Frindschauft Nohfädme - von Jack Thiessen © 1998

Nü heat sich dee Dommheet doch langsom opp. Väje Weatj wea etj noch een jestuckta Nobody, soo's de measchte aundre, enn nü kohme se Räajwies aun, enn welle weete, aus Mike Tyson, de niea Champion vonne Schwoare-Scherwaundasch mett mie Frindschauft ess. Jo, de Mensche froage noh mien Autograum enn bliewe lenja bie mie sette aus jeweenlich, enn habe daut nich mol meea "seea drock" uck wann se Menniste send, enn send frindlich aus een Topptje Mies, enn wann etj mie haustig ommdrei, moatj etj emma, daut se noh miene Fuppe ziele, omm üttoofinje, aus de nich een bätje no büte ütjebült send nohm latzten Feit mett Larry Holmes.

Mie ess daut, soo's etj aul säd, aulatoop een bätje too groff jeworde (ooda säd etj `too domm'?) enn doawäjen, schriew etj daut nü dol, daut jie von nü aun aula weete, woor'ett doamett bestalt ess.

Jo, wie send Frindschauft enn uck goanich soo wietleftig. Taunte Jasch Kloßsche haft goanich soo oracht, wann se meent, daut ditje Bollesjenetj bie aule Thiesses enn Tysons ahr een bätje bekaunt väatjemmt, enn uck daut heete Bloot enne Füste. "De Thiesses kunne aula grülich doll woare, enn wann de mol opp earenst doll worde, dann holde de Lied de Tjinja nenn. Enn wann see aunfonge too schlohne, gauf daut fuats emma Broodaschauft," meend Peetasch, de Chronikler, uck aul emma. De Mensche habe racht.

Dee Jeschicht ess soo's dit: Daut mien Grootonkel no Sumatra jintj enn doa mett de Tiejasch enn de Sind toop oppriemd, daut weet jie.

Oba daut disselwja Onkel eenen Onkel haud, woon'a aul aune 1802 noh Afrika jintj, daut weet jie nich, wiels daut ess bloß en eenem oolen Buak "Fraunz Thiesses Mejchel woat Missionoa en Afrika: Femielje-Jeheemnis" oppjeschräwe. Enn dit Buak ess em M. S. C. bie Harry Löwen enne gaunz unjaschte Schüflod too finje. (Too Nacht nemmt Harry disse Jeschicht emma no Hüs enn vestatjt se unjre Datj).

Enn waut steit doabenne? froag jie. Well, nich seea väl, oba doa steit, -enn dit weet jie woll meist aula- daut Mejchel von eh enn je, de Nohme vom Darpsboll wea, wiels Michael, Mechel, Mejchel, Michel ennsowieda emma de jratsta enn de stoatjsta wea, waut'et gauf. Daut weete se em Himmel enn uck opp Ead, wiels de Erzenjel Michael drajcht den Nohme nich omsonst. Enn Gorbatchow enn Jackson uck nich.

Jo, enn diss Fraunz Thiesses Mejchel word soo jenant, wiels hee aul mett een Joah Kaute aufwarje kunn, enn mett twee Joah lange Betjse druag enn twintig-pundje Arbüse aufplock, enn mett de Füst de Nacht oppe Berstaund tweischluag enn oppfraut. Mett fief Joah haud de Darpsboll fe ahm Schizz, enn mett twalw haud hee eemol oppem Joahmoatjt enn Ternie eenen Mongoole em Rastling-Rinj daut Hinjarenj ver aule Lied volljeheiwt.

Toom Jletj word dis Mejchel tjristlich enn fein mack enn leahd aus Missionoa. De Lied odemde sogoa een bätje opp, wiels Thiesses Mejchel wea verhäa doch een "force to be reckoned with" jewast, soo's Taunte Kloßsche säd, "soo haude de Lied uck noch äwa hundat Joah jesajcht."

Soo's etj aul säd, siene Mutta freid sich sea, daut hee aunstaut nohm Circus too gohne omm Mensche de Tjap too febühle, nü doch noh Afrika jintj enn doa Mensche too schetj holp. Üt Afrika kaum eascht uck foaken Post enn dann emma weinja, enn leet donn schließlich gaunz noh.

Jo, enn waut wea, enn woaromm leet de Post noh, enn head schließlich gaunz opp? Wiels Fraunz Thiesses Mejchel haud sich doa mett dem Eppaschta siene Dochta befried, enn daut wea eene grülich jestuckte, schmocke enn frindliche Mamme, "oba schwoat aus Petjdroht", soo steit'et doa em Buak schwoat opp witt, sootoosaje, jeschräwe. Yessiree, daut jefft noch sogoa twee Bilda woa Mejchel mett siene Frü enn drettien Tjinja em huagen Ella steit, enn fief Tjinja sette bie ahm oppem Kopp, oppe Oarms, enn eena oppe Tjnee, dee hee soo een bätje nohhecht helt!

