A Little Irish Rose. (English Story)


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Sep 22, 2014
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A Little Irish Rose.

Description: Uncle Milton comes to visit for St. Patrick's Day and is smitten.

Codes: Mf

It was a bit chilly this morning. Last night was still quite warm when we went to bed, so the window was wide open. I imagine it got its coldest around 4 AM, but now, at 6:30, I had to pee and that's what woke me up enough to be aware of it. I still had my personal body warmer, Susie, but my comforter had gone back into the Robinson's box and was sitting in its summer home in the attic somewhere.

Thanks to global warming, I'd been able to get by for most of the week since Congress decided to save energy by turning back the clocks so that gas could go up above three bucks again. But last night had gotten a bit cooler than the last few.

We'd had a few weeks of global cooling a month or two ago and our oranges would be three or four times as much this year. I just wished they'd elect Al Gore president so we could go back to the way things had been since the planet first cooled off — pleasant temperatures for all with no variations, year after year.

Today was St. Patrick's Day. The one day of the year we got to see Uncle Milton. Because Uncle Milton was IRISH. And we were his celebration, and had been, as long as I can remember.

I think Mom's Great Great Grandmother was born in Ireland. It was always said that she's the one I got the reddish tint in my hair from. Uncle Milton got the full inheritance. His head was covered with fiery red hair and his white skin was almost hidden behind freckles. He was over six feet tall and could eat like a pig and never gain an ounce. His body was still thin as a rail, like an adolescent boy who's just gone through his first growth spurt. If Uncle Milton was an animal, he'd be a giraffe.

I'm sure he saw his fair share of giraffes. Uncle Milton was a veterinarian par excellence. His specialty was fixing up exotic animals with rare diseases. He worked for some animal conservation group and was always flying to Africa or Borneo or somewhere else exotic. He always joked that it was OK for a lion to eat a gnu, but let one stub his toe and he'd be off on the next plane. And let some native or hunter be involved with it and they'd take a whole planeload of conservationists over.

Uncle Milton was Mom's baby brother, and she always looked after him like a mother hen each March 17 when he came to visit us, clucking about how thin he was, forcing food down his throat at every opportunity. It was the one day of the year the animals had to survive by themselves so he could spend the day with us. I guess most would consider him an eligible bachelor. He had a job, some money in the bank and no wives — past or present.

He always brought presents for me and Tiffany with an Irish theme. When I was around four, he gave me a stuffed Bear named Paddy. Paddy had a green ribbon around his neck and had a place of honor on my top shelf. Most years since then, it had been a button. Paddy was covered with them, everything from "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" to a huge four leaf clover. Oh, and his head was covered by a green beanie that I'd felt like a fool wearing last year when he gave it to me. Because I had to wear each present for the rest of the day or he'd be heartbroken.

Mom and Dad had already gone to the airport to pick him up. There was a pancake house near the airport that served green pancake syrup every St. Paddy's Day, and they'd made it a point to have breakfast on the way back from the airport every year for the past ten. They took their time, and more likely than not, Mom and Dad would have to drag him away when he and someone else would start trading stories to prove how Irish they were. When they got home, Uncle Milton would spend the rest of the day spinning tales of his adventures.

Of course, when Tiff and I were younger, we believed every word of it. His encounters with unicorns, the pot of gold he almost had when the leprechaun just got away from him, the time he out-drank a whole village of Irishmen, drinking Irish whiskey by the bucket while they stuck to their green beer.

Evidently he was satisfied with the green beer these days. For the past few years, Dad would become an honorary Irishman and the two of them would down pitcher after pitcher of the stuff as the rest of us drank green Coke at the pizza parlor around the corner. We spent a lot of quarters playing video games each year as Uncle Milton and Dad sang their songs and made toasts to each of us and everyone else in the place. Around 10:00, Mom would drag my father, then my uncle out to the car as they sang songs and waved to the crowd, then drive us all home and drag Dad into the bedroom and Uncle Milton into the living room, where the couch was already made up for him to sleep it off. The next morning, it would be back to the pancake house where both of them would drink plenty of coffee and then Uncle Milton would catch a plane around noon or 1:00, flying off to the next sick animal, not to be seen for another year. This year the following day was a Sunday, so I knew most of us would spend that day recovering.

