Friday, 13 July 2012
Uncle Arthur to the Rescue
By Nancy Leitz
Most of the family were there that Sunday afternoon at the cottage on the Perkiomen. There were grannies and grandpops and aunts, uncles, and cousins of every degree (1st, 2nd ,3rd).
It was a beautiful day and even Uncle Arthur had come to spend the afternoon. He was about 83 then and was not only hard of hearing but he had a flatulence problem that only got worse as he got older.
I suppose it got worse because he not only could not smell his problem, he couldn't hear it either which, to him, meant there was NO problem.Those around him may have disagreed with that assessment, especially those unfortunate enough to be seated near him at any family function where broccoli, beans or cauliflower was being served.
Most of the kids were in the water that day playing or practicing their swimming. Others were in the canoe or kayaks. Some of the teen-agers were playing King of The Float and trying to keep possession of it while the rest tried to knock them off or tilt the float and make them fall in the water. The little kids were floating around in tubes.
The ladies were very busy making potato salad, cole slaw and hamburger patties. The men were putting the picnic tables and chairs out and making sure there was plenty of beer on ice and lots of sodas for the kids.
When everything was prepared it was time to relax for an hour or two before making the fire and cooking the burgers and hot dogs. We were all just sitting around in lawn chairs sipping a drink and catching up on all the family news.
Our niece, Andrea, came out with her one year old daughter, Ryanna, and put her in her playpen under a nice shady tree where she could see everybody and everybody could see her. We had strict orders NOT to take her out of the playpen.
She was very happy playing with her toys for about 10 minutes then she began to cry. One by one we all went to her and tried to soothe her and make her happy or at least see why she was crying.
I went over and gave her her water bottle back. Aunt Kathy made sure she had her "blankie" and Uncle Charlie/Chuck (Remember him from the cemetery story?) went to Ryanna and patted her and sang a little song but it was all in vain.
Ryanna by now was howling and standing in the playpen with her arms over the top bar and her little legs pushing in the netting of the sides. She was absolutely inconsolable, sobbing uncontrollably and trying to catch her breath. She had giant tears streaming down her face.
At that very moment Uncle Arthur expelled enough gas to propel the Hindenburg. A blue cloud of methane filled the air and the west to east prevailing winds carried the gas directly toward the playpen and the hysterical Ryanna.
As the odor filled the baby's area, she got an astonished look on her face and then she made the mistake of taking a deep breath and began to let herself down the netting, hand over hand, until she was on her knees. Then she crawled to the furthest corner of the playpen, laid her head down and went sound asleep. She didn't wake up for two hours.
So, Uncle Arthur had done what no one else could do. By doing what he does best, he was the only one who was able to quiet the baby and put her to sleep.
After we finished laughing, we spent about an hour one upping each other with ideas on how we could bottle that gas and sell it at Babies R Us or on the Home Shopping Network. We all agreed; we could make a fortune - if only Uncle Arthur would cooperate.
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