It was a New Year’s party, sometime in the early ‘80s, and Uncle Leo was tipsy, or almost there.
He was a tall man, dressed in a brown silk shirt of some large print, with collars like wings. His trousers were of a lighter brown, tight at the hips and unnecessarily fastened by a thick belt, with a large steel buckle of a ‘Texas Longhorn.’ Towards his knees the trousers flared out – at his boots, it was a wide cone of fabric, flapping away as he danced.
Now some uncles got together to play some very nasty tricks on each other, and at some point, Uncle Leo became the bait.
Someone produced a plastic funnel, and another conjured up a coin. The funnel was shoved into Uncle Leo’s belt, just between the longhorns, and the coin was placed on his forehead.
“The rule is simple,” said Uncle Rico, the mastermind. “All you gotta do is drop the coin into the funnel. No hands – just by tilting your head. You get three tries.”
Tilt One was quick, clumsy and unsuccessful. Tilt Two was slower, carefully timed and…unsuccessful. Uncle Leo was now wound up. He was going to nail this.
He measured and calculated Tilt Three, his eyes on the ceiling but his mind focused on the coin between them. At that moment Uncle Rico nonchalantly tipped a bottle of beer into the funnel.
It fizzed to the top instantly and someone hissed:
There was smothered laughter as the beer swirled in the funnel, disappearing down Uncle Leo’s pants.
It took a second from the calculated stance of Tilt Three. Stung by the icy beer, Uncle Leo’s body snapped forward, and the coin, so precisely poised for victory went flying.
Honest, we all learned some new dance steps that night.
(c) Cindy Pereira