Kevin strikes most adults as eccentric. Their nickname for him is 'Spacey'. They
also refer to him as that "weird guy who never grew up". They say his hobbies
and `passions' do not last longer than a few months.
His oldest sister Kim and
her husband indulge Kevin. Yet they have never said a nice thing about him in
front of their children, who adore him. They speak disapprovingly about him to
their children, but they have never turned him away. Maybe they feel sorry for
him, as he lives alone. He had been married once, for a very short time, and has
no children. 'Which woman can put up with him?' is a familiar comment about
Kevin from the adults.
Uncle Kevin's visits are always fun and exciting. Once he took an assortment
of creatures to Kim's house. The children had been pestering their parents for a
pet, a small one, and he knew that their parents had said adamantly, `We don't
want to hear anymore of that, do you understand?' And there was Uncle Kevin,
with a snake, an iguana, a frog, hermit crabs and different kinds of slugs. The
creatures were all housed in plastic and glass containers. Kim screamed and
banned them from the house. So the children played with them in their tiny
garden. Uncle Kevin taught them a lot of interesting things about those
creatures. He also said he was going to open a pet shop selling small animals.
Kim predicted that this project would be abandoned as soon as he took up a new
True enough, he turned up one weekend wearing an apron and a chef's hat. He
was loaded down with a paraphernalia of cooking utensils, piles of vegetables,
and jars of spices. Announcing that he had taken up cooking and was going to be
their `chef' for that weekend, he marched straight to the kitchen. Although Kim
shook her head despairingly and said, `Another new hobby?', she did not try to
The children were breathless with excitement and anticipation. Chasing his
sister out of the kitchen but allowing the little ones to be present, he
proceeded to wash, chop, slice and heat up several pots and pans. They watched
him, fascinated. He clowned around and parodied Bollywood movie scenes while he
Their favourite part of the cooking sessions was when he made them taste what
he was preparing. Some of the stuff tasted strange, but every time someone
grimaced, he asked for suggestions on how to improve the dish. At the dinner
table, the tastier dishes were quickly eaten up, and the less popular ones were
finished by Kevin himself. Nothing was wasted. After each meal, his sister made
sure the children helped with the dishes.
He has declared that he wants to start a restaurant. Who knows what will
become of that plan, says his brother-in-law. As for the children, they cannot
wait for his next visit.