Friday, April 28, 2017

Bob on this

It was just the other night that Peggy was reading a book that contained the phrase "Bob's your uncle."  

I had an Uncle Barrett, and his daughter married a guy named Bob, and that's as close as I can get to that phrase.  And you know what? I had heard it before, from an English friend on Facebook. 

I had to look it up, as it's not part of my everyday lexicon. People use those words to mean "and there it is" or "and there you have it" and the one that Mitch uses on "Modern Family" all the time..."There it is."  

From what Wikipedia says, "Bob's your uncle" is the thing to say when you've finally figured out how to assemble the grill you just dragged home from Lowes, or when you get your vacation trip to the Gilligan Islands all set for next winter. 

Paul's his grandson!
Something about it doesn't make perfect sense, to be Frank about it. As in, you get off the phone with the reservation clerk from the Step Back Inn, and proudly say to your significant other, when asked if everything is all set, "Bob's your uncle!"

You might get that look we've all seen.

Wikipedia also says that the British sometimes append "And Nellie's your aunt!" or say, "And Bob's your mother's brother!" just to change things up a bit.

Apparently, every other English speaker in the world gets the humor of all this.  I don't see it.  But that happens all the time, doesn't it? I have a joke about a hitchhiker that just floors me every time I tell it.

It seems to floor everyone else too.  At least, that's what they stare at when I get the punch line out.

And my parents had a friend whose last name was "Bacon." Everyone called him "Ham" as a first name. The very mention of a man named Ham Bacon would reduce me to paroxysms of uncontrollable laughter every single time, and my parents would look at me in knitted-brow disbelief, wondering what was so daggone funny.  

They say the expression dates back to the 19th Century in England, when an unpopular prime minister named Bob appointed his nephew to a sinecure government position, and the easy explanation was that "Bob's his uncle!"

Here in Maryland, we would say that "(name of crooked manipulator) is your neighbor or he belonged to the same political club or he was Agnew's bagman...".

So I'm happy that I figured all this out! Maybe someday I will run for office, after changing my name legally to "Bob Shurrunkle."

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