Friday, August 20, 2010

Polish wisdom

A few months ago my friend's family drove into the city for graduation. The dad, quite possibly the daddiest dad in the history of fatherhood, commented that they'd gotten lost in a Polish neighborhood on the way. Not realizing I was being set up, I said, "You were probably in Green Point. How could you tell it was Polish though?" His face beaming, he replied, "Because they were hanging out the toilet paper to dry!" I'm not sure this joke makes sense, but then sometimes I can't tell between Italians and Jews. (One has a tan?) I guess in the world of cultural jokes it's enough to know that Poles are dumb, Germans are assholes, and the word "black" must be whispered.

Ex: This polar bear thinks it's Mexican.

My only Polish knowledge comes from my coworker, a tiny bookkeeper in her 60s with a 70% grasp of English. We mostly talk about weight gain, since women actually are all the same, and how mystifying it is that none of the bosses can correctly pronounce "Wanda" as "Vanda." The following are a few of her gems, although they're only fun if you can perceive them in her accent, which is somewhere between Russian and the Jamaican crab in The Little Mermaid. Enjoy the purely anecdotal, purely aural entry, guys!

While turning off the air conditioner: "I'm going to close it. All deh time I am freezink, and I am not afraid from Lou-ees!"

In reference to anything she doesn't understand, from Ethiopian food to email: "Ess crazy!"

"Heh heh, yes. Deh gay, dey are getting AIDS." (She also giggles whenever she hears someone say "faggot," which happens with distressing frequency around here.)

Wanda: You are drinkink beer?
Charles: It's green tea!
Wanda: Yeah....

On being asked whether she liked our new hire: "No. He is...he is having deh problems. His voice is ach!" [more of a Scottish "ach" than a Cathy "Ack!"]

When Bill Bellamy was performing: "Who is diss, diss Balami?" [rhymes with "salami"]

In reference to a holiday catalog: "All deh catalog of nuts for Roman."

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