncle Norman stories are sure to surface.

It started as it usually does, telling stories about near disaster, things my brother and I did that Mom never knew about, my father’s and uncles’ escapades when they were younger, and the like. (One of my favorite stories about Dad and my uncle is the day--during the college years--they took a starter’s pistol into a laundromat and staged a mock shootout. Surely, if they had done that today, they’d have been locked up in a hurry.)

Then, we moved on to the Uncle Norman section of the conversation. I know everyone must have an Uncle Norman in their family. He’s the nearly insane one, and trouble never seems far behind. Even though he’s 72, Norman still acts as if he has ADHD.

Here are some interesting facts about Uncle Norman:

+At my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary celebration last summer, Norman and my brother engaged in a long wrestling match on the lawn amongst the guests, then moving into the house, back out of the house again to the lawn, both of them breaking several truces along the way.

+He has been bitten by rattlesnakes on three separate occasions.

+One winter, with my brother and I asleep in the back of the pickup beneath the camper shell, my Dad--up front with Norman--said, “I wonder what would happen if we ran into one of those snowdrifts at the side of the road.” Norman, who was driving on this back road in the middle of nowhere, decided to find out. More than 360-degrees later, my brother and I woke up to find the truck skidded off the side of the road and stuck in the snow. Fortunately, it wasn’t too long before a sheriff’s deputy came along and pulled us out.

+He would frequently go out in public wearing shorts, sandals and black socks.

+When we were younger, Uncle Norman would go around family gatherings saying to we cousins, “Watch out, or I’ll ‘boom’ ya.” Then, he’d slam a shoulder into us, knocking us halfway across the room.

And that’s just his adult behavior! This summer, Dad took the kids and me to see the house where he grew up. All the stories seemed to be about Norman diving out of windows or jumping from the roof.

The amazing thing about all of this is that none of us, including Uncle Norman, has been killed. I guess the body can take a lot more than we imagine.

Hope you had fun with your Uncle Norman at Thanksgiving this year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a character! My Uncle Norman isn't with us anymore, but on our favorite Thanksgiving with him, he wouldn't stop talking about the monkey hidden in the turkey. Good memories!

7:02 PM  

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