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Ninety, Drunk and Uncensored: Meet My Great Aunt Betty.

April 10, 2013

I had the honour of bestowing the best news EVER on my close friends this weekend. My great Aunt Betty has moved downtown!

This is the kind of news one can’t just blurt out all willy nilly. I had to wait for the perfect moment. That moment came after we had just had dinner at The Real Sports Bar. There was a lull in the conversation as we pondered where we would go next. I waited out a few boring suggestions and then casually slipped in, “We could always go visit Aunt Betty…”

“Aunt Betty is, like, a forty minute drive from here, D.C..”

“Or is she?” I paused for dramatic effect. “Maybe, just maybe she moved downtown because the ‘burbs got too boring for her. Maybe she lives just five minutes from here.”

My friends waited with baited breath as I called one of the very few phone numbers I’ve ever bothered to memorize to check great Aunt Betty’s availability. When she told us we could absolutely come over as long as we brought some wine because she drank all of hers, my friends yelled “Check, please,” in perfect unison. A quick stop at the LCBO and we were on our way to Aunt Betty’s.

My great Aunt Betty weighs about 90 lbs soaking wet, and 90 just happens to be her age as well.  What makes Aunt Betty special is not necessarily her love of dancing, her unique ability to spot and flirt with beautiful young men (and they actually flirt back just for fun), or even her appreciation of both fine alcohol as well as the cheap stuff. Nope, what makes Aunt Betty truly special is a benign tumour behind her eye. Sometimes, like when it rains, Aunt Betty’s tumour swells a little. When this happens, her mental filter goes right out the window. Just like Sophia in The Golden Girls but with a lot more swearing and sexual references, Aunt Betty will say whatever the fuck she damn well pleases. How awesome is that?

Well, it’s usually awesome. There was that one Christmas when we all found out exactly what Aunt Betty thought of her soon-to-be daughter-in law, and it was not exactly warm affection.  Or the time she met my best friend DeeDee and immediately asked if she was some kind of Paki. When my friend nervously answered in the affirmative, my aunt asked, “So you’re from Pakistan?”

“No,” my friend answered. “I’m from India.”

“From India?” shouted Aunt Betty. “Well then you’re not a Paki, are you?”

“Um, I guess not…”

“Goddam kids these days, thinkin’ that just because they’re brown they can go around callin’ themselves Paki….” she grumbled as she shuffled away.

Yeah, it was pretty uncomfortable but like most of my high school friends, DeeDee formed a special bond with Aunt Betty and while I haven’t seen DeeDee  in a decade or two, she drops in on Aunt Betty about three times a year.

Anyway, back to our evening.

Aunt Betty welcomed us with open arms. We presented the wine but she had lost interest as she’d already moved on to a bottle of Canadian Club. We chatted, we danced, we drank. We chatted, we danced, we drank some more. Aunt Betty eventually analyzed my friends’ faces, telling them what she knew of their personalities based on their brow line, strong jaw or weak chin. She didn’t pull any punches and her observations were cheeky, sometimes sexual and crazy funny. We were so entertained that we didn’t notice Aunt Betty had started skipping the Coke when she poured her whiskey. I sometimes forget that I’m supposed to watch her like a hawk when she gets into such good spirits.

The night was turning into morning and things were winding down. We spent some time listening to Aunt Betty weave tales partly from memory and partly from imagination. And then it was time to go….Or so we thought.

Aunt Betty stood to walk us to the door. She stumbled to her left and smacked her face off the balcony door before almost immediately righting herself. We all jumped to our feet. Aunt Betty took advantage of our terrified silence to let out the longest, loudest fart I have ever heard in my lifetime.

We all rushed to her but she was already sitting back on the sofa chatting as if nothing had happened. My friends followed suit and sat back down as well. I, however, suggested a round of water for everyone. Swooping up Aunt Betty’s glass of booze sans cola, I replaced it with ice water. Aunt Betty continued to tell amusing anecdotes, punctuating her stories with the occasional loud, reverberating fart.

About an hour later, when we were unanimous in our confidence that our host could make it to bed without breaking a hip, we said our heartfelt goodbyes. Aunt Betty walked us to the door waved us good bye, farted one more time, maybe for good measure, and headed back inside.

I called the next morning just to check in on her before running out to do some errands.

“What am I a kid, D.C.? Of course I’m okay, for God’s sake. I think I can make it to bed on my own. By the way, tell your gay friend he needs to invest in some Rogaine. Where the fuck did all his hair go anyway? You know what, I already know the answer…it migrated to his goddam chest. Doesn’t he know the “in” thing is for gays to wax their bodies? He has it backwards! No wonder he can’t meet a nice boy and settle down.”

She offered up a few more choice observations and then we hung up.

“So?” Asked the boyfriend.  “What’s the news?

“It’s raining out. We need our umbrellas.”

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2013 11:42 am

    Ha! D.C – one mega fun tale – I know who I want to be when I grow up!

    • April 10, 2013 3:30 pm

      Yup, if you can’t drink your face off and say exactly what you’re thinking when you’re ninety, when can you do it?

  2. April 10, 2013 3:19 pm

    God, I wish I had an Aunt Betty.

    • April 10, 2013 3:34 pm

      She is truly everyone’s favourite person. Every one of my friends who has met her asks about her all of the time, and when she lived in the suburbs, they would drop in on her whenever they were in the area, sometimes taking her out for dinner or to a pub. This, of course means my friends all have their own stories with her. It makes for great conversation when we are sitting around with not much to do.

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  1. Ninety, Drunk and Uncensored: Meet My Great Aunt Betty. | abbie foxton

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