Bless me, Father …

… for I have shopped! Buzz’s last-minute Christmas struggles have nothing on the struggles of the Rev. Joseph Rogliano of St. Mark’s Church. At Mass recently, his sermon was about how we all shouldn’t be so busy this time of year, and as he expounded on this theme, confessional details emerged. One nephew, he mentioned, loves a video game called “Sky … Skylander?” the priest said. “They have names I’m gonna share. The one he wants is Stink Bomb. Of course that’s the one you can’t find anywhere,” he declaimed, as the congregation roared. A niece had similar wants. “I’m tired of looking for Cheerleader Barbie, I will tell you that.” With Christmas around the corner, we wonder if Father Joe found that Stink Bomb. Sometimes, even priests have to pray for miracles.

Wassail, wassail

Want to warm up a cold night? Try rogue caroling! Sunday, a bunch of us assembled at Rohall’s Corner in Black Rock and, emboldened by Tom and Jerrys, hit the streets. The host of Black Rock Kitchen & Bar held the door so the customers could catch “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” A wonderful moment came as we were howling on Howell Street – the church bells of Our Lady of Black Rock began to ring, and we answered with “Ding Dong Merrily on High.” And here is what makes Buffalo Buffalo: Returning to Rohall’s two hours later, we were shocked when a rival caroling group poured out of a limo – complete with tuba and accordion! With the accordion blaring and the tuba burping along, everyone joined in a “Deck the Halls” that rocked Black Rock. Dueling caroling groups, neither affiliated with any program or institution – only in Buffalo.

The chicken dance

In the sea of fattening food that is December in Buffalo, it takes a lot to make a splash. So you have to hand it to Popeyes Chicken. The chain dominated the eating scene last week. And no wonder. Its location, at 2160 Elmwood Ave., is perfect. As Howard, the guy Buzz married, points out, it functions as a drive-thru for all the guys coming out of Home Depot. It is like the bird that sits on the back of the rhinoceros, feasting on the ticks on the rhino’s back. Home Depot and Popeyes will feed off each other. Everyone wins!

The fryer’s table

Stopping in for a post-caroling snack at Casey’s Tavern on Amherst Street in Black Rock, we were told it was fryer night. At first we heard “Friar night,” but there was nothing monastic about this: It meant our only option was fried food. We got French fries, wings of course, and some round somethings that, we weren’t sure what they were, but who cared? As the waitress said, “Nothing like fried goodness.”

The buzz

F. Scott Fitzgerald, who spent his boyhood here, left Buffalo with an enduring legacy, dueling Great Gatsby New Year’s parties! The Hotel @ the Lafayette is offering “The Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve Extravaganza.” At the Hyatt, it’s “The Big Gatsby New Year’s Eve Party.”


“My legal name is Santa Claus. I live in North Pole, Alaska. I’m a child advocate and monk. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME REQUESTS FOR PRESENTS - The greatest gift one can give is love.”

– Santa Claus, on Facebook