“El Paso” is not actually Grandad’s real name, I’ve used it here to disguise his true identity. I hope that’s not too much of a shock. His real name is Brian*.
The origin of “El Paso” is a little more complicated. I think it can only be fully explained if
(a) you know what Grandad currently looks like, and
(b) you are familiar with the Old El Paso adverts featuring Danny Trejo as a machete-wielding patriarch (circa 2013).
The short version is, it’s because you (youngest child) used to think Grandad was Danny Trejo’s character in the Old El Paso adverts.
It’s hard to say exactly why you thought Grandad was an angry, intimidating, machete-wielding, Mexican gangsta. Most people would describe him (physically) as more of a cross between Brian Clough and David Dickinson. …They might also possibly say he wears Noel Edmund’s tightly-tucked-in blouses, if they were feeling particularly unkind.
I suppose it could have been Grandad’s perma-tan that led you to think he might be Mexican. He does like to keep his tan level topped up to a “dark creosote” at all times. He makes David Dickinson and Bob Monkhouse seem “lightly-tanned”. He maintains it by holidaying regularly and never using any sun protection EVER.
Also, Grandad has incredible luck with the weather. Wherever he goes the sun follows, which is unusual for a character from the dark side – I mean you’d never see Vader or Voldemort on the beach with a lemon sorbet. On the other hand I imagine bringing on a drought is right up their street so maybe it does kind of make sense after all.
As you know Grandad does have a “bit of a temper” as Grandma likes to call it. Auntie Kate and I usually prefer to stick with something more specific, like “remember when he chased me down the road calling me the C-word?” or any story ending with a waiter saying “Please Mr Brian, you leave now, no more to fight, you be going home to sleep yes?”
Thanks to years of childhood-trauma-induced-static, the air around Grandad does crackle with tension. Anyone who has lived with someone with anger-management problems will tell you that the hairs on the back of your neck know what’s about to happen before you do. Maybe that played some part in you mistaking him for a machete-wielding gangsta?
You’re right that moustache does look quite Mexican, but the snag with that is, he doesn’t actually have the moustache. I added that to help disguise him, so on that basis I’d say it’s unlikely to have been the moustache.
Old El Paso Advert
All we know is, whenever the Old El Paso advert came on the TV, you would wander over, point and say “Gang-ga”.
For a while we thought you were saying “Gangsta” and you might be some kind of child genius but then sure enough on Grandad’s next visit you walked right up to him, poked him in the shin and said “Gang-ga”. At this point Daddy and I both looked at each other and went “Ahhhhhhhhh, yeah, that makes more sense” and so “Grandad El Paso” was born.
*His name’s not Brian either, obviously, but let’s pretend it is.