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Words of Wisdom

Banacek Proverbs -  Polish sayings featured on the detective drama BANACEK/NBC/1972-74.

George Peppard as Thomas Banacek - BANACEK

George Peppard played Thomas Banacek, a suave Polish-American insurance investigator who lived in the exclusive Beacon Hill section of Boston.

When the occasion arose, Banacek was fond of spouting Polish proverbs. He began by saying "There's an old Polish proverb that says" and then continued with such pearls of wisdom as:

  • "Just because a dress is red satin, doesn't mean it comes off easy"
  • "A wise man never tries to warm himself in front of a painting of a fire."
  • "Only the centipede can hear all the footsteps of his uncle."
  • "No matter how warm the smile on the face of the sun, the cat has her kitten under the porch."
  • "It's harder for the spider to catch the fly, than for the fly to catch the horse."
  •  "If the butterfly has teeth like the tiger, he'd never make it out of the hanger."
  • "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."
  • "The chicken who clucks the loudest is most likely to go to the Steam Fitter's picnic."
  • "Twelve good horses and silver candlesticks won't stop the snow from falling in Bialystock."
  • "A truly wise man never plays leap frog with a unicorn."
  • "When the wolf is chasing your sleigh, toss him a raisin cookie but don't stop to see if he eats it."
  • "A wolf that takes a peasant to supper probably won't need any breakfast."
  • "Though the hippopotamus has no stinger in his tail, the wise man would rather be sat on by the bee."
  • "A duck with three wings and a loaf of bread is brother to the turkey."

During one episode, a womanizing Greek businessman (Caesar Romero) assaulted a woman at a party and Banacek being a gentleman interceded.

Angered, the man said "There's a saying in Greece 'A man who interrupts his cousin making love, will have no relatives at his funeral.'" Banacek counters with "Funny, there's a saying here in Boston that, 'A man who forces a woman to make a rapist.' "

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