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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.

King of the Float

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.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


HAHAHAHA! If you figure out how to do that, let me know. I could make a fortune too!!!

You made a simple subject very interesting. Did Uncle Arthur know he was the one who put the baby to sleep?

Nancy - Funny story.

Luckily, nobody lit a match! - Sandy

I loved it and all your wonderful descriptions. And thank Uncle Robert for making the day memorable. I never thought that passing gas could be so powerful.

That was hilarious Nancy. I have to show this post to my son who has something in common with Uncle Arthur. He's always telling me that his passing gas has health benefits for everyone. Hmmm, now I'm wondering why I sometimes get a little sleepy when we're lying on my bed watching shows together. Great story. ~Joy

Another great family story. I wonder how often Uncle Arthur was asked to babysit after that day out?

You can take the ordinary occurrences in life and make them into a hilarious story, Nancy.

This reminds me of the story of a foreigner who was visiting the U. S. who said he couldn't understand the Americans. He said that when we belch we say "Pardon me" but when someone farts we laugh.

I love the happiness expressed by the kids in your picture. It brings back memories of family gatherings.

I'll bet Uncle Arthur could make a fortune at a daycare center.

Terrific story...Wish I could have been there!

Nancy, Nancy, Nancy, this is among your very best of the very best. I am laughing so hard. Oh if only you could bottle that remedy.


Let's go into business together.You get the bottles... I know where we can get the gas.


We'll never know,Jackie. No One could ever pick up their nerve to tell him.


Exactly! We were always very cautious around Uncle Arthur. All visitors were searched for matches at the door.


Thanks for your nice comment. Yes, Uncle Arthur always made our days together memorable.
Impossible to forget,really.


Tell Joe that Judy and I have a deal for him.She's getting the bottles ready now.Thanks for stopping by..


Uncle Arthur was always booked solid for the Summer.
All the young Moms would call to see if he would be there before they made the long drive.


Yes, don't kids today have a good time? I don't really remember having all that fun when I was a kid. There always seemed to be a job to do.

They never stop playing in the water all day except to EAT..And we always have plenty of burgers and dogs for them.

Claire Jean:

Yes, I agree. Uncle Arthur could make a fortune at a day care center.

Only problem is, as Sandy said, the place would be declared a fire hazard in a week.


Judy and I are trying to bottle it, Annie. Get in line and maybe we will give you a special price because you always give such nice comments.

Super story of laughs, and a great family photo!

I've always maintained that everyone has his or her own Superpower...!

(Had Arthur eaten yet? Did he have the turkey burger? LOL!)


Thanks,. I loved that you enjoyed the story and the picture.


If Uncle Arthur had already eaten a turkey burger he would not have had the problem at all.

We buy only Beano Fed Turkeys.

How absolutely funny. And we blame Global Warming on cars. Here it was Uncle Arthur!

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