The Christmas Brick

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The Christmas Brick

Post by keats » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:20 pm


Now, upon reflection, I suspect that my Uncle Frank was little more than a cheap, lousy Bastard. Every Christmas he would invite himself to my family’s home for Christmas Dinner (and in the process, always forgetting to bring the beer he said he had put in his fridge to chill) and each year he would present me with the same gift. A brick. Yes, a bloody brick!
Uncle Frank would explain to me for hours all the things you could do with a brick, such as using it for a paper-weight or a door-stop. You could use it to break into your car when you had accidentally locked the keys inside. Also, if you lived through enough Christmases, you could build a small house. He would never fail to mention that he himself always received a brick for Christmas when he was a boy and it had built character in him, which obviously explained his illustrious career as an unemployed Brickie’s labourer.
I had thought of several other uses for a brick, such as using it to crush the skulls of cheap-skate uncles who only visited to eat your food and drink your father’s grog, or perhaps using it as a suppository for extremely large arseholes like Uncle Frank.
But I never made a scene about it, preferring to retreat to my bedroom with my brick and place it in my wardrobe with my other bricks. Then I would hurry to the kitchen, whereupon I would hone the edges of some six penny pieces to razor sharp and insert them in Uncle Frank’s slice of Plum Pudding.
Unfortunately, as I learned some years later, Uncle Frank hated my Mother’s Plum Pudding and would always feed it to the cat whilst nobody was watching. This most probably explained why we lost so many cats over the years, particularly on Christmas Day.
After dinner, we would proceed to participating in our annual game of backyard cricket, after burying the cat, of course. Some of the family (i.e. the adults) would tend to take the game a little more seriously than others (i.e. me). This always caused a degree of tension and conflict amongst the Christmas revellers.
Grandma had always umpired the game, until the year that Uncle Frank attacked her and beat her up over what he referred to as a ‘dubious leg-before-wicket’ decision, in which he had his kneecap fractured and the back of his leg impaled on the middle stump. Grandma had refused to officiate any of the annual matches since.
That last year of my childhood, I bowled Uncle Frank first ball with a delivery which I referred to as a ‘yorker’ but Uncle Frank referred to as a ‘grubber’. He became extremely irate and began sprouting something about a rule from his childhood where one could not be dismissed first ball. He was well on his way to a state of chronic inebriation, by this stage, after consuming over half of the beer in my father’s fridge.
I tried to calm his drunken tantrum by claiming that I had bowled a no-ball, but my father wouldn’t have a bar of it and a nasty brawl ensued, whereby my father attacked Uncle Frank with a recently deceased cat and after knocking him down, Grandma ran over and started to stick the boots into Uncle Frank as he lay writhing on the ground.
Uncle Frank screamed in pain, my father continued to reign blows upon him with the dead cat and mother tried to restrain Grandma as she went to town with her boots. I pleaded with them all to stop, but to no avail, and it was then that the whole situation took a twist and they all laid the blame squarely at my feet for bowling Uncle Frank first ball. My father banished me to my bedroom to play with my bricks.
Surveying the scene from my bedroom window, I was relieved to have left the melee, which by this time had become extremely ugly. I watched Uncle Frank and my father slog it out for over half an hour, while my mother tried to bandage Grandma’s broken foot. The usual, pathetic rituals of grown, drunken men followed shortly after, such as remembering that they were brothers and going through the “I love you, man!” scene. this was followed by the drinking of a bottle of vintage port, as they reminisced on their own childhoods and then becoming sentimental over the cat.
That was the last Christmas that I spent at home. Shortly after I packed my bricks and left. Many years have passed since and these days it is I who hosts Christmas Dinner at my own family’s house.
Uncle Frank never comes along. His kidneys packed up from drinking too much of other peoples grog, and he was spending most of his time hooked up to a Dialysis machine.
I went to visit him in hospital last Christmas, and took him a little gift. A brick. Unfortunately, as I handed it to him, it fell through the wrapping and landed in his crotch. As he sat up startled with pain, he banged his head on the Dialysis machine and never regained consciousness.
We buried him at Mum and Dad’s place, beside the cats. But he did leave one legacy behind. We no longer have L.B.W. or ‘out-first-ball’ in our annual backyard cricket match!

Neil McArthur©2011

Neville Briggs
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Re: The Christmas Brick

Post by Neville Briggs » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:42 pm

Very very good Neil. :lol: :lol:
" Prose is description, poetry is presence " Les Murray.

Bob Pacey
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Re: The Christmas Brick

Post by Bob Pacey » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:49 pm

Ohh nasty ending Neil that smarts.

The purpose in life is to have fun.
After you grasp that everything else seems insignificant !!!

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Re: The Christmas Brick

Post by r.magnay » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:07 am

....I got a laugh outta that!


Re: The Christmas Brick

Post by Heather » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:31 pm

Aaah Keats, all those poor putty cats! Good yarn.

Heather :)

Jasper Brush

Re: The Christmas Brick

Post by Jasper Brush » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:25 pm

G'day, mate.

Dramatic, mate. Soooo dramatic.

I suppose when the final brick went down and uncle Frank died it was declared a 'no ball.'


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