“So why you are call im dat den?” Nonna enquires as I replace the telephone receiver after my international call.
“Call who what?”
“Your Dad. Why you call im Admiral?”
“It’s a family joke. Everyone thinks he’s an Admiral but really he’s only a passed over two and a half.”
“Naval rank is indicated by the number of golden stripes on your sleeve, the cuff. When you reach a certain age in the Service, you are either promoted to captain and have three stripes or you’re not chosen, “passed over.’”
“Oh…I tink I see.”
My daughter charges into the kitchen flourishing a sheet of paper.
“Mom! Mom! Mom! Look I finished it. Whatcha think?”
“Oh that’s lovely dear. It looks just like him. You do have an eye for portraiture, highly admirable.”
“Um ……….wasat mean?”
“Oh it means …..that I admire or like your picture very much indeed. It comes from the Latin, admirari, ad-mi-rah-ree.”
“Ooo you are be speaking dah dead! Shush, he’ll hear you!” advises the protective big brother.
“I am heared!” pipes up the little one, as usual, all ears, “I am always liking dah Latins. I’m gonna be a high admiral when I am being growned higherer.”
“No…..yur part cat. Your…….cat part…….is not liking the water.”
“No stoopid……oopsie…….I mean……my cat part will be in dah boat……my human part will be an Admiral person, dry wiv dah "golden" cuffs.”
4 hours ago