Quasimodo's death, the bishop of the Cathedral of
Notre Dame sent word through the streets of Paris
that a new bell ringer was needed. The bishop
decided that he would conduct the interviews
personally and went up into the belfry to begin
the screening process. After observing several
applicants demonstrate their skill, he had decided
to call it a day. Just then, an armless man
approached him and announced that he was there to
apply for the bell ringer's job.
The bishop was incredulous.
"You have no arms!"
"No matter," said the
And he began striking the bells with his face,
beautiful melody on the carillon. The bishop
listened in astonishment; convinced he had finally
found a replacement for Quasimodo. But suddenly,
rushing forward to strike a bell, the armless man
tripped and plunged headlong out of the belfry
window to his death in
the street below. The stunned bishop rushed to his
side. When he reached the street, a crowd had
gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the
beautiful music they had heard only moments
As they silently parted to let the bishop through,
one of them
asked, "Bishop, who was this
"I don't know his name,"
the bishop sadly replied,
"BUT HIS FACE RINGS A BELL"
The following day, despite the sadness that
weighed heavily on his heart due to the
unfortunate death of the armless campanologist,
the bishop continued his interviews for the bell
ringer of Notre Dame.
The first man to approach him said,
"Your Excellency, I am the
brother of the poor armless wretch that fell to
his death from
this very belfry yesterday. I pray that you honor
his life by allowing me to replace him in this
duty." The bishop agreed to give the man an
audition, and, as the armless man's brother
stooped to pick up a mallet to strike the first
bell, he groaned, clutched at his chest, twirled
around, and died on the spot.
Two monks, hearing the bishop's cries of grief of
this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his
side. "What has happened?
Who is the man?" the first monk asked
"I don't know his name,"
sighed the distraught bishop, but
"HE'S A DEAD RINGER FOR HIS BROTHER"
OF ICE FISHING
Once upon a
time, long, long ago there was a
Presidential election that was too
close to call. Neither the
presidential candidate nor the
presidential candidate had enough
votes to win the election.
Therefore, it was decided that there
should be an ice fishing contest
between the two candidates to
determine the final winner.
There was much talk about ballot
recounting, court challenges, etc.,
but a week-long ice fishing
competition seemed the (manly) way
to settle things. The candidate who
catches the most fish at the end of
the week wins. After a lot of back
and forth discussion, it was decided
that the contest would take place on
a remote and cold lake in Wisconsin.
There were to be no observers
present and both men were to be sent
out separately on this remote lake
and return daily with their catch
for counting and verification.
At the end of the first day,
returns to the headquarters and he
has 10 fish. Soon,
who has answers to everything, but
no plan, returns and has zero fish.
Well, everyone assumes he is just
having another bad hair day or
something and hopefully, he will
catch up the next day. At the end of
the 2nd day
in with 20 fish and
comes in again
gets together secretly with Kerry
W. is a
lowlife cheatin' son-of-a-gun.
I want you to go out tomorrow and
don't even bother with fishing. Just
spy on him and see if he is cheating
in any way."
The next night (after
comes back with 50 fish),
what about it, is
he's cutting holes in the ice."
You May Be Old School
If you come from Chicago, Buffalo, Cleveland, Hamtramck, or
Milwaukee there is a large church called "Saint Stanislaus's," or
"Saint Hedwig's," within one block of your childhood home (that
is, unless you're one of those suburban exiles, in which case the
church is within one block of your babcia's house!)
The neighborhood you grew up in is called "Little Warsaw," "Slavic
Village," "Polish Hill," or something of that sort.
You like to celebrate St. Patrick's Day but
only because "the Irish are oppressed too"!
Your knowledge of the Polish language is
limited to 'naughty' words
(e.g., dupa, gowno, gatki, etc), names for food (e.g., pierogi,
kapusta, etc), and drinking toasts (e.g., na zdrowie, sto lat, etc
You occasionally add the suffix "-ski" to
English words for no apparent reason (e.g., "I'm gonna go put the
car-ski in the garage-ski").
[If you also happen to know a few basic
conversational phrases in Polish], you are considered "old school"
by friends and relatives.
You call your grandma "babcia" or "busia" and your grandpa "dziadzia."
You know how to dance the polka, but you only do it at weddings?
After kicking back a few generous shots of vodka
You like to drink. Especially beer.
Especially cheap beer.
When frustrated, you slap your forehead,
shake your head, and say "O Jezu Marija!"
You have one grandma that wears a babushka
and galoshes every single
day of the year and another grandma that wears a lot of chintzy
jewelry and too much make-up.
You have a grandma who uses every single
part of animal carcasses to
Make sausages, soups, dumplings, etc.
You know more Polish jokes than all of your
non-Polish friends combined.
You have at least one uncle named "Stan," or
You have at least one relative who works, or
used to work, for the
Your relatives have devotion to saints, the
Blessed Virgin, the Pope, the Democratic Party, the U.S.
Your grandma has a shrine complete with
votive candles and a picture of The "Madonna of Czestochowa" or
"infant of Prague".
Your parents have at least one crucifix or
religious picture mounted on a wall in their house with palms
tucked behind it.
Your grandparents and other relatives
habitually kiss everyone they meet.
You refer to your two dozen or so cousins by
(e.g., Stannie, Nicky, Louie, Joey, Chickie, Honey, etc)
irrespective of their ages.
You refer to grandparents and aunts by pet
names (e.g., Aunt Honey,
Aunt Chickie, Grandpa Jo-Jo, etc.
You regularly attend Friday fish fries,
harvest festivals, parish festivals, Vegas nights, and/or bingo.
You bowl regularly and/or on a team
sponsored by a local bar.
You get your food blessed at Easter and your
house blessed at
Your family has a wigilia meal on Christmas
Eve at which you share
You like to put sour cream, horseradish,
and/or beer on everything you eat.
Continued in JUNE