A Parable

by Marinka on July 6, 2010

My parents have an unconventional sense of humor, so I spend a lot of time worrying that they will say something inappropriate in mixed company, where mixed company means someone who is not mama, papa or me.

Like over the weekend, my in-laws and my parents and my kids and Husbandrinka and I gathered at the dacha.  One evening, the kids were playing a board game with Husbandrinka (called Curses.  It’s from the sixth ring of hell, do not buy it. I’ll write about it soonish, but really, I’m not kidding. Save yourself.) and I was talking to mama. “Well, I’m going to go read on the couch.” mama told me.  I became alarmed because the kids were there and there were being loud with the game and I was worried that she’d be disturbed.  “What do I care if there’re there?” she asked. “I’m not going to assume a gynecological pose.”  Funny, right?  But she’s my MAMA and she’s like in her sixties and not everyone is used to that type of humor.

So, when papa at lunch said, “I have a very funny joke to tell,” I almost chocked on my potato salad.
“Maybe later?” I suggested weakly.
But papa didn’t want to wait.
“There was once a bird who was flying around in the winter, and he got very cold and he fainted and was frozen on the ground.  And then a cow walked by and shat on him.  And the shit warmed him up and he was happy.  And he was sitting in the shit, thinking I’m so happy and warm and he started to sing in happiness, and then a cat walked by, heard the bird singing, pulled him out of the shit and ate him.”

“Oh, my, “ my mother-in-law checked her pearls.
“Yeah, that’s a good story,” my father-in-law added.
“There are many morals in this story,” papa explained.
“Maybe we should contemplate them in silence,” I suggested.
“No silence,” papa said.  “First moral–if someone shits on you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are your enemy.  Second–if someone pulls you out of shit, doesn’t mean that they’re your friend. And third–”
“It sucks to be a bird,” Young Ladrinka piped in.
“No, and three, if you’re safe and happy, don‘t start singing.”

Which seems like excellent advice.  Although personally I think cats are a lot more finicky than to eat shit-covered birds.

One year ago ...

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

2 Brits, 2 Yanks, 2 Dogs July 6, 2010 at 12:43 am

Ladrinka’s comment is classic.


Heather, Queen of Shake Shake July 6, 2010 at 9:24 am

I’m still waiting for you to draw up those adoption papers so Mama and Papa can be my new parents.


elenka July 6, 2010 at 9:33 am

ha ha….one of my cats wouldn’t even eat a clean bird with ketchup on it because it involves guts and blood. She’s our princess .The other one, however…….pass the salt.


Zee July 6, 2010 at 10:52 am

Ahhh. Families and the holidays. What a lovely combination.

This reminds me of the Christmas my husband decided to show our mothers the humorously printed boxer shorts I gave him and accidentally pulled down more than just his jeans. Nothing says Merry Christmas like mooning our mothers over eggnog.

Not exactly a Hallmark moment.


Loukia July 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

That is the best joke ever. And I’m emailing this post to my mom right now because I thinks she’d like it. I’m SURE this joke exists in Greek, too. For sure it has to because it is brilliant. 🙂


July 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm

When an Italian-American grandmother from Jersey (Husbandrinka’s mom) is cast as the sophisticate in a story, you know you’re in for some fun.


Holly July 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Oh this is fabulous. Absolutely fabulous.


beautylogicblog July 6, 2010 at 6:45 pm

lmao, that joke is hilarious.


Sophie@Fabrications July 7, 2010 at 9:10 am

Aw, shit. I HATE the old bird-in-shit parable. It’s not funny.


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