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As children, when we had a three month summer vacation, we used to go to Alexandria for the duration. My Mother’s sister and her husband, a childless opulent, used to join us, and were one big, boisterous, happy family. We had cousins living in Alex who used to come visit, and sometimes spend the day, as our house was on the beach side and had a lovely garden. My aunt and uncle were used to a siesta after lunch, and we kids used to go play in the garden.
One day, some cousins came for lunch. These were the parents and five children. We were in seventh heaven, for we had a lot of playmates, and the grown-ups also enjoyed the company of their guests. We all had lunch together, then the kids disappeared to continue their games, and the grown-ups sad on the shaded terrace, the women grouped together, and the men in another group.
The lady guest was talking about the new family acquisition of a baby dog that is supposed to grow into a rather large one, and all the problems she was having training him and caring for him. Half way through her speech, my aunt started nodding then dozed off. My mother noticed that and kept their guest’s attention trained on her, to give my aunt a chance to wake up without embarrassment. Five minutes later my aunt did wake up with a start. The topic of conversation had changed and the woman was describing how hard her husband works, and was going on about having to stay up to ensure that she heats his dinner for him as he likes his food hot. My aunt sat up indignantly and said:”To hell with him! Are the children attached to him? Just put him out!” ضربه في قلبه هما العيال متعلقين بيه أوي؟ ما تسريبه .
A gasp of stunned silence, then my mother explained to my aunt that the woman was talking about her husband, not the dog. Thank God that woman had a sense of humor, or else that would have been one branch of the family we would never have seen again.

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