There’s nothing like spending time with family during the festive season. Even if you do have to deal with that troublesome relative who always turns up and demands food/money/airtime/transport etc.
Once such case in my Uncle Brian.
Uncle Brian is an alcoholic. As a kid I didn’t realize he was an alcoholic. I just thought he was crazy and smelt funny.
Anyway, most of the time Uncle Brian is harmless- he’s usually completely out of it so I don’t get to see him on my rare visits to the village. That said, his crazy moments are the stuff that family folklore is made of.
One particularly memorable incident involving Uncle Brian happened last year, when my cousin was getting married. All the usual preparations were put in motion, and the family got set to go claim a wife.
It was a disaster from start to finish. I was tasked with transporting the teenagers, all of whom were giggly girls aged between 13 and 17. Somehow Uncle Brian ended up in my ride. I would have refused to travel with him, but he was so excited that I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the thought of travelling 250kms inhaling his alcohol-sodden breath was more than I could bear.
We hit the road, Marion (the eldest girl) in the front with me, the other two and my Uncle in the back. I was very uncomfortable having him where I couldn’t monitor his every movement but did not have much choice in the matter, as Marion had threatened to boycott the whole function if she had to spend a single minute next to him. And who could blame her? He’d already groped her twice and claimed it was because she reminded him of ‘some fat squeeze’ he used to ‘bang’ in his youth. Sigh. His attempts at youthful slang always make me cringe.
Everything was fine until we hit Masaka. Everyone wanted to use the toilet and pick some snacks to eat on the way. Uncle Brian claimed he had to ‘urinate like a heifer in heat’. I’m not too familiar with the peeing habits of cows during the mating season but it sounded urgent enough to me.
I was chilling and contemplating the rest of the journey when I heard a scream coming from the direction of the loos. I don’t know why, but I had a sneaky suspicion, accompanied by an unmistakable sinking feeling in my gut, that the scream had something to do with Uncle Brian.
I turned around to find Uncle Brian, pants around his ankles, running away from Marion, who was running after him with a toilet brush in her hand.
It turns out he’d wandered into the ladies’ and started doing his stuff in the sink.
I couldn’t even get mad. I somehow managed to rescue the situation, get Uncle Brian to put his pants back on and bundled everyone into the car.
Moral of the story? Embrace your relatives. Even the ones who drink too much. You never know when you’ll need someone to humiliate you in public.