Daut jefft Thiesses, dee sich noch emma schäme, daut wie soon Frindschauft habe, enn se beoabeide de Thiesses Lienje en Afrika enn schreewe enn räde enn deede, se sulle doch weens ähren Nohme een tjlienet bätje endre. Enn daut deede se dann schließlich uck. Mett dem Resultaut, daut een Üa-Üagroottjind von Fraunz Thiesses Mejchel nü dee Champion vonne Schwoare-Scherwaundasch ess! Enn dissa heet Mike Tyson!

Tracing Relatives - by Jack Thiessen © 1998

I've almost had my fill of all this dumbness. Just last week I was a stocky nobody like most of the others and now they come filing up, wanting to know whether Mike Tyson, the new champion of the heavy ones, is related to me. Joh, people ask me for my autograph and stay longer than usual, even if they are Mennonites, "who are always frightfully busy" and they are all together friendlier than a pile of freshly hatched mice and whenever I turn around suddenly, I always notice that they have their eye on my pockets to determine whether they haven't got a bump to the outside after the last fight with Larry Holmes. To me this is one of those `enough is enough' matters (or did I say dumbness?) and that's why I am now going to write the whole matter down and document it for all to read and see so that you know how things really stand.

Yes, we are relatives and not nearly as distant as you might think. Aunt Jasch Kloßche is not all that wrong when she says that those thick necks on all Thiessens and Tysons look familiar to her and also the hot blood in their fists. "The Thiessens can get awfully mad and when they get seriously angry, people told their children to come into the house."

"And when they started fighting, a brotherhood meeting in the church was not long in coming," the chronicler Peters has said for years. These people are right.

The real story goes like this: my great uncle went to Sumatra and cleaned up on the tigers and sin together and all in one sweep, you all know; however that this very same uncle had an uncle who already in 1802 went to Africa is something you don't know, because all this is written down in a book "Fraunz Thiessen's Michael becomes a missionary in Africa: Family-Secret." And this book can only be found in the Mennonite Studies Centre in Harry Loewen's bottom drawer. And what is in this book? you ask. Well, not all that much, but what there is is to be found in that book, (and that black on white).

Michael was, since the beginning of time, the name of the village bull, because Mejchel, Mechel, and Michael etc. were always the names of the biggest and the strongest creatures in existence. This they know in heaven and on earth and even, for a while, in the Soviet Union. And the archangel Michael does not bear his name in vain either.

Joh, joh, and Fraunz Thiessen's Mejchel was called so because he was busy choking cats at age one; at two he wore long-legged trousers and picked twenty-pound watermelons and dragged them to the edge of the patch, smashed them open with his fist and ate them up at a single sitting. At age five the village bull was afraid of him and at age twelve he had once entered a wrestling ring at the annual fair in Ternie and administered a lusty beating on the Mongolian champion's bare ass before eight hundred and thirty-three people.

Thanks be to God in heaven that this Mejchel became a Christian and nice and tame and studied to become a missionary. People were relieved far and wide because this Mejchel was a "force to be reckoned with," so said the same Aunt Jasch Kloßche, adding "and that's what people said even a hundred years later."

As I already told you, his mother was happy and relieved that he, instead of going into the circus and knocking peoples' heads together, now went to Africa to work over people in those far-away parts. From out of Africa, mail first came very regularly and then it slowed down a bit and then it became a trickle and finally stopped altogether.

Joh, and what was and why did the mail slow down and then stop altogether? Because Fraunz Thiessen's Mejchel had married the grand chief's daughter and she was a tremendously stocky, beautiful and friendly mother, "but blacker than pitch" - so it is written. Yessiree, there are even two photos where Mejchel with his wife are to be seen at a great age and with thirteen children, the five younger ones sitting on the missionary's head and arms, with one on his knee which he extends a bit in mid-air!

There are Thiessens who are still ashamed that we have such relatives. And these pleaded with the Thiessen side of the family line in Africa and wrote them and talked and did and prayed to the effect that would they please mind changing their name and even if just a little. And that's exactly what happened. With the result that a great-great grandchild of Fraunz Thiessens Mejchel now is the champion of the heavyweights. And his name is Mike Tyson!

© 1998,2007 Jack Thiessen