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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MARRIAGE LICENSE BUREAU

THE MARRIAGE LICENSE BUREAU IS THE TWO DOLLAR WINDOW WHERE
EVERYBODY LOSES.

Submitter comment: MR. COTTINGHAM IS ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED OF THE VERACITY OF THE
ABOVE, BUT HE HAS NEVER BEEN MARRIED -- HE'S ONLY 21 -- SO HE HAS
YET TO FIND OUT HOW CORRECT HE IS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT HIS HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; RACING

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-19-1970

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Poor Wording

A number of GI's in England during the war decided to hold a horse race to keep up the morale of the base. For some reason they were short of active animals for the event. Now it happened that the local parish priest had a donkey and they obtained his permission to use it to make up the field. The donkey to the surprise of everyone came in third in the first race. Where upon the camp newspaper came out with the headline "Padre's Ass Shows."

This naturally caused no small scandal among the people of the parish and eventually reached the bishop. However, when called to ask about it by the bishop the padre managed to mollify the good man by explaining it was only an American slang expression. The next day a race was held and the donkey came in first. The paper then announced "Padre's Ass Out in Front."

This called for further episcopal disapproval, but again the padre succeeded in mollifying the bishop. The third day's race the donkey finished second and the paper reported "Padre's Ass back in Place." This was the last straw for the bishop and he ordered the priest to withdraw the animal from the race. The camp then came forth with the sad news: "Bishop Scratches Padre's Ass."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [ B667 ] modified: the number zero is written over the seven. Additionally, the entire BN is crossed out and replaced with B660.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AMERICAN ; Anecdote ; Culture Clash ; DONKEY ; European ; GAMBLING ; HORSE ; Jest ; Language ; MILITARY ; NEWSPAPER ; PUN ; RACING ; RELIGION ; SLANG

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
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