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Source: (consider it) Thread: The talking statue
Simon

Editor
# 1

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Joke submitted by Dick Greenleaf:

A workman is doing work inside a church. He sees a little old Italian lady get down in front of a statue of Mary and start to pray.

The workman decides to have a little fun. He gets behind the statue of Jesus and loudly says, "Woman, get off your kness. Don't pray to her, pray to me!"

The little old Italian lady looks up at the statue of Jesus and says, "Shutup your mouth, I'm talking to your mother!"

[ 15. July 2005, 09:14: Message edited by: Simon ]

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Simon J blog

Posts: 3721 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Newman's Own
Shipmate
# 420

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I've heard this joke many times, yet it still gives me a smile. My family did have a significant percentage of elderly Italian ladies, and it is typical that they would think of saints as extended family, confiding in Mary as if she were a sister or cousin. It had nothing to do with keeping God at a distance. They could identify with Mary because, in their minds, there were images of a heavily pregnant woman taking a long journey by donkey - an embarrassed mum whose adolescent son did not care he'd made her worry for three days - a lady who had to witness such pain in her own son's life that she'd understand their worries about their own kids.

The other part (which I would think would not be grasped by those unfamiliar with the culture) is that they do not see Jesus as a model son. (Well, perhaps for God, but not for his mother.) He got himself into scrapes, left his mother a widow alone (please! enough about that she must have had sex! Italian women hope she did have other kids, but we don't know). When they just want to pour out woes to a heavenly friend, it would be to another woman who had similar pains - not to a tortured Christus, a resurrected Lord, the divine Logos, or, most importantly I suppose, a son who did not care how much he made mum worry.

As well, Italian women (who may seldom go to church and have little regard for the hierarchy, but who indeed are into devotions) yell at the inhabitants of heaven just as much as they do their own earthly families. (My mother used to bit off St Anthony's head when he did not intercede quickly enough.) For an Italian woman to tell Jesus to shut up would be typical in the situation described.

So, before everyone gets started with the theological deficiencies of this joke, may I comment that, strong though those are, this is a fine joke about Italian customs. (Old Italian ladies are not even thinking of theology - most would not even know what the Incarnation means, though all remember poor, cold people in a cave with a newborn and a mother crying to see her son crucified.) Italian devotion (at least from what I've observed) is based on confiding in heavenly 'family,' who are treated no differently from the earthly.

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Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

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ORGANMEISTER
Shipmate
# 6621

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Very profound, Newman, and very much on the mark! Your descriptions remind my of my own Italian grandmother. Nonna was very close to St. Anthony of Padua. Whenever the children, grandchildren, or for that matter any of the family caused her grief she raised be eyes heavenward and implored either San Antonio or La Madonna to start interceding for her NOW. Curiously, she expected that both the good saint and the BVM spoke Italian.
Posts: 3149 | From: Somerset, PA - USA | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Newman's Own
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# 420

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I know this will not be in the competition and do not care - it's silly and inoffensive, but captures 'more of the same':

Angelo had been dropping into the church recently (side note: most Italian men rarely are seen in church at all) to ask Saint Anthony to answer a prayer for him. After several weeks and no answer, one of the priests overheard Angelo's shouting at the large statue, "If you don't give me what I asked for by tomorrow, I'm going to come in with a hammer and smash you!"

The priest, looking to have some fun, removed the statue, replacing it with a tiny version, then watched to see Angelo's reaction.

Angelo came in with the hammer, saw the tiny statue, and asked, "Tony - where's your father?"

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Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

Posts: 6740 | From: Library or pub | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Silent Acolyte

Shipmate
# 1158

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This one is by far the funniest of the lot. Perhaps I've lived deep in the forest all my life, but it was the first time I'd heard it.

Thanks for your masterly exposition, Newman's Own.

Posts: 7152 | From: The New World | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Newman's Own
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# 420

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quote:
Originally posted by ORGANMEISTER:
Curiously, she expected that both the good saint and the BVM spoke Italian.

I have a confession to make... I wish I had my mother's simple faith, and, though my own prayer is usually liturgical, on the rare occasion when I have the courage to make petitions, I always do it in Italian.

Once in awhile, I kneel in church (at private prayer), which, with my back and balance, is a rarity. I could swear that I hear a voice from the tabernacle saying, in Italian dialect, "Isabella, what did you do?"

[Big Grin]

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Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

Posts: 6740 | From: Library or pub | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sylver
Apprentice
# 9735

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My Grandmother is Italian, and I can picture this joke happening, which is why I think that it's so funny.
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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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I liked it better when it was Michaelangelo on the scaffolding. Good joke either way. Not at all offensive.

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Cinderfella: A Fairy Tale
God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

Posts: 55522 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
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# 1468

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Yeah, the Michelangelo version is the one I know and love.

The way I usually tell it:

Michelangelo was up on the scaffolding in the Sistine, a little bored, a little tired. He looks down, sees an old lady kneeling in prayer, and decides to have some fun.

His voice echoes through the Sistine. "This is Jesus. How may I help you?"

The woman showed no sign of hearing him.

He said again, "This is Jesus; how may I help you?"

Still no response.

So he tried one more time. "This is Jesus. How may I help you?"

The woman looked up at heaven and said, "Shut up--I'm-a talkin' to your mama!"

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
~Time makes little difference to infinity and jelly doughnuts.~"Magnum PI"
That's very fascinating, in an NPR sort of way.--"Elementary"

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John Donne

Renaissance Man
# 220

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I think the humour would be sufficient without needing to resort to the (bad) mimickry of how ethnic ppl speak. [Mad] I haven't decided if I'm offended... (I am rather used to the stereotype of the peasanty and uneducated Mediterranean person), but if it is offensive, it certainly isn't the religious aspects.

That said, I did find it funny: I like it because it is a humorous comment on Mediterranean matriarchal societies, where everyone defers to the matriarch. Even the Son of God. [Biased]

Posts: 13667 | From: Perth, W.A. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Newman's Own
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# 420

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I used to tell this joke mimicking my parents' accent (which really is not much worse than my own.) I would say one can do this in the right company, because it will bring back memories of things one's own family say.

Listening to an elderly Italian lady telling off one of the saints is at once more moving and funnier than any joke could be. [Big Grin] Sad though my dad's funeral was, one bit of comic relief was when my friends, who'd never witnessed this, heard my mother shouting both at dad and God, telling the latter to come down so she could choke him. (One friend of mine, from the ultimately stiff upper lip background, thought my mother had lost her mind...)

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Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

Posts: 6740 | From: Library or pub | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Duo Seraphim*
Sea lawyer
# 3251

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Just a friendly reminder that these threads are for discussion of jokes, rather than telling them. If you want to submit a joke, then click here.

Duo Seraphim, Laugh Judgment Host

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2^8, eight bits to a byte

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Newman's Own
Shipmate
# 420

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My reference to the little joke about Anthony was merely intended to illustrate a particular, common theme - and the simplicity I find so moving in how Italian people really do 'talk to' the saints.

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Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

Posts: 6740 | From: Library or pub | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged


 
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