Snow Delay

It snowed over an inch last night and that, combined with the 10-degree cold is causing mayhem in Louisville. Given I lived in Minnesota for six years, where children aren’t allowed to wait outside for the bus if the wind chill drops below -20, I’m tempted to make fun. But Kentucky isn’t prepared for snow and ice like Minnesota is, and when you consider how hilly the terrain often is, any amount of ice can make driving treacherous.

So school’s out, also little Joan has a fever. All of which means I won’t be blogging today. However I’ll leave you for the weekend with the world’s oldest kringle joke. If it seems familiar it’s because variations are a told for all sorts of ethnic pastry: cannoli, kolacky, strudel, rugelach, the list goes on. Come to think of it I’ve heard apple pie and chocolate chip cookie versions too. It goes like this.

An old [insert ethnicity here] man was on his death bed, his doctor had given him mere hours to live. As he lay there, waiting for the end, he suddenly caught a whiff of [pastry] from the kitchen. “If I could only have just one bite of [pastry],” he said, “I can die a happy man.” So he musters the last ounce of his strength to pull himself out of bed and…slowly…down the steps.

At the door to the kitchen he sees a plate of hot, fresh baked [pastry] sitting on the table. He inches forward, his mouth watering. He reaches out with a trembling hand, feeling for the first time in years life and energy flowing back into his tired old limbs. His finger tips are mere inches from the [pastry] when a wooden spoon comes down and raps him across the knuckles.

“You stay out of those,” his wife says sternly. “We’re saving them for the funeral.”

24 thoughts on “Snow Delay”

  1. HA…old joke maybe but I’ve never heard it. We have something in common, I lived in MN for 17 years and now in Portland, Oregon and I have to snicker about them wearing parkas here when it is 40 degrees and how the whole place shuts down for a few inches of snow but do argue the same that we aren’t set up to deal with snow removal since it isn’t that common and the terrain can make for some bad spots for ice or snow driving without the efficient MN snowplows clearing the way. Have a great snowday and weekend.

    1. Thanks Linda! Yes, I remember living in the Cities, the shorts would come out whenever the temperature got up over freezing…at least for the joggers around Lake of the Isles. My second Halloween there we had 29 inches. But the dance of the plows was a beautiful thing.

      – Joe

  2. I hadn’t heard that joke before with “kringle”, but I’ve heard it with “chocolate chip cookies”.

    By the way, it was -19.5 on our thermometer here this morning in, of course, Minnesota.

    1. Oh yeah, that’s the land of 10,000 lakes I remember. Thanks for the memories, Wally!

      – Joe

  3. I used to watch a TV show in the eighties called Magnum P.I. where the title character lived with a pompous ex-military English caretaker named Higgins. This Englishman had a first-hand story to tell about every English military engagement since the Crimean War, and he shares more than a few characteristics with Joe Pastry ( knowledgeable, funny, lovable) not the least of which is Joe has seemingly lived everywhere and done everything!

    Did you ever shovel snow in Minnesota? Have High Tea at the Empress Hotel on Vancouver Island? Eaten lake perch in Hammond, Indiana? Enjoyed Chicago-style deep dish pizza at Gino’s East? Been there, done that!

    1. Which reminds me of the time Lord Halifax and I were pinned down at Cambrai together west of Bourlon Ridge. I was an acting leftenant in the Queen’s Own Yorkshire Dragoons in those days…December 1917 I think it was…

      That’s a funny comparison, Dave, and regrettably apt. Read me much longer and you’ll know every trivial detail of my eclectic, meandering life! Hehe…Higgins indeed…

      Thanks Dave!

      – Joe

  4. I, with great reluctance, and a sense of impending castigation, have to admit to being forced to work in 32*C temperature today, at 4am it was 22*C, which rose to the above mentioned 32*C by 11am.

    Oh, how I wish for a cooler time.

