To give you some background, Uncle Denny is my mother's older brother. He is all sorts of smart and all sorts of silly. When Jeafen and I were little we never knew when to believe him, because he told so many stories. My Aunt Carol is about the only person who can put him in his place, I think that maybe because she was a Catholic school principal. Nobody messes with Catholic school principals.
Anyway, he used to swear to us that when my mom and her siblings were growing up they were so poor that:
- My grandparents could only afford two pairs of roller skates for Christmas, therefore each child only got one skate and had to skate in circles. (FALSE)
- The neighborhood my mom grew up in was so tough that during one block party a custom made car was auctioned off...with the police still in it. (FALSE)
- My grandmother used to throw one pork chop in the middle of the table for dinner and every one just had to lunge and hope for a bite. (FALSE)
And then there were other outlandish stories:
- When my mom was little she was bitten by a spider, had to be rushed to the hospital and almost died. (TRUE)
- When the Ohio River flooded Wheeling Island he and my Uncle Tom canoed through my grandparents' living room. (TRUE)
- He won a horse out of Cracker Jack Box and named it Waldo. Waldo lived in Wisconsin and belonged to me and my brother. (FALSE)*
She's too young to understand his stories, but she understands his silly...
and knows that it's Aunt Carol who is telling the truth.
*Waldo did exist. When we were little my mom drove us to Wisconsin to visit my aunt and uncle and, holy crap, there was Waldo. We got to go visit him and pet him and totally believed Uncle Denny. Truth was, Waldo belonged to one of the teachers that Aunt Carol worked with who was willing to play along...but when when we were little, hot damn did we believe our Uncle Denny was amazing!**
**Okay, we still believe he's pretty amazing.