Thursday, April 17, 2008


Regretfully, I have no blood-Aunts still alive. I still have a couple of the courtesy Aunts that as a little boy were friends of my mother, and, as I think we all were, was encouraged to call "Auntie".
All of them - real and courtesy - were, in my memory, eccentric. They had all had good wars ( I always thought they had the time of their lives then) and much of their conversation in the 50s and early 60s still reflected that.
One always referred to her "target for tonight" ( which I now know was usually a good looking chap), whilst another would ask of young people " Would you be young always if you could choose?" and then burst into uncontrollable laughter. I think this is because they loved being a bit older and hence free from supervision.
The one I never understood was " Many are called ( Scottish for cold) but few are frozen". This is presumably a bastardisation of " Many are called but few are chosen". I now think this referred to her many "beaus" and the very few she turned down.
My musings today were prompted by a story about a lady assaulting a police officer. She had punched and kicked him and the poor young man " sustained injuries" - goes to show how pathetic our police are nowadays. In the old days the cuffs would have been on before you could blink.
Anyway, two of my blood aunts had gone to a fishmongers to get dressed crab for their dinner. Unfortunately it was not ready so they repaired to the pub next door - and stayed there until closing time at 2:30. They still had closing time in the 50s.
When they came out, they weaved into the fish-shop, collected the crab, and started to wander home. The crab was on plates and was permanently in peril of landing face down on the pavement.
The village Bobby met them half-way up the street.
" Afternoon Mrs. Marshall - can I just help you with those plates?"
My Aunt drew herself up to her full height.
" Young man, I am perfectly capable of placing these plates precisely where I wish!"
" Yes I'm sure you are, but I just wanted to help." Whereupon the other Aunt chimed in.." And I can too!" grabbed one of the plates and deposited it perfectly on top of the policeman's helmet.
Which was fine until it fell off, all down his uniform, and he bent down to survey the damage.
Whereupon Aunt 1 deposited the second plate upside down on the back of his neck.
At the subsequent trial the Magistrates were so unable to control their hysterics that the case was adjourned sine die.

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