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Garlic, Longfellow, Humour and Arrogance

Updated on August 25, 2016

An Apology

Don’t stop me if you heard this, because there is a point to it.

At the NationalArtGallery in Dublin, a husband and wife were staring at a portrait that had them completely confused


The painting depicted three black men totally naked sitting on a park bench.


Two of the figures had black willies, but the one in the middle had a pink willie.


The curator of the gallery realized that they were having trouble interpreting the painting and offered his assessment.


He went on for over half an hour explaining how it depicted the sexual emasculation of African-Americans in a predominately white, patriarchal society “In fact,” he pointed out, “some serious critics believe that the pink willie also reflects the cultural and sociological oppression experienced by gay men in contemporary society.”


After the curator left, an Irishman, approached the couple and said, “Would you like to know what the painting is really about?”


“Now why would you claim to be more of an expert than the curator at the gallery?” asked the couple


“Because I’m the guy who painted it,” he replied.” In fact, there are no African-Americans depicted at all. They’re just three Irish coal-miners. The guy in the middle went home for lunch.”


I had recently uploaded a story on Hubpages under the title “Awake Beloved!” and talked about garlic and how my wife and I we got addicted to it, in what I believed was a humorous manner. The title was “borrowed” from Longfellow’s famous poem “The Song of Hiawatha” and I had attempted to connect garlic breath with the part of the poem which goes

" Awake, beloved!
Thou the wild-flower of the forest!
Sweet thy breath is as the fragrance
Of the wild-flowers in the morning,
As their fragrance is at evening,
In the Moon when leaves are falling…..”

The thought of my wife and I waking up in the morning with the unlikely cry of “Awake Beloved!”, PLUS the thought of garlic breath and the “Sweet thy breath” of the poem, had me in stitches. I was so arrogantly pleased with myself that I did not realise that the way I presented the story was naturally confusing to a lot of people and to my shame, I ended up trying to explain the joke.

Fortunately for me I am extremely lucky in my friends and my best friend knew better than I what was good for me. He sent me the above anecdote with a suitably humbling footnote.

So now I want to apologise for my presumption and my arrogance to all the sweet people who were kind enough to comment on that particular COMPOSITION and to admit to them that I was behaving as the curator in the joke above, unable to comprehend my own “painting” and how badly and confusingly my own story was presented. Please accept my apologies.


Dimitris Mita

De Greek


If you want to read REAL authors, you should visit:

Zsuzsy Bee, Gypsy Willow, _cheryl_ , Joy At Home, lisadpreston, Feline Prophet, Lee B, glassvisage, jcwin228, sunflowerbucky, H.C Porter, Green Lotus, Dolores Monet, tonymac04, IzzyM, Nellieanna, Shadesbreath, Christoph Reilly, B.T. Evilpants, jimmythejock, Cris A, somelikeitscott

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    • profile image

       6 years ago

      You are most welcome CP. Cheers :-)

    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 6 years ago from Vermont, USA

      Oh what treasures I find when I delve into the archives!

      I am nearly giddy, having stumbled upon this while partaking of the steaming sacrament this unexpectedly marvelous morning.

      I had never heard that story, and I will be smiling about it for some time to come.

      Now that I have read your hilarious and graceful apology, I will have to read the hub that spawned it.

      Thanks for the grin I will wear for the rest of the day.

      CP

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      It's just a story :-)

    • salt profile image

      salt 7 years ago from australia

      Is the painting real, or a story.

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Even the De Greeks can be pompous asses somethimes Brother Saddelrider :-))

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      Hilarious, how did I miss this one. Like the Irish say, don't leave home without it, the garlic that is...You outdone yourself as usual on this post DG I keep a good stock of Garlic, use it in most of my cooking. It's also very medicinal I've read.

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Thank you takins, you are kind :-)

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 7 years ago from Irl

      Great anecdote,with a moral well worth heeding.I admire your honesty.

    • Cathi Sutton profile image

      Cathi Sutton 7 years ago

      Yes it's a compliment!!!

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Hmmmm........... Not surre if this a compliment :-)

    • Cathi Sutton profile image

      Cathi Sutton 7 years ago

      You know what De Greek...? You're just a really nice guy! A real sweet heart! I love reading your stuff!

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Ah GW, how can I? You are being unfaithful to me and deserting me in my hour of need :-)

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      De Greek you are a truly funny man and a great writer. Keep it up!!

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      How kind you are Habee. Thanks for passing by:-)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Great hub! I'm still thinking about that one lucky Irishman. I love your sense of humor!

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Zsuzsy, the fact that you took the trouble to pass by and to comment, means a lot to me. Thank you. :-)

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      You are just too funny Sir Greek. I absolutely love your work and best of all your sense of humor. Thank you so much for the honorable mention once again.

      Loved this Hub as always

      kindest regards

      Zsuzsy

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      Why, thank you, kind sir! And that should be tension, not tention. One day I shall learn this crazy English language!

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Ahhh... then blblblblbl is a daily event, nay, an hourly event with me :-)

      And I feel so pleeeeeased every time I see your pretty face here :D

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      Incidentally, blblblblbl is the sound one makes when softly protruding one's bottom lip and quickly "playing" one's finger (or fingers) over it while omitting a "bbbb" kind of sound. Try it - you might enjoy it. It's a great tention reliever! Almost as effective as kneading dough and much less messy. hehe ;)

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      I happened to have read your response to the 'Shoes of God' and had written a response to it (offline). But when I came back to post it, your hub was gone. I wouldn't have mentioned it had it not come up now, but I am glad to let you know that I felt empathy toward your feelings and position, even though I was glad you removed it. It was better left unsaid. I applaud your better judgment. It's laudable.

