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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pinky pays homage to Uncle Pedro

Uncle Pedro giving Hagar a noogy!

I remember the grass rushing towards my face and the weight of twenty-three year old Thaddeus falling on top of me. He’d been attempting to give me a bear hug and in his inebriated state had lost his balance and taken me down with him.

“Thaddeus, you d#*khead!” came the catcalls from the crowd. “Go to bed for God’s sake!”

We were all at my sister Sam’s house last night celebrating my brother-in-law Pedro’s birthday. Someone had the brilliant idea of introducing cocktails into the festivities and Thaddeus went a bit silly guzzling them down with a little too much zest.

Pedro is a big kind-hearted Irishman who loves nothing more than a loud piss up with close friends and family… and when I say loud I mean really bloody loud. Sam lives literally around the corner and up the road from us and we’ve staggered home late after many of their gatherings, listening to Pedro’s booming baritone entertaining the entire neighbourhood with his rendition of “Seven Spanish Angels”.

I’ve never witnessed it first hand, but have heard that the neighbours have called the police several times complaining about a big party with loud music. When the police arrive they scratch their heads at the fact that there are only about four people in attendance at the residence and the only music is coming from a small ghetto blaster. What they don’t realise is that all the cacophony is coming from Pedro.

The inventory of mischievous fables ascribed to Pedro is of legendary status and he has had his fair share of run-ins with the law, but mainly for the right reasons. 

One night when leaving the Casino he came across some officers who may or may not have been overly rough in their dealings with a vagrant. 

“Excuse me but is there something I can do to help this man?” interrupted Pedro concerned for the poor bloke and hoping to diffuse the tension. 
He was promptly handcuffed and thrown in the back of the car with the vagrant for interfering with police work or some such other bullsh*t.

Mind you there is also the narrative of Pedro’s dramatic enactment of suffering an asthma attack to avoid being breathalysed on the roadside. Taken to hospital in the back of an ambulance the story has it that he then went on to feign a seizure to evade a blood test. 

“You should get a bloody Oscar for this mate.” The orderly apparently said while observing Pedro dribbling and jerking around in an epileptic fashion. How I’d have loved to see that.

My four boys adore Uncle Pedro but the jury is still out on whether he has been the most desirable male role model in their lives. Every Christmas the boys would knowingly wait for Uncle Pedro to get well-oiled enough for them to scam money from him, often walking away with twenty dollar notes in their pocket. 
“Did you get good marks on your report this year Jonah?” Pedro would bellow. If the particular child in question answered in the affirmative they’d be handed money. My kids aren’t stupid and Uncle Pedro would wake up the next morning fleeced.

When each of my boys turned eighteen Uncle Pedro took them out for a night on the town; drinking, gambling and no doubt visiting disagreeable establishments. Not nice for a mother to think about but a rite of passage according to Pedro.

One of the most charitable and family minded of Pedro’s undertakings has been employing nineteen year old Hagar as an apprentice. 

Apparently on a recent work trip out of town Pedro finally entrusted inexperienced (and on occasion thick as two bricks) Hagar with some actual responsibility. Hagar was to drive the big truck back to town and Pedro and the boys would catch up to him on the highway about fifteen minutes later. 

The boys still hadn’t sighted Hagar after the estimated time and after twenty minutes received an anxious call from him saying that the truck had a flat tyre and he was stranded by the side of the road.

“Well why haven’t we passed you on the highway then Hagar?” asked Pedro.

Apparently deep in a daydream, Hagar had turned off the wrong way and had been heading South instead of North; so it’s probably a good thing he got the puncture or he might have ended up in Brisbane before he worked it all out.

You have the patience of a saint Pedro… Happy birthday!