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Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Talking to William about "dunking" in the comments on the previous post, I was reminded of the time I learned of my religious heritage on my father's side. A while back, as part of preparation for a family reunion, my Aunt Weezie sent me a booklet in which a cousin had written the genealogy of Dad's family. I won't reveal my maiden name here, but it was a name of German derivation . . . let's say it was Wienerschnitzel. The family book on the Wienerschnitzels was exhaustively researched, going back several generations.

I learned about how the first Wienerschnitzels came from Germany and settled in the Allegheny Mountains. And then I read something that stopped me cold:

"The first Wienerschnitzels to settle in the United States were all drunkards."


It went on to say that they formed close-knit communities with other drunkards. Okaaaaaay. I knew very well that there was alcoholism in the family. But day-um! Do we have to say it like THAT? I wondered if Aunt Weezie had had a hand in editing the Wienerschnitzel history book. She is not known for her tact, and she IS known for getting her way. I began to prepare my rebuttal in my head -- what I would say when I called her:

Aunt Weezie, for heaven's sake, I know you want to be honest, but can't we finesse this a little bit . . . we could say they faced certain "challenges" . . . it IS, after all, a family reunion, it's a "feel-good" occasion . . . it's not like we're going on the freakin' Dr. Phil show . . . and come ON, surely they weren't ALL drunkards . . .

The more I thought about what was written, and what I had to say about it, the more annoyed I became. There was no reason for saying such a thing in a booklet to be distributed at a family reunion! There were elderly people there who would be embarrassed, offended . . . I couldn't believe it.

I went back to read more about the drunken Wienerschnitzels before I called Aunt Weezie. At some point, the historian cousin took to capitalizing "Drunkard," and even calling my kinfolk "devout" in their drunkenness. Devout Drunkards? Oh, wait . . . it doesn't say "drunkard." It says "Dunkard." Dunkard. A Christian sect, precursor to the Church of the Brethren, so named for their practice of Baptism -- of "dunking" church members in imitation of Jesus in the Jordan, for purposes of symbolically cleansing them of their sins and raising them in the likeness of Christ.

Ohhhh. Dunkards. Never mind.

file under: &Family &Can't Make This Stuff Up

24 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger Platypus said...

Oh Susie, now you're doing it too. Coffee all over my screen. :) I was dunking a biscuit at the time ... Not a holy one though...

Blogger Amy said...

Oh that is too too good. DUNKARDS!
thanks for telling that one, Susie.

Blogger LadyBug said...

Holy Dunkin' Donuts, that's funny.

Blogger Effie said...

*getting out the glasses cleaner for Susie*

Got a spot on yer glasses there girlie? Teehee! I would have done the SAME thing!

Blogger WILLIAM said...

Or it could have been DRUNKARDS...They do refer to alcohol as Spirits. And I know that the occasional German beer lifts my spirits.

Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

I'm still going to start calling you Otis.

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Susie, I was with you about one sentence into your story. :) That is SO funny!

Hubby and I had been dating a short while when we discussed religion. He's Catholic, I was raised Baptist. The first thing he said was "I'm NOT getting dunked!"


(and you know, maybe "drunkards" is how the whole dunking thing started anyway...)

Love you, Susie Q!

Blogger Karen said...

Oh, that made me laugh.

And remembering the movie 'O Brother Where Art Thou?' made me laugh twice.

Blogger Dawn said...

LOL, that's a good one. very funny.

Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

I prefer alcohol engineers.

Anonymous Undercover Mutha said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that my geneology would talk about the German drunkards...and Irish drunkards.

I ain't ashamed.

Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Ah, Susie, that's a dandy. I am cracked up....

Anonymous Katy said...

What a difference a letter makes!

Blogger Squirl said...

Hmmm, would one rather be a drunkard or a dunkard? That one will take a bit of thought. :)

Blogger Momentarily_Distracted said...

"She is not known for her tact..."
I have an aunt just like that on my Dad's side of the family!
She also makes up stories.
So does Grandma.
Family events are interesting, to say the least.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I clicked on the post a comment link, I looked to your sidebar and noticed TWO ads for dunking stuff! ROFL! What a great story! Don't we all have an Aunt Sus...I mean Weezie somewhere?! LOL

Blogger MrsDoF said...

Immediately the song from "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" began jogging in my ear. Dunking is the right way, none of the sprinkling on the forehead.

For good measure, I clicked on one of the Ads which promised basketball.
I'm sure all the wording referred to a ball and a basket in a gym.
Uh Huh.

My mom's bestest friend is Louise, but we grew up calling her Aunt Weezie. Everybody should have one.

Blogger eclectic said...

THAT was priceless! I can just see you getting all indignant, ready to get all up in Auntie's grill, only to learn of the imagined "r". How deflating. I hate to waste a good ride on the righteous indignation horse. ;) Oh sure, and now you're going to tell me that Oktoberfest hasn't anything to do with beer, either! HA!

Blogger Ortizzle said...

Slam Dunked! Very funny.

Blogger Ern said...

Couldn't they have come up with a better name for a religious sect than DUNKARDS? Seriously, it's just a weird word! Too funny!

Blogger Nina said...

Dunkards are also called Church of the Brethren and German Baptists. I don't have any in my family tree . . . but John does, well sorta his mother's family was Mennonites from that same area. You all could be related, you never know. ;)

Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...


Blogger Susie said...

platypus, I like the sound of that, dunking a biscuit.

amy, you are so welcome.

ladybug, OR hole-y dunkin' donuts :)

effie, how did you know? I almost always have some schmutz on my glasses.

william, there you go again with the advanced theology :)

mrB, PWAHAHAHAA. My branch of the Wienerschnitzels DID settle in North Carolina, probably some of them near Mayberry :) AND I have photographic evidence that my father was once in the moonshine business. Otis may be more accurate than you know :o

ck, I hate to say it, but I have known of drunkards getting dunked while drunk. I mean actual river baptisms of drunks. When the drunkards and the dunkards get together, anything can happen.

karen, I love that movie, it never gets old.

dawn, glad you enjoyed :)

kranki, you're sophisticated like that :)

mutha, yea, I know for a fact that some of my Dunkards were drunkards, too. What are you gonna do? I have English drunkards, too.

hoss, oh, who are you kidding? You were cracked when you got here ;)

katy, yep. I'd never seen the word Dunkards before, although I was rather familiar with the other word.

squirl, it is something to consider. My FIL insists that the cure for my WTF disease is for me to become a drunkard. Any day now, I may make an announcement ;)

MoDis, oh, honey, you wanna talk relatives making up stories? I got 'em. The good, the bad and the ugly.

traci, I think everyone does have an Aunt Weezie, even if she goes by a different name ;)

mrsDoF, I can remember, from childhood, relatives on my Dad's side (Baptists) and my Mom's side (Presbyterians) arguing over dunking or sprinkling.

eclectic, like you, I hate to waste a good ride. I am still writing a letter to you in my head, sis. I'll get it out my fingers soon. xoxox

ortizzle, dunk you very much :)

ern, it IS a weird word, but, hey, it's from the people who brought you Wienerschnitzel.

nina, yes, I read that, that the Dunkards were very similar to the Mennonites. I'd be mighty proud to have shaken out from the same family tree as Dr. John ;)

mrB, you are a man of your word. Really, though, I always wanted to be one of the Darlings.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Humphrey Bogart claim to be a Drunkard in Casablanca?


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