We got up and got going and at 8:30, Doug and Dougie came over. The three of us made breakfast as our men sat at the table. We had pancakes, bacon and sausage. I took care of the pancakes while Susie cooked the meat. Tiffany dumped a whole bag of M&Ms in a bowl and was picking out the green ones, poking a few of them into each cooked pancake before putting them on the table. We figured that would have to do since we didn't have any green syrup. Dougie did try to make some green orange juice, but the combination of green food coloring and orange juice created a bluish, blackish purple.

Tiffany had turned domestic since she and Doug became a couple, something I never thought I'd live to see. She wasn't any Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart, but she was working on it. It was all new to her and Doug, and he was grateful for anything she did to show she cared for him. They were both seniors in high school but were discovering each other and themselves like they were still freshmen. I never thought I'd say this about my sister, but she was cute, the way she was discovering being in love.

Doug had never had a girl look at him before, much less spend time with him. I guess it was love at first sight the first time he laid eyes on Tiffany.

Tiff had been so busy satisfying all the hunks in school that she hardly knew he existed. They both claimed it was fate that she'd been grounded and all the jocks were doing the party thing last Halloween when she called him as a last resort. Dougie and I had both done our share of prodding to get either of them to do what each of them wanted but was too shy to ask for. My most recent act was to convince Doug to take her down from the pedestal once in a while and put her on her back. That seemed to be working out just fine.

We all sat at the table, Dougie and I practically on top of each other, as were Doug and Tiffany across from us. Susie was alone, her normal cheery self, but I wondered if it bothered her to be without someone of her own. She'd trained most of the guys in school not to ask her out, primarily as a defensive act when her mother's boyfriend was still around.

Speaking of the asshole, he showed up in town a few weeks ago and was now in jail for skipping bail, awaiting trial for drugs. Suzie's mother finished her latest rehab and had been let out on her own recognizance until for her own trial for allowing her children to be in the drug dealing, drug using, putting out for Mom's boyfriend environment she'd put them through for the past few years. I guess she decided she wasn't interested in spending a few years in jail and disappeared. Nobody had seen her for the last month and we didn't expect to. Susie and Vicky seemed more relieved than bothered when she took off.

Tiffany sniffed and Doug pulled her in a bit closer.

"What's the matter, Hoov?"

As long as I remember, anybody calling my sister "Hoover" was in for a fight. But "Hoov" had become Doug's pet name for her, just as Dougie used "E" for me and "Double P" for Susie. You could practically see her purr each time he called her that. Mom and Dad thought it was cute and had no idea what it meant.

"It's just that you're the first guy who wants to be with me just to be with me."

The nickname had gotten a couple of snickers at school, but Doug had come down on the first few real hard, and most of the guys were behaving themselves, at least when Doug or Tiffany were around. Dougie had told me privately that a lot of the guys were anxiously awaiting the day the Hoover was back in business. I didn't think that was going to happen now that my sister knew what she had been missing.

Doug wrapped both arms around her and pulled her face into his chest and said, "I can't imagine any guy who wouldn't want to just be with you."

It must have been the right thing to say because my sister just purred.

The front door opened and we heard my uncle complaining that if the guy at the restaurant was Irish, Liz was an old maid. Liz is my Mom, his sister, and she was married and carrying Tiffany at 17.

The noise got louder and we all looked over at the door from the living room, only to see this monstrosity walk in, followed by my parents.

Back in the 1970s, some misguided soul came up with something he called the leisure suit. From what I gather, the only people who wore them were car salesmen and other losers. You might find one at a garage sale these days, on a table along with a hula hoop and a boomerang.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Uncle Milton was wearing a green leisure suit. Not only a leisure suit, he had the audacity to have a derby hat the same color. My first impression of the color was lime green, but I don't think any self respecting lime would be caught dead wearing that color. I doubt that it even existed in nature with the possible exception of something you might find in the diaper of a baby who had had too many strained peas. Come to think of it, I may have seen that color in pictures of an Edsel or a Nash Rambler on the Internet. One with a white top, because nobody would have the guts to paint a complete car that color.

I smiled and said, "Nice suit, Uncle Milton."

Mom made a face as she looked at the ceiling and he said, "Yeah, it's really the cat's meow."

