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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A joke told at a priest's retirement dinner

This Sunday, as I have mentioned before, was the 50th anniversary of our parish priest's ordination. Since he is also retiring in two weeks we had a dinner to celebrate both events.

The dinner was not as dull as you might expect from a parish composed mainly of Polish 70-somethings. It had a few highlights. (Note to the paparazzi and fanboys everywhere: Keira Knightley is apparently doing role research by bussing tables at the Ramada in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. I didn't get her number, unfortunately.) One of the highlights was this joke, told by the toastmaster:

A man has been confined to his bed in his house for several weeks. He is sick, dying, and does not expect to last long. One morning he wakes up and finds his room filled with a wonderful aroma, a smell that takes him back to the happy days of his childhood: the smell of home-made peanut butter cookies, his favorite treats, fresh out of the oven.

Am I dead? he thinks to himself. Am I in Heaven? Or maybe I'm asleep and dreaming? He decides to find out. Calling upon strength that no one realized he had anymore, he manages to pull himself out of bed, slithering onto the floor. He then decides that he is neither dead nor dreaming, and sets out to find the source of the smell for himself.

Slowly, painfully, he pulls himself along the floor of his bedroom and through the open doorway into the upstairs hall. He then manages to crawl down the steps, headfirst, slowly, carefully. Finally he is on the ground floor and begins to crawl towards the kitchen. He gets to the kitchen, pries the door open with his fingertips, and is overwhelmed by the smell of the cookies. He crawls along the floor to the table, which he knows is full of cooling cookies. Dragging himself to a table leg, full of joy that he has reached his goal, he pulls himself up partway and reaches his hand out for one of the treats from his childhood. Suddenly a spatula smacks his hand away.

"Hands off!" says his beloved wife sternly. "Those are for the funeral!"

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