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Spit ’n Polish

Jun. 16, 2010
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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, don’t have much to offer you’s this week in way of an essay, sorry to say. I’m pressed for time and I got to take off in just a minute and head up over by the Uptowner tavern/charm school and meet up with the fellas so’s we can discuss our Polish Fest plans.

Yes, I know some are disappointed that the guy who’d guess your age and weight won’t be there this year—but really, when the only guess for the weight category is “too fat for me,” how entertaining is that really? However, I do think the new guy who will try to guess the number of consecutive consonants in your last name will be a strong addition to the festivities, what the fock.

Anyways, I was going through my mail the other day, something I force myself to do about once every six months, and I came across the following letter:

Dear Mr. Kumbalek, I am the father of a very sweet daughter, Lucy, who just turned 7. Sadly, a week ago she went out into the garden and saw her cat Mittens lying on the ground, eyes shut and legs in the air. She got me to come look at Mittens, and as gently as I could, I said, “I'm afraid Mittens is dead, Lucy.” Fighting back the tears, she asked, “So why are his legs sticking up in the air like that, Daddy?”

At a loss for something to say, I replied, “Mittens’ legs are pointing straight up in the air so that it will be easier for Jesus to float down from heaven above, grab a leg and lift Mittens up to heaven.”

It seemed to me that she took Mittens’ death quite well. However, two days later, I came home from work and Lucy had tears in her eyes. She said: “Mommy almost died this morning.” Fearing something terrible had happened, I grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “How do you mean, Lucy? Tell Daddy!”

“Well,” she stammered, “soon after you left for work this morning, I saw Mommy lying on the floor with her legs in the air and she was saying in a loud voice, ‘Oh Jesus!!! I'm coming, I'm coming!!!’ and if it hadn't been for Uncle Mike holding her down she would definitely have gone, Daddy!”

Good lord, are there grounds for divorce here?

—Down-in-Dumps Daddy

And what I can tell “Daddy” (I’m hoping he’s reading this ’cause I’ll be damned that I’ll take the time to mail back a reply) is this: You not only got the “grounds,” you got the whole pot of coffee. Just remember, there’s always two sides to divorce—yours and fockhead’s.

Hey, since I’ve got the advice-ball rolling here, for those of you’s wondering if you should have those extra couple, three beers whilst attending this festival or that, I offer a scientifically medical-research statement that I found on the Interwebnet somewheres:

“A herd of buffalo can move only as fast as the slowest buffalo, and when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular culling of the weakest members.

(And here’s the important part): In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, we all know, kills off brain cells, but naturally it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, constantly making the brain a faster and more efficient machine.” Now that’s what I call real news a Milwaukeean can use, ain’a?

One more thing, I’ve been feeling the time-passing urge of late to make out a will. What the fock, any day I could be run over and killed whilst crossing my Downtown street by a young white gal yakking on her cell phone whilst maneuvering the brand-new Mustang proud North Shore Pop got her for nearly completing her course-work at the cosmetology college. What would become of my hat/cap; my Louis Prima cassette recording, Louis and Keely!; my VHS recorded-movie collection? You tell me.

And then I’ll tell you that where there’s life, there’s hope. I had this dream:

Three people die accidentally on the same day—a doctor, a teacher and me—and find themselves at Heaven’s Pearly Gates. Before able to enter, St. Peter asks each a question: “When you are in your burial casket and friends and family hover above in mourning, what would you like to hear them say?”

First guy answers: “I would like to hear them say that I was a caring doctor and family man.” Second guy says, “That I was a wonderful husband and schoolteacher who made a positive difference in the lives of those I taught.”

And the third guy (yours truly) says, “What the fock, I’d like them to all say… ‘HEY, WAIT A SECOND! LOOK!!! I THINK THE FOCKER’S STILL BREATHING!!!’”

Got to go. But since again this year I was not asked to deliver a commencement address anywheres (go figure), I still got this for you’s young people of any and all age: Never dig a hole too deep that you can’t get out, and brush your teeth and stay in school what the fock, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.


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