Posted by Pope Luis I on December 23, 2004
In Reply to: Re: Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch posted by Nikhilesh sinha on December 19, 2004
: : : I've heard that phrase used over the years as a comic addition to the Catholic custom of crossing oneself. It must have started in the days that watches were on watch chains across the chest.
: : : How widespread is that? It doesn't return many hits on Google.
: : The shaggy dog story that sets it up involves Catholic after Catholic parachuting out of the doomed plane, making the sign of the cross. Finally a rabbi signs in, and is questioned. He's making sure he's got the essentials, he replies, "Spectacles, testicles, watch and wallet." Joke, circa 1965 when I heard it.
: : It became a running joke in our house, representing that mental check list one does before going out the door: touching pockets for keys, etc.
: It is used in the hillarious movie titled 'Nuns on the Run' where two men on the run from the law impersonates ladies of the habit as it were. I think it may have been produced by the Monty Python crew, not sure of that, but I am sure the the late George Harrison was one of the producers.
Sometimes people (new Catholic converts especially) have difficulty remembering the order in which to make the sign of the cross when crossing the aisle or at other times.
it is a nmemonic : "spectacles" = forehead - "testicles" = sternum - "wallet" = left side - "watch" = right side.
it goes back to the days when gentlemen usually wore fob watches on a chain across their bellies and so people would be instantly familiar as to where a watch was positioned - in a right-sided fob pocket of the westkit / waistcoat / vest.
again, right handed men also usualy keep their wallet (bill-fold) in their left breast pocket - unless they are smart like me and use a small wallet that can be kept away from pick-pockets deep in the trouser pocket. I reckon I'd notice somebody going for that - unlike the easy 'lift' from the breast-pocket.
Bless you all this Christmas season.
Pope Luis I