As April is National Humor Month, I began to think about blogging some of my favorite jokes. One came to mind immediately, but I have to give a little backstory before I tell it.
Manny Balos was one of the coolest teachers at my high school. He was originally the band director, and he eventually taught history and some other classes. He taught a class which was an “elective” for seniors called “Life in America.” Today, one might call this a “blow off class.” Throughout the class there were units on Old Radio Shows, Classic TV shows, Country Music, Pop Music, Rock Music and more. It was a blast.
Mr. Balos always wrapped up class about 5 minutes before the bell rang, and told the class a joke (or jokes). However, he never called them jokes. He told us “stories.” One of my favorite “stories,” I later found out was a joke that had been around for some time and actually appeared on a song recorded by the Gaylords. They were two Italian brothers who were singers and comedians.
When Mr. Balos told this “story” he told it with a heavy and exaggerated Italian accent. I realize that by posting it here in written form, it will never do the “story” justice. Manny had a wonderful way of telling them. I’ll do my best to remember it …. here goes:
A little Italian man is flying to America. He is flying on a two engine plane over the ocean. A few minutes into the flight, the captain comes over the intercom:
“Welcome to Alitalia Airlines. This isa you Captain speaking. We gotta beautiful day for flying. We gonna be a cruising at about 45,000 feets and it looka like we gotta smooth sailing. Sitta back and enjoy you flight.”
A few minutes later, the captain is once again on the intercom:
“Ladies and gentleman, this isa you Captain speaking. It looks like we’re having some-a trouble with the right engine. But it’s a nothing to worry about. We gonna be fine. Justa relax, and enjoy the rest of you flight.”
The passenger relaxes into his seat. About 30 minutes later, a voice comes back over the intercom:
“Hello?! This isa you Captain speaking, again. We have lost the right engine, but don’t you worry, we gotta nother one on the left side that will get us where we going. It’s a no problem. But as a precaution, we wanna ask every body who knows how to swim to move to the right side of the plane, and those who no can swim, go to the left side of the plane. It’s a no big deal, it’s just a precaution. Have a some wine and enjoy the rest of you flight.”
Shortly after that there was a loud noise and again the voice came over the intercom:
“April Day! April Day!” I guess he meant to say May Day, but he got it wrong. “This isa you Captain speaking again. We lost the other engine and it looks like we are gonna have to make a splash landing in da water! Those of you on the right side of the plane who know how to swim, don’t you worry. When we hit the water, make a you way to the exit signs and jump in the water, and swim straight ahead. We are only about a mile or so from land. Those of you who are onna da left side of the plane ……. Thank you for flying Alitalia Airlines.”
No one told this story better than Manny …..
After posting this blog, I was asked to find the video we made of Manny telling his favorite stories. I found the DVD that my buddy Steve made from the original VHS tape and converted it for YouTube. Here is the “Best of Manny” recorded in 1988….