You Can’t Be Serious - ‘The good life…’
You Can’t Be Serious – ‘The good life…’
  • My late uncle trusted me a whole lot; maybe not with his entire life … but close enough!

Trust is a central part of all human relationships. It is very enlivening either to be trusted by another person or to have that person trust you. Romantic partnerships are generally based on a foundation of trust – and that’s all we’ll say about that one!

If you don’t trust, say, your doctor or dentist then that relationship is doomed. Trusting people will usually be based on your estimation of probability of how they will behave towards you.

Mrs Youcantbeserious was watching ‘Dancing on Ice’ the other evening and she called me to watch one particular act. The artistry of the couple was spellbinding. The speed with which those intricate moves were executed was even difficult for my eye to follow. The dependence of each dancer on the other was paramount in completing the dance. Breath-taking stuff – but when I tell you that the girl was blind you can imagine the level of trust she had to have in her male partner? Isn’t that a wonderful example of one human’s absolute trust in another?

In case you are about to flip the page – and before I lose you; I had better tell you how my eccentric old Uncle Paddy trusted me just about as much as did that lady dancer her partner.

By now an aging bachelor farmer … well actually he was always a bachelor farmer, but now he was aging; Paddy was beginning to make a very poor fist of shaving himself with his disposable razors. ‘Like a badly mowed meadow’, he said to me one day. Soon thereafter, my ailing uncle placed his utmost trust in me. He trusted me to shave him! Not as simple as you might think: Read on please …

Trust was not a characteristic that the man possessed in any abundance. Paddy didn’t trust the government – irrespective of what party was in power. He totally mistrusted banks and any man in a camel hair coat – maybe even a sheepskin jacket. Paddy was a great RTE radio 1 listener – but that didn’t mean he trusted everything he heard on the news: “Of course that’s not right”, was more often his concluding comment after some breaking story on ‘The news at One.’ His doctor was trusted – up to a point and only after it became evident that he couldn’t heal himself.

The doctor was the only living creature who would ever be trusted to lay a hand on my uncle. Never a hug or a kiss for anyone … never! That isn’t to say that the man wasn’t kind, caring and fair-minded. He just didn’t trust anybody enough to allow them put a hand on him.

But then, for the last couple of years of his life, my Uncle Paddy placed the ultimate trust in his nephew by allowing me to shave him with a razor.

I don’t blame you, dear reader, for assuming we are talking here about an intimidating old cut-throat razor. Not at all… We are talking a standard Remington electric razor which I bought in duty free on my way back from Spain.

Paddy had always liked to be clean-shaven and ‘respectable looking.’ As mentioned above, he hadn’t had a good shave for a while, due to his feebleness and the shake in his hand.

I could tell the uncle was as nervous as a bullock in a chute. He sat upright on a hard-backed chair. The razor was plugged in and started to buzz. I cradled the back of Paddy’s head in one hand and commenced the ‘topping’ of the ragged old face. After a little while, and with no smell of blood and no pain in his face, the uncle relaxed until the job was finished and I handed him a mirror.

The old man ran his fingers down the side of his face and across his chin. He smiled at his reflection saying; ‘Janey Mac, but it’s a long and many day since I’ve had a shave as smooth as that.’

Now, just wait until you hear the extent of that barefaced trust. At that time I was commuting quite a bit between Spain and Ireland. I could be as long as three weeks in Spain at a time. But when I got back, Uncle Paddy would be there watching me to shave him … with three weeks beard on him!!

He only trusted one person to shave him and that person was me. Nobody else was ever getting near his face nor could anybody else be trusted to handle that greatest of inventions – a duty-free Remington electric razor!

Don’t forget

You always remember a kind deed – particularly if it was yours.