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From Downtown

Mar. 14, 2017
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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a?

 

So listen, as a guy of Polish plus who-knows-what-the-fock heritage, you won’t catch me blowing my party horn this time of the year, here in the throes of St. Patrick’s Week-and-a-focking-Half, I kid you not.

 

But this year, for personal health reasons, neither will you catch me pissing and moaning about all the blarney, malarkey and Irish hoopla. I figure my blood pressure would be blessed if I were perhaps a wee bit more charitable toward those who fancy the Emerald Isle for whatever reason. And so I will, for once, not whip out my familiar chestnuts, such as the reason the Irish are known as great storytellers is for the centuries-long need to dream up yet another excuse for being late to work. Nor will I query the riddle as to why the Irish have all the potatoes, and the Arabs all the oil. (FYI: Shortly after the Lord banished mankind from Eden, he offered the Irish first pick.)

 

Nae, instead I offer the following story so as to assist, rather than hinder, in fertilizing the garden of cultural unity (and if you’ve heard it before, now you’ll hear it again, what the fock):

 

John O’Reilly hoisted his beer and said, “Here's to spending the rest of me life, between the legs of me wife!” And that won him the top prize for the best toast of that night at the pub. He was so thrilled that he went home and told his wife, Mary, “Good news! I won the prize for the best toast of the night!” And Mary asks, “Aye, and what was your toast, husband?” John said, “Here’s to spending the rest of me life, sitting in church beside me wife.”

 

“Oh, that is very nice indeed, John!” said Mary. The next day on the street, Mary ran into one of John’s toasting buddies. The man chuckled leeringly and said, “Did you know, Mary, that John won the prize the other night with a toast about you?”

And Mary said, “Aye, and I was a bit surprised me’self! You know, he’s only been there twice! Once he fell asleep, and the other time I had to pull him by the ears to make him come.” Ba-ding!

 

Hold on a second. It’s the phone. I got to take this ’cause it might be my doctor. Be right back.

 

OK. It’s not my doc. It’s my buddy Little Jimmy Iodine. I’ll be off in a second.

 

“Cripes, Jimmy. I can’t talk now. I got to crank out my essay and I only got 10 minutes ’til the paper has to have it.”

 

“Yeah yeah, Artie. Listen, I’m in this pool for the basketball where these kids in the college have a tournament. Sixty-four focking schools. And I got to fill out this big honking chart where I’m supposed to choose who the heck’s going to win each and every game. I might even win a buck two-eighty. I remember one year there was a team nicknamed the Aztecs. The Aztecs, I shit you not. You think they sacrifice a virgin for good luck before every game, Artie?”

 

“Couldn’t tell you, Jimmy. College kids can get pretty wild and cavalier, though.”

 

“Anyways, I’m working on this chart with the brackets. I’m figuring this, I’m figuring that. Hours and hours and hours. I finally work my way to the last game of the Final Four, where they play for the championship. Guess what? I got N.C. Central/UC Davis against N.C. Central/UC Davis, and that can’t be right, ain’a Artie?”

 

“It’s a long shot, Jimmy.”

 

“Jeez louise, now I got to go back and do the whole dang thing over, ain’a? At least it gives me something to do at work. See you.”

 

And speaking of madness in March, this week Our Town will again play host to the first couple rounds of the Big Dance and so welcome, you collegiate fans, students, hangers-on and alumni of the Bulldogs, Eagles, Golden focking Gophers, Blue Raiders, Boilermakers, Catamounts, Cyclones and Wolfpack.

 

You’s people need to remember two things as you visit Brew City. One: This is not New York, the City that Never Sleeps. This is Milwaukee, the City that Always Sweeps. So, after you puke your nacho-beer guts out on the sidewalk, be it on North Water Street or Old World Third Street, please mop up your mess—and that goes double for you’s knobshine candy-asses from Minneapolis, Minne-focking-sota—thank you. Two: Just so you know, that any one of you eight jag teams trying to make a basket at our soon-extinct Bradley Center would-and-will get your student-athlete ass reamed but good if you should come up against our Badgers or our Golden Eagles somewheres down the line. Book it.

 

And yeah, I filled out a bracket this year. Like always, I might’ve over-thunk it. Somehow I got Electoral College going up against Bryant & Stratton College in the final with EC winning by a majority, what the fock ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.

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