    But then again, I live in the most beautiful spot in New Zealand, why move 🙂

    Take care Joe, summer may arrive

    1. OK Warren, don’t rub it in. 30 is a pretty normal summer day here in Kentucky, but you wouldn’t know it by looking out the window today. We’re getting another inch of snow. It’s nothing by Chicago or Minneapolis standards, but it’s a good thing it’s Saturday!

      – Joe

  5. Well, the Netherlands are as flat as a pancake, and the entire country goes into mayhem the minute we get an inch of snow… But the snow has cleared away again and the sun is shining! 🙂

    I hope little Joan will get well soon!

    1. Thanks Amy! She seems a little better today. Glad the snow emergency is over in the Netherlands!

      – Joe

  6. Get well, little Joan pastry! We had a virus go through out house recently – passed from school to the big kid, then to little kid, and then to Mom. That’s when it all fell apart. Please wash hands frequently and temporarily suspend kissing… in fact, temporarily suspend hand shaking too. Keep Mom Pastry healthy!

    1. Too late! Mrs. Jo Pastry is the new casualty this morning, sigh. We’ll keep up with the washing, though, Brian. There are still two of us standing!

      – Joe

  7. This is a hilarious coincidence! That joke is my favorite Mexican joke with tamales! The old man is brought home from the hospital so his family can care for him in his dying days. He wakes up and hears his wife with all her comadres in the kitchen, having a “tamalada” and he is SO happy that they are cooking his favorite food. Same dynamic ensues, with the punch line, “Nécio, leave those alone they are for the funeral!” Here in New Mexico, the Latinos fall over laughing, the Natives and the Whites look puzzled and feel sorry for the old man and think Mexicans must be weird.

    1. Growing up in Chicago I heard that joke a dozen different ways, however I can imagine Latinos really liking it. As a group they tend to be pretty relaxed about the idea of death in general. One of the many things I like about the culture!

      – Joe

  8. I came to Los Angeles from the North East which has a fairly moderate seasonal climate but we had our share of ice storms, sleet, etc. When I arrived in LA I laughed my ample *ss off at people bundled up in 60? weather.

    Alas! That was nearly 40 years ago and when the mercury drops now I’m grabbin’ something cozy too!

    1. It’s all what you’re used to. I had amazing cold tolerance after five years in Minneapolis. These days I’m a shadow of the Nanook that I was!

      – Joe

  9. Oh God! Tell me about it! A few weeks ago, it got colder here in North Hollywood than it’s ever been; it must have been like FORTY degrees!

  10. Joe, I lived in Florida for a few years and we moved to Minnesota. One of the reasons I like it here so much is that when I woke up this morning & saw that it was -6F I thought “Nobody who wants to move to Florida would ever move here!” Thats a good thing.

    I know a couple of decent death jokes:

    What lies on the ground 100 feet up in the air and smells?
    A dead centipede.

    A man shows up at the funeral home, “Id like to order a coffin for a friend of mine who has just died”. “Certainly, sir,” said the undertaker, “but there was really no need to bring him with you.”

    1. Heh. Thanks, Frankly! Last time I was in Florida I met a fellow who was delivering pizzas on the beach. He said he had just opened another pizza place in Dinkytown in Minneapolis (the fun strip right near the a University of Minnesota). He said he carted his family back and forth all year long. Talk about a schizoid way to live…but he said he couldn’t give up either one!

      – Joe

  11. In Mexico we call it ‘pan dulce’, simply sweet bread, a broad assortment of daily baked delicacies. By the way what is this thing you call ‘snow’?

    1. Oh how I miss the Mexican bakeries from my old neighborhood in Chicago. At my favorite shop a fellow by the door hands you a pizza pan and a pair of plastic tongs when you walk in, and you simply stroll around building your own mountain of sweet, fluffy breads and pastries.

      Not so long ago I visited Morelia and a had a completely different experience. The bakeries I went to there had a very different aesthetic, they were very Continental feeling, and of course did a lot more candy work. It reminded me how large and varied Mexico is.

      As for the snow, Jose, it’s technical. I’ll send you a spec sheet in my next email.

      – Joe

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