Greek-American Stories: Holy Bloopers!

March 30, 2019
Phyllis “Kiki” Sembos

Everybody makes mistakes. Even me! Honest! But, there are errors that are really preventable. All one has to do is take the time to look over what is written, that’s all. It’s called proof reading. You’re probably saying that I am being critical or nitpicking. That may be. But, think how one can easily get wrong impressions when a phrase or comment is written one way and taken in another way.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean. For instance, Psixo Savato is when the church mails out letters in which we list the names of those we wish to be blessed and remembered. I received my letter written and mailed out by a woman who volunteered to take the place of the secretary who was out ill. So, I garnered a few of them for you and you can draw your own conclusions. But, take my word for it; they’re ‘something else’.

Here are a few:

“Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased persons you want remembered.” (The question is, will they fit?)

“Since it is Easter morning we wish to thank Kiria Popi who was kind enough to lay the first Easter egg on the altar.” (Some people have more abilities than we know).

“Child care is provided with reservations.”

“Father Apostoli will light the first candle from the Holy Candle, the ushers will light their candle from Father Apostoli’s candle and then the ushers will light each worshiper in the first pew.” (I don’t know about you, but I’m moving to the back pew.) “Clothing collections: The Philoptochos ladies have cast off clothing of every kind. And, they can be seen in the church basement this Saturday.” (I hope there’s heat!)

“Next Sunday there will be a special collection to defray the cost for the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet can come forward and do so.”

“Father Apostoli is leaving our parish. Please come to wish him good luck. The choir will be singing the hymn, ‘Doxa ton Theon.’”

“Due to the fact that several choir members have retired, members of the choir are inviting anybody of the congregation who enjoys sinning to come and join the choir.”

“Fasoulatha soup will be served on Lent Friday in the church basement and you are all invited. Music will follow.”

We can give thanks that the regular secretary will be returning to her usual office duties very soon. Amen!  But, the errors at Church aren’t the only places where phrasing is not done more carefully.

Here is a compilation of classified ads that were collected and have been printed in many newspapers:

“We will oil your sewing machine and adjust the tension in your home for $5.00.”

“Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it!”

“Dog for sale. Eats anything and is very fond of children.”

“Auto repairs done. Try us and you’ll never go anywhere again.”

“Man needs work. Is honest and will take anything.” “Come to the superstore! Unequaled in size, unmatched in variety and unrivaled inconvenience.” “Used cars: Why go elsewhere and be cheated. Come here first.”

Now, let’s go to newspaper headlines. There are a few headlines that appeared in newspapers around the country that are, if not confusing, certainly entertaining:

“If Strike isn’t settled quickly, it may last a while.” “Panda mating fails. Veterinarian takes over.” “Miners refused to work after death.”

“Stolen Painting Found by tree” – well, the tree does have limbs, no?

“Typhoon Rips through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead.” And, in a magazine, I’ve located another one: “Include your children when baking cookies.”

Like I said, everybody makes mistakes – even me, (sometimes!)


JANUARY 22ND: On this day in 1788, Lord Byron (née George Gordon Byron), the famous philhellene, poet, and satirist, was born in London, England.

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