Garlic, Longfellow, Humour and Arrogance
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.
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