Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Monday, July 27, 2015


This morning, Houston Steve proudly displayed his latest acquisition.

“I finally got them! Polish laces!”

Polish laces... the genuine article.

And indeed, they were laces. Black dress shoelaces, to be precise. They were authentically Polish, too, having been brought back from Warsaw by our rabbi, who had just completed a two-week congregational trip to Eastern Europe.

Of course there’s a story.

It seems that when Houston Steve was a young midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, there was a cobbler shop just outside the gate with a sign in the window that looked something like this:

(Artists’s rendition.)
For years, that sign was a source of bewilderment to Steve, who wondered just exactly what these “Polish Laces” were. He could not figure out why anyone would want shoelaces from Poland, and why would they be a big enough deal that a shoe shop in Annapolis, Maryland should feature them so prominently in their window. Now let’s let Houston Steve tell the story in his own words, shall we?

“In 1976, as a somewhat freshly minted officer in the Navy’s JAG Corps, I was back in Washington, DC for the annual JAG Conference, and I took a side trip to the alma mater. I went by the old cobbler shop, and there was the sign. Yup: still there. And then it dawned on me. Polish... Laces... what a dumbass!! It’s the stuff you shine the shoes with and the stuff you keep them on with. Two nouns, not an adjective and a noun.

“But, then, last month my synagogue was sending a group to Eastern Europe, led by my friend Rabbi Shalom Lewis. I stopped by his office before he left, and I asked him to have a look around while he was in Warsaw and Krakow to see if he could find any. And he did! And he brought some back for me.”

Polish laces, Esteemed Readers. Now: What does this one rate on the Dolt-O-Meter?


JC said...

Why not some Polish polish while you're there?

leelu said...

I am a computer geek, from before the IBM PC. DOS was the first O/S I had my hand in for quite a while... about 1984 thru the early part of this century. Anywho, back in the early 90s, my stepson started college. I was looking at his books, and couldn't figure out why he would have a computer manual in Spanish, in English, "DOS Worlds".

"Dos Mundos".