This is one of grandpa’s favorite jokes. Both of his brothers-in-law were Italian and rather well-to-do. He worked his whole life to support his family, owned his own home and did rather well for himself but was constantly reminded by his wife’s sisters about how well they had things.
An old Italian gentleman and a Polish working man are sitting around one day at the local coffee shop. The subject of ‘frugality’ comes up and a heated argument ensues. Finally the two men decide the honorable way to settle things is by way of a friendly wager. So they each put up $5 and each set aside a second $5. Each man is to go out for 3 days and to see how far they can make the second five dollars go then report back.
Three days pass and the two meet again in the coffee shop to settle up. The Italian gentleman proudly volunteers to tell his tale first.
“Well, the first day I went down to the haberdasher and bought me a nice $5 cigar. I then smoked half of it on the first day, half of it on the second day. I carefully tapped out the ashes while smoking it into an old tuna can and gave them to my wife on the third day. She is going to use them to help fertilize her flowers.
The people of the coffee shop were quite impressed as was the Polish working man, but he was yet to tell his tale. So the crowd turned to hear his thriftwise story.
“On my way out of here the other day, I stopped on the way home at the butcher’s. I picked up $5 worth of fine Polish kielbasa. Upon arriving home, I carefully peeled the skin off of said kielbasa and we used half of it to make dinner the first night, half of it to make dinner on the second night. On the morning of the third day, I retrieved the skin before going to the bathroom and quite carefully defecated into the skin.”
“Then on my way here I stopped by the butcher’s and exclaimed ‘This italian sausage TASTES LIKE SHIT, I want my $5 back!’”