There’s an old Polish proverb that says…

The Wit & Wisdom of Banacek

Of course, none of the “Polish” proverbs that smug, urbane freelance insurance investigator Thomas Banacek was so fond of spouting in the popular 1972-74 NBC television series Banacek, starring George Peppard actually existed — they were whipped up by the writers.

Possibly after a long lunch.

In fact, even “Banacek” isn’t really a Polish name — it’s more likely to found in Slovakia, not Poland.

But hey, as Bancek once said, “If you’re not sure that it’s potato borscht, there could be orphans working in the mines.”

Other gems include:

  • “A truly wise man never plays leapfrog with a unicorn.”
  • “Read the whole library, my son, but the cheese will still smell after four days.”
  • “Twelve good horses and silver candlesticks won’t stop the snow from falling in Bialystock.”
  • “It’s harder for the spider to catch the fly, than for the fly to catch the horse.”
  • “Only someone with nothing to be sorry about smiles at the rear of an elephant.”
  • “Even though a man anoints himself with fragrant oils, he can still wind up with a broken face.”
  • “When the wolf is chasing your sleigh, toss him a raisin cookie but don’t stop to see if he eats it.”
  • “Only the centipede can hear all the footsteps of his uncle.”
  • “If the butterfly has teeth like the tiger, he’d never make it out of the hangar.”
  • “A wolf that takes a peasant to supper probably won’t need any breakfast.”
  • “Just because a dress is red satin doesn’t mean it comes off easily.”
  • “A wise man never tries to warm himself in front of a painting of a fire”.
  • “Though the hippopotamus has no stinger in his tail, the wise man would rather be sat on by the bee.”
  • “When an owl comes to a mouse picnic, it’s not there for the sack races.”
  • “No matter how warm the smile on the face of the sun, the cat still has her kittens under the porch.”
  • “The chicken that clucks the loudest is the one most likely to go to the Steamfitter’s Picnic.”
  • “A duck with three wings and a loaf of bread is brother to the turkey.”
  • “Even a thousand szloty note can’t tapdance.”
  • “If your socks are not in your shoes, don’t look for them in Heaven.”
Respectfully compiled by Kevin Burton Smith. And a special thanks to Cal, because a retired Detroit cop gathers no moss after the horse has escaped.

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