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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Belgium Pee Boy Statues & Making Pickle Bread

Almost every city has at least one place that sells statues.

The statues at these venues are not grand enough to be present in museums, but yet they certainly are bigger and classier than the mere Buddha lawn ornament that people love to plop in their garden.

I'll bet right now you're smiling, thinking of that exact place, the one in your neck of the woods.

Most of the times these concepts take place in unique settings.

I've seen them in haunted house looking places, toppled barns just outside of the city limits (but not actually in the country), in cinder block storage units under the city.....

But wherever their destination resides.....Klecko finds them to be cool.

Mike Finley has one such place over by his house.....I think it's actually connected to an off the beaten path - antique hub which townies refer to as "The Mall of Saint Paul."

The statue store there, to my knowledge, doesn't even have a name. It's just a (and I say this affectionately) a rickety old store front with a large glass picture window that frames concrete images of monkeys holding water basins, the large lions...but I know they are called something else, the Japanese ones that guard important people or valuable treasures.

This nameless place has a sign constructed of cardboard and magic marker which was crudely slapped together (like 20 years ago) to tell onlookers that they are only open for business Fridays and Saturdays.

Well I decided to go in, after all Valentines Day isn't to far off, and keeping with my covenant of honoring all "Romantic Holidays" I figured I'd browse around.

Now this isn't the first time I've been here,over the years I've entered this quaint store empty handed.....only to leave loading something into the bread mobile with a hydrolic lift LOL.

So the guy who runs this joint, he's mid 50's, he's an interesting cat. He'll follow you around the shop (in an entertaining way) while telling you about statue construction, his sons hot rod, or the time he almost died trying to drive to Colorado during the famous Christmas snow storm.

You know.....standard Statue Guy stuff.

At first it was just me and him, but then some young woman enters the store,she has to be 26-28, Statue Guy welcomed her, and told her if she needed anything to just holler.

To be honest, no shouting would be needed, this shop was about the size of the main dining room at McDonald's,but not with the side room attached....just the the main room right?

So all of a sudden.....Klecko informs.......

"I Spy - a Pee Boy statue, and I think I'm gonna scream. Pee Boy freaks me out!"

If you aren't familiar with Pee Boy, I'd respectfully submit that you've seen him at one time or another.

He's that kid, the one holding his "Junk" that pee's into fountains in villages and town square fountains across the planet.

Statue Guy laughs, and Klecko decides to share some further thoughts on the topic.

"To be honest, not all Pee Boy's scare me. From my experiences, I think there are two versions right? I know there is that one with the Hillbilly kid with overalls around his ankles, but then there is this one, the creepy one. It's so alien and androgynous looking. Like one of those kids from a bad 1960's British movie, one of those movies where the kid bully's the town with physic powers."

Statue Guys laughs, he too has seen such movies and they creep him out as well, but he assured me that the kid peeing, the statue kid was actually quite tame.

According to Statue Guy, the Pee Boy originated in Belgium. He was the kid of some king or duke or whatever, but one day (Just like the movie Home Alone) somebody randomly realized that Pee Boy wasn't anywhere to be found.

Everybody stopped what they where doing and searched the entire no avail. The child had vanished.

So then they must of sent out the King's Guard, or at least some neighbors and uncles to scour the surrounding areas.

The story has a happy ending, by days end......somebody discovered the missing Pee Boy, when they found him he was...well, as you can guess, he was standing in the middle of the city or villages main street...,,,and he was taking a whiz.

The King (or whoever) was so thrilled, they had a statue to commemorate the blessing, and their joy and celebration can be found to this day, at a bird bath near you LOL.

So now Statue Guy told me that he didn't speak Belgian, but he swore that he knew the Pee Boy's original name at one point, but before this declaration was finished passing his lips.....

That young woman, the one shopping in the statue store blurted out......

"It's Mannekin Pis, and the actual statue which still resides in Brussels is only 24 inches tall. That's smaller then your model."

