Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Dyngus Day

The pain in my lumbar spine of recent memory has been gone for one full week, and the lights of the gym across the street are once again mocking me. I have little regard for this, and even less shame; I am from Buffalo, and there are no illusions of grandeur. I am more than willing to try and try again. If the Bills can do it, so can I. After heaping plates of kielbasa and ham this weekend, my belly has grown to a size that screams nine months gestation. The baby's got to go.

After Mass this evening the spouse and I drove to Wegman's (the finest grocery store on earth) that I might purchase some low-calorie lunches for the coming week. You know the kind; It takes ten minutes to prepare them, thirty seconds to eat them, and ten seconds to realize that this is not enough food, for the love of God. We also purchased a lovely statue of St. Francis for the garden, and three six-packs of flavored water. You may ask, where did St. Francis come into this? Frankly, he was there standing among plaster squirrels, and appeared in need of a rescue. I am certain St. Francis is as annoyed by squirrels as I am.

My resolve is strong, but tomorrow will bring temptation in short order: Dyngus Day. Unless you are from Buffalo, South Bend or Chicago, you are probably wondering if I just swore. No, my friend, Dyngus Day is a bonafide holiday celebrating the end of Lent. Its origins can be traced to Poland, and the large Polish immigrant communities in the northeast brought the celebration with them. Buffalo proudly boasts the largest Dyngus Day celebration in the country featuring a big parade and lots of Polish cooking, and therein lies my problem: Polish food. Kielbasa. Pierogis. Czarnina. Kiszka. Golambkis. There is a theme for the Polish cook: lots of fat and meat; keep the vegetable matter from fouling it up. Wash it down with Tyskie beer and/or vodka. Follow it up with a cardiac angiogram for dessert.

For our dinner I have half a ham, five pounds of fresh kielbasa, five pounds of smoked, and a big bag of the sister-in-law's famous home-made pierogis made with potatoes, cheese and bacon, all sitting in my refrigerator right now. Not to mention the sour-cream cheesecake. There are cucumbers, but the missus plans on soaking their paper-thin slices in sour cream and half-and-half. Yum. For lunch? Lean Cuisine chicken and fettucini. Two words come to mind: why bother.

And so I join humanity in promising to change tomorrow, to indulge for just one more day and then finally take this all seriously. As I binge on pork products for one last hurrah I will pray for the strength to do what must be done to melt the flab from my straining frame. I think I'll ask for the intercession of St. Francis. He owes me for rescuing him from squirrels.


  1. David,
    I think I gained 5 pounds from just reading your post. I grew up in a house with a fine Polish family living upstairs from us. I can still taste the mom's homemade pierogi!
    God bless with the healthy eating and exercise plan. I need to follow one myself.
    Happy Easter!

  2. Christ is Risen!
    He is truly risen!

    hey, I have to tell you that the kids and I celebrated our own littel version of Dyngus day.
    and there was a rousing version of the song...

    "Who stole the Kiszka..
    who stole the kyszka......'
    with lots of clapping of hands to keep the rythm and visions of your very own John Paul teaching it to us!
    happy Dyngus day!

  3. Yeah, Wegmans! Good to have you back blogging, David.

  4. just wondering, did any of your family go to our lady of black rock...umm....around 1961-62?
    i think the family also owned a liquor store...ray comes to mind...lived near bush street, amherst, grote?
    thank you
    jamie holland white

  5. Ray is a famous man in Black Rock! I have been asked that question for many years, but no, I am not that guy, nor related to Ray. Marciniak is a pretty common name, as you probably know. My relatives are all Sloan / Cheektowaga based. Wish I knew Ray - seems like everybody did!


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