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Wąchock jokes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The monument to the sołtys
The monument to the sołtys

In Polish culture, Wąchock jokes are the jokes about the inhabitants of the town of Wąchock, and especially their sołtys (referring to the times when Wąchock was a village). For example, the cat of the sołtys was so smart that when given some coffee with milk, he drank all milk while leaving all coffee. It is unclear when and why Wąchock had become a butt of the jokes, although there are several theories.[1][2][3]

Typically, the Wąchock jokes are the question-answer ones: "Why nobody in Wąchock watches TV now? - Because sołtys put blinds on his windows."[3]

There is a running joke "Let Wąchock be the capital of Poland!" ("Wąchock stolicą Polski"). In particular, this was one of the slogans of the Good Humor Party. [4] However there is a little-known fact that for several days Wąchock was a de facto capital when during the January Uprising against the Russian Empire Marian Langiewicz, the leader of the uprising, had his headquarters at Wąchock. [1]

In 2003 the Monument of the Sołtys was unveiled in Wąchock by the police station. The sołtys has a long moustache, he sits on a stone, donned in a hat and rubber wellingtons. With one arm he holds a horsecart wheel and a cell phone with another. [5][6] The wheel hints to the joke on how the sołtys of Wąchock is elected: a wheel is pushed off a hill and whichever house the wheel hits, its homeowner becomes soltys.[7]

Since Wąchock regained its town rights in 1994, the title of its head is burmistrz, however the members of the "Friends of Wąchock Society" [Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Wąchocka] established the title of "honorary soltys", traditionally elected since that year.[3]

The town organizes the annual meeting of sołtyses.

In 1988 there was a documentary by Józef Gębski [pl], with a grain of humour, about the elections of the sołtys of Wąchock, "Sołtys Wąchocka, czyli jak ponownie wygrać wybory" ["Sołtys of Wąchock, or How to Win the Elections Again"] .[8]

There are some other ideas to turn Wąchock jokes into a tourist attraction. For example, burmistrz Jarosław Samela has an idea how to capitalize on the joke, known in several versions, than when in Wąchock one needs to make a waist-high or a passport photo, one has to dig a hole of fitting size, step into it, and take a photo. Therefore he suggested to have a pit with the board saying "Wąchock" over it for tourists to take their photos. [9]


This page was last edited on 15 September 2020, at 01:55
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