First off, I don't mind people jumping into conversations, but I do however want their information to be organic.

This chick fumbled with the pronunciation of "Mannekin Pis"...why?

Because she was getting her info off her I=Phone.

Sweet Jesus, Martha and Saint Faustina, when will people learn?

When I'm in a room of peeps and somebody asks what the standard weight capacity of an elevator is, or what was Lou Reed's third album....

I do want the answer, but maybe I'm old fashioned, I want to be courted first.

I want to hear the stories behind the stories that will get me to my answer.

Knowledge is good, it's like money, if you have it, you can do a lot of things.

But money "earned" is even better. It is appreciated more. It will be invested with prudence and pride.

The same can be said for information.

Last Friday I had a 20 minute pow-wow with Hennessy about how we are going to infuse a kick a** Pickle flavor into sourdough loaves.

Our conversation traveled to so many different destinations, but how did we obtain most of our opinion??????

A silly little thing called cookbooks and conversation.

So here I go sounding like an old man, but how big of a fossil am I.

Will tomorrows cooks and bakers simply just turn to Google to give them all of their knowledge?

I know it gets you across the finish line....but it's void of soul.

As usual....feel free to disagree (or commend me for being handsome and stoic)



  1. So, here in Brussels, when I give the tour and show people Mannekin Pis, there are 2 other stories I tell: one was that the baby king's basket was put up in the tree, and the baby whizzed on the enemy as they rode by, which shamed them and inspired the baby king's soliders onto victory. The other is that Brussels was on fire, the city was burning, and somehow this little boy managed to pee it out. They even dress his statue in different outfits--gondolier pants if someone from Italy is here, etc. It is the CREEPIEST thing I have witnessed here, yet, and I have seen a LOT of things.

    I swear to you here and now that I WILL bring you a Mannekin Pis statue, if it's the last thing I do! :)

    Happy Valentine's Day luv!

    1. LOL....I will hold you to it! Peeing out of a tree huh? I might have to try that.

  2. Down the street from my parent's former home near the capital of Arizona, was a dear sweet couple. She had one oddity: her geese. Ceramic, the gander was about 30" tall, the goose about 24", and one gosling, about 18". They stood, usually in a row, just outside the front door, where they were shaded by the house in the afternoon and by the large barrel cactus in the morning. That's not what was strange, there were other such groups in that square mile.

    She dressed them, every day. Each of them. Raincoats, parkas, swimming trunks, formalwear, ... every day, it seemed, different. She made most of the outfits, they had two bedrooms devoted to them. Everyone has something odd about them.

    This would be a silly story, but those geese saved their lives. Came to pass one day it was nine am and they hadn't been dressed for the day. Neighbors talked about it for a bit, one went over to see what had happened. It had been cold over night, and the furnace had kicked in. Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Much yelling for help, a call to 911, carrying them outside, ... and all survived.

    While they were away in hospital, their neighbors dressed the geese for them.

    1. Htom......w/o a doubt, that is the best story that has EVER been recorded on this sight.

      Forever in your Service

  3. I've been to Brussels a number of times and have seen said statue and have seen pictures of it dressed in different costumes. One version of the story I heard was the kid peed on the fuse to a bomb that would have blown up a major portion of the city.

    And I'm interested in the pickle bread. :-)

  4. Haven't considered a Mannekin Pis for my front yard, but I was always intrigued by the story behind the pair of porcelain dogs in the windows of sailors' houses. The face outward, when the sailor husbands are home, to intimidate visitors, but when they face inward the sailor is at sea and the lady of the house alone....

    1. Are they Terriers, like on the Dewitt bottles?

  5. i'm with you, re: looking stuff up online vs. using your brain to think. much more interesting that way... my grandpa loved to tell jokes and stories and after a particularly good one, he'd say, "you can look it up!" we never did, what would have been the fun in that?

    1. Skates....your Grandpa is cool, my Grandfather (the Pollack, not the Mick) was a story teller and would say the exact same thing....after describing how he won a fight with an octopus.