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Tom, thank you for passing by and for commenting in such a nice way. However, I owe you it to you, in fairness to you, to tell you something which might make you change your mind about your comments here. And it is this:

      You wrote a piece about "The Shoes of God" which I had found offensive in the extreme and I was angry enough to write a response to it here. My position was and is that the teacher you referred to should have been fired and it was YOUR responsibility as a Christian to act on this in whatever manner necessary.

      I have since removed the hub, after I cooled down, but I am obliged to tell you about it so that you are fully aware about MY way of thinking on the subject of cruelty to children.

      Other than that, you are welcome.

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Jama, as you can see I am consuming it that pie without any garnish at all, in the hope of making amends. It is comments like yours which sweeten the medicine and make it palatable. Thank you for passing by and for commenting.

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

      I came...I chuckled....I left comment...I followed! :)

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I can add nothing except I hope there was garlic in the Humble Pie. ;D

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Pompous pricks :-) Good one Tony. Thanks for passing by and for your comments :-)

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      That art gallery story is hilarious - and of course I have done my bit of curating like that! It's a good thing they don't shoot people for being pompous pricks (!!) - or do they?

      Loved this Hub and thanks for the honourable mention - you do me great honour in truth, sir!

      Oh! And the title is also great! As a garlic lover myself, how could I pass it up? Over?

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Ahhhh... true culture in action :-)

      I used to take my children there for "lechon manok" at one of the open air restaurants

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      That's so poetically put I rest my case!

      The last time I was in the Malate/Mabini area, give or take two months, it was as if the place never said goodbye. :D

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      We may not have cammels loaded with bullion call on our doors, but at least we have Our Art and our hearts are pure... :-)

      I forgot to ask you before: Is "M. H. Del Pillar" street back in business? There was a time when the whole street was closed down and all the bars were distributed all over the place :D

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Not even a hint of an interest even if the amazon/google ads that find home on my hubs might otherwise suggest! Haha

      Sadly it's true - for like three years now I think. You have to make do with memories of taste, smell and place in sepia :D

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Cris, we Great Artists have no interest in low subjects such as money. We only live for our Art and our hearts remain unsullied by petty pecuniary matters.

      Thank you for coming by. :-)

      Is it true, by the way, that Josephine’s on Roxas Boulevard has closed down?

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      To quote a great humorist this "Certainly gets a smile".

      Btw, clever title. But I would've come sooner if it said "and how to make big bucks on HubPages" at the end :D

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Hi LadyJane. Thankl you for passing by. Happy Easter!

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

      Hilarious story I really enjoyed it.

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Wow, a convention! Just woke up and found almost the whole clan here! At least those who made it out of the gate at the signal. As you will see above, my Nellianna found the time to come by yesterday though.

      Sunflower child, you are too clever to allow hubs to come between you and my son-in-law, so let’s clear this misunderstanding at home right now :-) Thank you for taking the trouble to visit …

      FP, we Great Artists have to be honest with our Public and come clean whenever we drop a clanger and lets face I dropped a real one. And the worse is that if my friend had not told me what a horse’s arse I am, I might not have realised it. Shame on you for not jumping in with the timely sisterly advice at the early stages of my shame. But better late than never, I suppose. Thank you for passing by now at least :-)

      Lisa, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways”, would take too long. :-) You cannot imagine how touched I am by your kindness, your generosity and friendship. Thank you …

      And Cheryl, how is my Son-in-law 2 and my grandson? Well fed and well kept I hope? Thank you for taking the trouble to pass by........:-)

      I must hasten to add that the joke above is not mine and I do not know who thought it up, otherwise I would have mentioned his name.

    • _cheryl_ profile image

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Hi De Greek! The story at the art gallery was hilarious. As always, enjoyed your writing...=)

    • lisadpreston profile image

      lisadpreston 7 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      You are too funny. I so enjoy reading what you write and love you so much. You are incredible.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 7 years ago

      Haha, this really wasn't necessary DG...we'll still come back to read your hubs, whether we get the joke or not! :P

    • sunflowerbucky profile image

      sunflowerbucky 7 years ago from Small Town, USA

      De Greek, it happens to the best of us. I ticked a lot of people off with my hub Are Men Really Threatened By Strong Women. I also caused a bit of a tiff at home with it. All because people misinterpreted what I was trying to say, because in my "ranting" nature, I didn't articulate my point well. Thanks so much again for the mention, I so appreciate it! Loving your work and sense of humor. I have found that the funniest people on Hubpages are often misunderstood! Keep hubbing!

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      "blblblblbl" is a closed book to me Angel Face. What does it mean? :-)

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      blblblblbl . . . haha

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      I cannot read your recommendation. May I have a link please? Thank you for passing by :-)

    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 7 years ago

      It's nice to see such an articulate and creative hub. I agree with your list of favorite Hub authors, and suggest you also read the sublime pages of Iðunn. She is a poet of genius and intellectual of some of the most recondite topics. Cheers!

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Scott, I am captivated by your literary abilities. They are, indeed, enviable. Many thanks for passing by and commenting. I have left another comment on one of your hubs, as I am becoming a devoted admirer.

      If you can, please visit the link shown above and let me know what you think :-)

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thank you for adding me to the prestigious list above and I must admit more than once I've been that curator of the museum too...sometimes the best thing is getting to laugh at ourselves, isn't it?

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      I have just found out about this

      http://hubpages.com/hub/De-Greek-on-HubPages-A-Rev...

      and I would appreciate it if any of my Hubber friends would take the trouble to look and to express an opinion...

      I thank you in advance :-)

    • De Greek profile image
      Author

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Mentalis, actually it is an apology and I thank you for your visit :-)

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      A clever report!