Uncle Fudd

By Gilbert B. Elwyn

In the mid 1950s our family owned a 1949 Ford. Our brother, obnoxiously precocious lad that he was, named this automobile Uncle Fudd. To the best of our knowledge it was named for the title character of a popular song. Uncle Fudd was a cheerful and incorrigible procrastinator who just kept puttering along at his own pace, letting nothing bother him. Somehow he “never had the time to spare.” The last verse describes his encounter at long last with St. Peter, telling him “I’m sorry I’m late, but I never had the time to spare.”
Our Uncle Fudd was named well in that it puttered along, bare-tired, across the snows of Iowa winters while new automobiles, equipped with chains and the new invention, snow tires, were wallowing in the drifts.
Uncle Fudd wasn’t built for speed. He looked like an Uncle Fudd should look, solid and a bit bulbous in the backside. It reminded us of our Uncle Elmer.
A brief digression about Uncle Elmer: I’m sure that many of you were told by loving parents to be sure to wear clean, non-holey underwear “in case you’re in an accident.” Uncle Elmer had the misfortune to not only be in an accident while wearing holey underwear, but the holes were so large that the nurse was able to give him a shot through one of them.
When we first began musing about Uncle Fudd, we consulted our extensive reference library (we Googled it) and could not find the lyrics for the original song or even mention of it. However we did discover that Uncle Fudd featured prominently in a later hit record, a current musical group, at least two restaurants, a fitness column, and a farm. Uncle Fudd would never have abided accomplishing all of this. He wouldn’t have “had the time to spare.”
Here we are at the end of another Ink Blots. We’ve discussed our old automobile, an old song, a relative, and the apparent popularity of the name, Uncle Fudd. What we did not discuss was procrastination, which was our original intent.
That’s okay. We’ll discuss procrastination in a later column. When we have “the time to spare.”

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