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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Ethnic Joke: The Height of Ingratitude

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

A poor decrepit Irishman, with a large family, was out of work and broke. He needed $50 very badly. He applied to his priest who advised him to search for work and pray, and he would find it. A week went by without results so the Irishman decided to appeal to the Lord directly. He wrote a stirring tearful letter asking for $50. he addresses the letter to the Lord God in care of Heaven, and mailed it, but did not put a stamp on it.

The postman, thinking it was only a child's letter, opened it and after reading same [sic] was deeply touched by the appeal. That night he took the letter with him to the Masonic Lodge meeting and brought it to the attention of the lodge in session. They promptly voted him $25, and they sent it to the Irishman.

A few days later the postman found another letter similar to the one addressed without a stamp. He opened it and read: Dear God, Thanks for the money, but please - next time send it by way of the Knights of Columbus because the goddamned Masons stole half of it.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The word IRISH is written in the top left corner of the submission.

Submission card located in a pile marked To Be Classified.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHARITY ; GIFT MONEY ; HUMOR ; INGRATITUDE ; Irish ; IRISHMEN ; Knights of Columbus ; Masons ; MONEY ; POVERTY ; Stereotype ; STUPIDITY

James Callow Keyword(s): Irish

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

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