Monday, August 1, 2011

The Hunchback and the Hairlip

Yesterday came and went like any other busy summer Sunday. Every year, July 31 passes by and becomes a day which we don't celebrate...but in passing we mention, "Today was Papa's Birthday". This winter it will be two years since he passed, and yesterday he would have been 91. While he was a scrawny guy, Papa definitely wasn't a weak man. He survived a world war, POW of WW2 and fought in the battle of the Bulge.

But that's not the Papa we remember. While I know he constantly carried the weight of the world on his shoulders a bit more than most, he was one hell of a funny guy. As kids, we would spend our afternoons with our grandparents and beg him to tell the same stories and jokes all over again. When we were small...he used to ask "who's baby are you" to which we would respond "Mimi's" (my grandmother) and he would get "upset" and ask again until we said we were his baby. There are times when I still feel like he is with me in some way. Every time I take the corner on the road near my house I can hear him say "Kristy (no one else has ever called me that)..people take this corner way too fast...you can loose control of your car and before you know it...smack! right into another car".

Life isn't about who left us, it is about memories and good times shared together. So in honor of my Papa's birthday yesterday, I am going to tell a joke he used to tell us as kids...over and over again. Half the joke is the way he told. His characterization..which was always the center of every story he told...but here goes. (this is a true test of my dialogue writing abilities!!!) I apologize for anyone who finds offense to this...my intent is only to entertain..the way  I was as a child.

The story is of a Hunchback and a hair lip. The hunch back has a fruit stand and the hair lip comes by to buy some fruit.

Hair lip: (in his distorted hair lip voice): Hey misther how much are your peaches (pronounced peathes)?
Hunchback:  they are five dollars a pound
Hair lip: woah...that's high (thaths thigh).


by now we were giggling...he had this way of crinkling his whole face up when he would do the hair lip voice

Hair lip: Hey misther..how much are your apples? (appleths)
Hunchback: They are six dollars a pound
Hair lip: woah...thaths high

Hair lip: Hey misther...how much are your bananas (bananaths)
Hunchback: they are ten dollars a bunch
Hair lip: woah...that's high

Hair lip: Hey misther...(points at the hunchback's hunchback). Whaths that on your back?
Hunchback: Its a hunchback...I was born that way

.by now we are rolling on the ground laughing...we have heard this joke soooo many times..and it is still funny. He is feeding off our laughter and adding more and more emphasis to every line

Hair lip:  Ooooh....I thought that was your ass (assth) everything else is so high!

Inappropriate joke for a group of kids? yep. Damn funny? you bet. Even when I was in college and I would come home for a visit..and some home cooked Syrian food from my grandma, I still had to hear that joke. I could tell it a million times and it wouldn't be as funny as when Papa told it.

Although July 31 has came and went, and years will go by..and so on and so on...I like to think he is alive and well in the stories we tell.

Happy Birthday Papa :)

1 comment:

  1. Great story, Kristen. I am so glad Jack and I had a chance to get to know your Papa. He was indeed a wonderful man.

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