Here's the thing. Try really really hard not to look at the picture okay?
So a few years ago Frank went for a really long trip back to the homeland. He hung out with our relatives, played cards, did a bit of travelling...I believe he even bought a nice coat from a man on a bridge in Paris...but that's another story.
He was gone for ages, and when he came back we had a family dinner. Frank, me, the boy who schmooshed my heart, my brother and his wife. Before the dinner I spoke to Frank and he was super excited. 'I've bought you and your brother something back that I hope you like..I mean I love it so I'm pretty sure you'll love it too. All the relatives loved it....' He went on to tell me how he got to claim tax back as he left the airport, (which made the gift sound expensive) and that he bought my brother and I the exact same thing.
Now that totally made the alarm bells ring. Firstly, Frank has bad taste in nearly everything. And Austrians - they aren't renowned for their good taste, especially the ones from tiny villages...this was risky business.
So I talked to my brother, just to give him a heads up, and let him know Frank had purchased us something special.
And we waited.
So the dinner date arrived and my brother got there first and Frank insisted he open his gift before I arrived. I remember walking into the house and seeig my brothers face, drained of colour and then he whispered 'be afraid, be very afraid'.
So I tentatively opened the big box...and what was inside?
It was Whistling Willie! Frank was super keen to explain how Willie worked. You see, Willie was a clown statue holding up a lampshade which doubled as a clock. What a great idea!
On the hour, every hour, Willie sang a song while moving his head back and forth. It was the most horrible thing on the earth, its horribleness magnified by the tune he sung. Da daa, da da da da daaaa daaaa, dada dada dadaaaa. Over and over and over, until it stopped just short of the end of the verse. Short enough to make it noticeable. Short enough to make you want to punch something in the head.
My brother still has his Willie. I was generous and sensitive enough to notice just how much Frank loved that clock, so offered to leave it with him.
It was hard, but sometimes you just need to do what's right.