Cave Thing

3 Oct

You may think you have a cool Uncle, but you don’t. Sure, your Uncle may tell an amusing joke, knuckle drag across your temples, click his fingers and have an innate ability to make a dick out of himself but he’s not as cool as you think.

Cave Thing is one of two the coolest Uncles that will ever walk the face of the earth. He made me who I am today. Schooled me in music, madness and mathmatics. Made me believe Nilssen’s “The Point” was the only musical that ever existed, gave me my first Captain Beefheart album, forced me to read Vonnegut and memorise Zappa’s back catalogue.

His babysitting sessions are famed in our childhood. His hulking frame and auburn hair would lope into the house bearing chocolate to butter us up before experting agitating us in different ways: making blatantly provocative political statements to one, daring another to defy him (only to face his booming voice and temper) to delighting in spinning horror stories to me based around whatever film we were watching at the time (Dracula is a real person who lives in Fitzroy and puts his victims in the back of a Kingswood Stationwagen [the same car as my parents], screening Psycho *just* as I made the transition from baths to showers, etc.).

He wasn’t always called Cave Thing. For a while, he was Captain Koala. In fact, as an impressionable 4 year old, I went to Show and Tell to regale them with the story of our latest babysitting adventure: “an lassnite my unkle babysat us an we call him captin koala cos he cooks leaf in the oven an smokes it”.

As a teenaged houseguest, Cave Thing insisted on three things: 1. always ask questions, 2. Saturday mornings will always feature Goon Show reruns, 3. if you can’t make a proper cup of tea, don’t fucking bother.

Today, after coming home from egg pick up (8 of them, by the way, and thank you for asking) Cave Thing called by chance that I would be home. He brightly told me he has lung cancer. He is not even 55. We spoke of his plans, of dignity and, naturally, completely inappropriate jokes.

One Response to “Cave Thing”

  1. aussiejazz October 4, 2005 at 2:20 am #

    Why, I do believe I am shedding a tear here.What a beautifully written tribute.Make sure you get lots of Chinese burns and raspberries blown on your cheeks from him and save them up. Your memories are the stuffing of your future. Make ’em while you can. xx Love you.

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