Sunday, December 21, 2014

La Vigilia di Natale

"Hey, if you don't mind, I'm gonna head over to the Scarperelli's.
They're putting on this huge feast over there.
All the kid's gonna do is holler, anyway.
Besides, that dude with the beard is really creeping me out.
I'll bring you some lobster if you like.
It's all good.  I think we're Catholic now."
    I know you were all expecting reposts and reruns this holiday season.  For the most part, that's exactly what you're going to get, tough guy.  But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I should throw up (ooh, now there's an unfortunate term) something new for 2014.  That way, next year, I'll have an even more extensive trove of leftovers from from to pick...uh...over.

    After all, aren't classic holiday specials routinely joined by new
Not necessarily better.
KnowhutImean, Vern?
offerings which are every bit as good as they are?  Yessiree, for every Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you have Ernest Saves Christmas.

    So, why not something new?

    As you can see by this post's title, we're going to talk about something foreign.  And, since the title isn't in French, you know this won't be pornographic.  Or involve Jerry Lewis in any way-interestingly enough, there was such a thing as The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Christmas Show.  Yeah, makes you want to reconsider that Ernest thing, huh?
Usually followed by Dean throwing up and then passing out on Jerry.
NOTE:  There was a Jerry Lee Lewis Christmas special.  But, that had to be cancelled after he married the producer's nine-year old daughter.

  Anyway, La Vigilia Natale refers to an Italian custom that occurs on Christmas Eve.  Each year, on December 24th (that would be Christmas Eve, for those of you who just want to talk Kwanzaa), Southern Italians and  Italian-Americans gather together to maintain a vigil (i.e., vigilia) for the birth (i.e., natale) of the little baby Jesus.
Wrong Jesus
    NOTE:  Never let it be said you can't learn anything new at Penwasser Place.  You've now learned two Italian words.  Hey, you're on your own with "La" and "di."  But, I really think you can figure those out on your own.
"You should be so lucky,
Mr. Al F**kface Penwasser?"

    Since waiting around for a kid to be born can get tedious, these same folks use the occasion to look at dirty pictures of Snooki eat, primarily seafood.  Although, in a pinch, cousin Francesca....oh, I am not going there.  Penwasser Place is a family-friendly blog.  Well, not really, but there is a line.

    Accompanied by other dishes and alcohol (naturally), a variety of fish is served:  baccala (i.e., salted cod.  When I learned this was fish, my stepfather's old saying, "Something smells fishy and it ain't baccala" made sense), smelts, eels (again with the eels), whitefish, squids, mussels, sardines, anchovies, clams, and lobsters (which I am convinced is an "Up yours!" to their Jewish friends because lobster isn't kosher).

    NOTE:  See related, "Ham At Easter."

    The number of courses vary from 13, for the fat bastards, to 7 for those who are more tradition-bound.

    NOTE:  The legend has it that "7" is used because '7" is repeated something like over 700 times in the Bible (someone counted?  Talk about a boring Saturday night!) to "on the 7th day God rested" to 7 sacraments to 7 hills of Rome to "3" being the number for the Trinity added to "4" which is the number used for the Earth to give you "7."  Frankly, I think this last one is a HUGE stretch.

"And the number of the counting shall be 'three.'"
"Seven, sir."
NOTE:  Not an accurate quotation.  Go with it.

    In any event, this holiday observance is also known as the "Feast of the Seven Fishes."
"It's not "Feast of Seven Sleeps With the Fishes, idiota!!
What the hell am I going to tell Snow White now!?"
    And, now you know.

    Here you thought I was going to make fun of Charlie Brown's Christmas, didn't you? 

    Okay.  Maybe a little.
Talk about your basic White Christmas

"Okay, Charlie Brown, your friend Franklin can come for Thanksgiving,
 but he has to sit on his own side of the table.
You blockhead."


  1. A new post, wow! Run out of new magazines to read in the bathroom? lol

    Sounds like a feast I'd want to be far away from, no wonder people are so umm plump. You forget there is only 1 god but if he stretches the right way it can make 7.

    1. Especially if he eats everything in creation.

  2. I never noticed Franklin sat alone on his side of the table, kinda like Judas at the Last Supper.

  3. Something tells me the Jesus pictured above wasn't born of a virgin but is one.
    Thanks for the laughs, always, Al. xo

    1. It's a shame, considering his snazzy hat.

  4. Why did the Flintstones celebrate Christmas?

    1. Well now, that little conundrum is going to keep me up all night.

  5. I think you went far enough with Cousin Francesca and she ought to hire a lawyer to sue for you defamation. Your only possible defence would result in your wife kicking you in the nuts. I would have used a picture of John Turturro for the wrong Jesus even though some people might have confused him with the right one.

    1. Francesca was always a good sport. I don't think she'd sue. Well, I hope not.

  6. Baccala is also eaten by Portuguese people even though it's considered Italian. Personally, I don't think it's anything worth fighting over.

    1. Many times when I repeated my stepfather's saying, people told me it didn't make sense. I had to remind them I wasn't speaking of 'baklava.'

  7. The advantage of being Catholic - you can eat lobster and not feel bad about it.

    1. But there's plenty of guilt for other things to go around.

  8. The "Feast of Seven Sleeps With The Fishes" was probably popular with some cults in the 70's. Seeing poor Franklin reminds me of freshmen year in the dorm, when we all sat in a line to lookout for the football players in the cafeteria. Every so often, someone would sit obliviously across from us obstructing our view.

    Merry Christmas to you, and your family Al! Looking forward to sharing more laughs with you in 2015!


    1. I kid about Franklin and I'm sure (I hope) the cartoon's creators didn't do that on purpose. But, it is kinda sad.

  9. What an amusing dollop of thought-disordered meanderings. This is why I love your blog (but I do detest fish!).

    1. Believe it or not, I think I'm worse on Facebook.