Mom's 35. I know that because she made a big fuss about it last fall. You'd think they were going to haul her away to the old folk's home the day after her birthday, the way she was carrying on. Dad took her to Monterey and they spent most of the three day weekend boinking in their hotel room, and we didn't hear any more about the home after they got back. I say this because I know that she considers him her baby brother. As near as I can figure out, it's a close race as to whether Uncle Milton or that leisure suit was on this planet first. And I know for a fact that nobody had used that phrase in normal conversation for a good 30 or 40 years before that.

I was all set to make answer "Boo boo be doo," when Dougie pulled on my arm and pointed at Susie. She was looking at my uncle with the same expression Tiffany had just had when she was purring at Doug.

He turned to see what I was looking at and froze, like a deer caught in the headlights or a burglar caught in the act. He fumbled for a second, then reached up and pulled his hat off his head and held it up to his chest. He took Susie's hand in his and brought it up to his face, brushing his lips across it. He straightened up, still holding it.

"Oh my, what might your name be, My Precious?"

Susie had no answer, but my mother sure did. She smacked him on the arm and said "It might be Gertrude, but it's Susie, you goof!"

Without turning, still holding onto Susie's hand, my uncle said, "Stifle yourself, woman!"

Now, if any of us had said something like that to Mom, we would have gotten smacked upside the head, which is something I'd seen her do to her baby brother on several occasions. But she just stood there with her mouth half open, staring at him. I think it was surprise more than anything else.

He just brought Susie's hand back up and kissed it again, this time on the backs of her fingers. I could hear her suck in her breath when his mouth came into contact with her.

"Shall I call you Gertrude or do you prefer Susie?"

She gulped and managed to get out "Susie."

He stared into her eyes and said, "Susie, the name of a goddess."

Still holding onto her hand, he pulled her to her feet, saying, "Let me look upon you."

Her face turned almost as red as her hair as he unabashedly checked her out, his gaze moving from her toes, all the way up to that flaming red hair. He took his time from the time he got to the tops of her legs until he reached her face, seeming to memorize every feature.

"Lovely, My Dear. Lovely."

I swear I could hear her heart flutter.

Meanwhile, Mom had come to her senses and gave him the swat upside the head I'd been expecting earlier.

"What the hell's the matter with you? She's just a child for God's sake."

His attention never leaving Susie, he said, "A child in bloom, my sister. An Irish rose in bloom, ready to be plucked."

Tiffany said, "Ewwwe. You're grossing me out, Uncle Milt."

My mother grabbed him by the ear and said, "If you pluck this rose, you'll never pluck again, I swear to God, Little Brother."

What neither Tiffany or my mother saw was the wink Uncle Milton gave Susie as he was comparing her to a rose. I know Dougie saw it, too, because he squeezed my hand at the same time Mom was slapping my uncle.

Susie reached out and took both of his hands in hers, making him drop his hat on the table.

"No, oh please. I'm ready to be plucked."

She turned toward me and said, "Trish, we need to use the bedroom. Please give us and hour or two alone." And then she flutter her eyelashes at me, like Clara Bow in the old black and white movies.

"Of course, Susie. Just make sure to close the door."

Dougie added, "And put a towel on the bed."

I think Mom and Tiff were both ready to have heart attacks. Dad must have gotten the joke because he just stood there, not doing or saying anything. Doug just looked confused.

My uncle picked up his hat, put it on his head, tipped it at Susie and said, "By the way, my name's Milton."

Susie looked him in the face and said, "Milton? Oh, I'm sorry. I could never screw anyone named Milton."

I think my mother was ready to wash Susie's mouth out with soap until she realized that she'd been had. She turned redder than Susie had, grabbed his ear again and said "I'm going to get you for this, you ass."

My father bent over, laughing. Dougie and I both stood and applauded and Tiffany and Doug looked at each other, more confused than ever.

Uncle Milton held Susie's fingertips in his hand as he bowed while she curtsied, saying, "Thank you. Thank you."

Mom grabbed him and hugged him, planting a big one on his cheek.

Tiffany and I both got derbies from Uncle Milton, the same ugly color as that ridiculous suit. Lucky for us we both had boyfriends so we didn't have to wear them.

The next morning, we all said our goodbyes to a hung over Uncle Milton, as he and my parents were leaving for the pancake house. Susie was the last of us and she took both of his hands in hers, kissed him on the cheek and said, "I'll be 18 in three and a half years."

The End

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