Roddy, my brother-in-law, has learning difficulties. He lives in Dundee. And this year it was decided that he wouldn’t be joining us for Christmas — too many incidents recently involving what I’d better leave described only as behavioral difficulties — so we thought we’d have him visit Edinburgh for a meal on his birthday and let him celebrate Christmas in the sheltered housing where he lives, which he did one previous year when he was ill and enjoyed. He didn’t really enjoy last Christmas because the stress of being away from home was a bit much. So Fiona feels a bit guilty but knows she shouldn’t.
(The loss here is not getting to watch movies with Roddy, which is always entertaining. Recently I read about Williams Syndrome, Roddy’s condition, and it fitted his viewing habits precisely — Williams people watch TV intently, and are fixated upon the people’s faces. They tend to see faces as friendly, unlike autistic people who find them frighteningly unreadable — Williams has been described as the anti-autism. And they tend to find animation uninteresting, as Roddy mainly does — except Scooby Doo — because the people’s expressions are not interesting and detailed enough.)
It was a nice dinner. Roddy has given a set of antlers to wear by the party of girls at the next table, and he entertained us with his impressions.
R: Shall I do Prince Charles? (regal gesture) “Hello, I’m Prince Charles.”
D: That’s just the same as your Dracula impression!
R: No, this is my Dracula impression. (regal gesture) “I am Dracula. Ha ha ha.”
D: But Dracula doesn’t laugh like that.
R: Aye he does.
D: When has Dracula ever laughed? You’re thinking of the Count from Sesame Street.
R. Oh. Right. How should I do Dracula then?
D: Say, “I am Dracula and I bid you welcome.”
R: “I am Dracula and I bid you welcome. To my castle. Ha ha ha.”
Fiona at this point becomes hysterical with laughter. Possibly something to do with the Diazepam.
Roddy’s carer, John: Why’s he laughing? Is it a funny castle?
D: “I am Dracula and I bid you welcome to my bouncy castle.”