Saturday, August 8, 2009

Reflections: I Got a Million of 'Em!

In the post, Apostolic activity comes out of an abundance of contemplation (8/7/09) at Disputations, Tom explores the crucial role played by contemplation in the apostolic life of a good Dominican.

In the comment section, Disputations regular, Brandon, shares the following:

As one who is attempting to determine (discern) what role the apostolic pillar should play in my life, let me just say that I feel very much like the guy in the balloon stuck in the tree from reading this post. I suppose that makes you a good Dominican.

Tom follows with a comment that reveals to the uninitiated the punch line of the joke to which Brandon has alluded:

For those wondering, the guy in the balloon stuck in the tree asks a passerby where he is, the passerby says, "You're in a tree," and the guy says, "What you've said is true, and of no use to me at all. You must be a Dominican."

That’s funny, I thought…I’ve heard that joke before. Maybe it was told around a campfire at Camp Michi-Lu-Ca, deep in the nighttime forest of darkest Michigan back in the day?

But in the version I remember, it goes something like this:

There’s this guy dangling up in a tree. The guy’s been carried up into the clouds by this bag of hot air, see? But finally the fuel’s all gone, and the fire goes out, and the guy’s bag just collapses. Down he comes. Now he’s snagged up in this tree. Can’t go back up. Doesn’t know how to get down. But, actually, he don’t know where the hell he is, get it?
Now along comes this guy’s got both feet on the ground. So, the guy in the tree goes, “Yo, buddy! Can you tell me where I’m at?” The guy on the ground sizes up the situation for a minute. Then he says, “If you have to ask, you probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” But the dude dangling from the collapsed balloon goes, “C’mon, pal. Be a guy!” So the pedestrian fellow says, “Okay, then—you’re up a tree.”

Now the fallen aerialist looks around and he goes, “Hmm. It would seem that what you say is true, but I can’t use it. It sounds kinda protestanty to me!”

The man on the ground smiles up at the treed balloonist. “Well, then, enjoy the view,” he says. And he goes on his way.