Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Jokes Etc.

Jokes are our friends that accompany us through life—at least he good ones are. They made us laugh when we first heard or read them, and they make us smile as we summon them up from our memory. That, at any rate, is my experience at age 92. They come in certain groups according to nationality and such, and though they tend to involve others, they may implicitly affect us as much.

 French jokes. Pierre and Maurice, two entrepreneurs (note the French-derived word), meet on a Paris street. Pierre exudes wealth, whereas Maurice reeks of poverty. M.: How did you make it so rich? P.: I knew that Frenchmen go down on their women and read that their favorite fruit is oranges. So I devised a cream for orange-flavored pussies.” They meet again years later and now Maurice looks rich and Pierre poor. How come? M.: I devised pussy-flavored oranges.”

Again. Pierre and Maurice meet on a Paris Street (it’s an old joke with old names, nowadays it might be Yves and Thierry). Impoverished Pierre asks wealthy-looking Maurice how come? M.: I invented nightingale-tongue pate. P. : How is that possible? Nightingales are so small and their tongues even more so. M.: Well, we mix them with horse. But it’s very equitable, fifty-fifty. One nightingale’s tongue to one horse.”

Romanian jokes. In the Ceausescu dictatorship era, Antonescu meets Joanescu on a Bucharest street. A.: How are you doing in these parlous times? J.: I turned spy for the government. A.: Funny, so did I. And what do you think of the government. J. : Exactly what you do. A.: Sorry to hear that. Now I shall have to turn you in.

Again, An American comes to Bucharest and stays with a Romanian friend. He wants to meet one of the fabled Romanian beauties. R. takes him to a nightclub and the women are indeed great. A.: How do I get one of those? R.: Easy. They are just hundred-Lei whores. [Note currency that sounds like “lay.”] A.: Hell! Take me somewhere with better women. R. does, and here the women are gorgeous. A.: I really want one of those. R.: Simple; They are just three-hundred Lei whores. A.: Christ! Take me to a better place. R, takes him to the best nightclub in Bucharest with fabulous women in haute couture dresses. A.: There, it’s one of those that I want. R.: No problem. They are just five-hundred Lei whores. A: Damn! Are there no respectable women in Bucharest? R.: Of course.  But they will cost you a thousand Lei.

Italian joke. Two business friends are vacationing seaside, and when they return to the hotel restaurant late, all that is left are two fishes, one big and one small. First friend takes the big one. Second friend grouses: “Some people are real swine.” “Why?” asks the first. “What would you have done? “ Answers the second, “I would have taken the small one.” “Then why do you grouse? That’s the one you’ve got.”

Greek jokes I have already quoted the Serbian saying, After shaking hands with a Greek, count your fingers. Also the true story told by Frank Harris of a high diplomatic meeting in Athens, where a proud Greek was showing off his gold pocket watch. It was making the rounds of the table when it suddenly disappeared. Said the host: “I will extinguish the light, and whoever pocketed the watch as a joke can discreetly return it next to the clock on the mantel.” When the lights went on. No watch, and the clock too was gone.

Scottish joke. Alleged inscription on a public toilet wall: “Here I’m dying brokenhearted,/ Paid a penny, only farted.” Scots are supposed to be miserly, but actually are, I’m told, extremely generous.

Jewish jokes. Abraham and Sara are in their bed, when a robber breaks in and rapes Sara, then leaves. Abraham slaps his wife hard. Sara, plaintively: “But Abraham, I was forced.” Abraham: “It’s not for being raped. It’s for having so clearly enjoyed it.”

Again. Two Jewish immigrants meet on a New York street. Asks one: “Where have you been all this long time?” Answers the other: “I was at home, polishing my English.” Responds the first: “You should have been Englishing your Polish.”

German jokes. A somewhat butch German woman doesn’t have a private bathroom and so uses a public one. How does she avoid being seen in the total nude? “I just wash my top half down as far as possible. Next, I wash my bottom half up as far as possible.” “Yes,” says her interlocutor. “But how do you wash your possible?”

Again. (I have used this one before.) The new maid is told that the dog’s name is Hercules. Says she: “I’ll just call him Kules. I’ll be damned if I’ll call a dog Herr [Mister].”

Hungarian jokes. From the works of F. Karinthy. An admiral is proud of the admirable names of the Navy’s ships. They are called things like the Unsinkable or the Indomitable. Yes, says the vice admiral, but won’t it delight our enemies to have sunk the Unsinkable? So, says the admiral, let’s call them the Unnecessary and the Disposable. Yes, says the vice admiral, but what will it look like on maneuvers in the Mediterranean when all our ships are called things like the Useless and the You Can Have That One? Admiral Well, we’ll install a device that changes the name from Unsinkable to Useless the moment the ship goes under.

A man has seen Garbo in “Anna Karenina” a hundred times. Why? his friend asks. It’s because she is stripping for her suicide by train as she takes off her clothes, and is in her undies as the train arrives. I keep hoping, says the man, that one day the train will be late.

A different type of joke is the epigram. A serious insight tersely expressed would be a maxim. When a maxim is clever, it becomes an aphorism. When an aphorism is truly witty, even outright funny, it is an epigram. Typical aphorisms are Stevenson’s “The cruelest lies are often told in silence.” Or Mark Twain’s “Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of other persons.” An aphorism is Wilde’s “A man cannot be too careful in choosing his enemies.” An epigram is this of Wilde’s about Dickens: “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell without laughing.” Or this: “The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has been going on now for three hundred years.” Or again his: “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” Now here is Dorothy Parker upon the news of the death of taciturn Calvin Coolidge: “How do they know?” Or herewith Sydney Smith on Macaulay: “He has occasional flashes of silence that make his conversation perfectly delightful.” Or this, from a famous French courtesan, la Belle Otero: “God made women beautiful so that men would love them, and he made them stupid so that they could love men.”

I could go on forever, but let me conclude with one of my own modest contributions. The history of art stretches from Anonymous to Untitled--from when only the work mattered to where only the signature does.


  1. Heard decades ago from a forgotten comic on the Tonight Show and it still cracks me up:

    “I’m a Fifth-Day Adventist. We’re the same as Seventh-Day Adventists but we get the weekends off!”

    1. There's an old Jewish man walking on the beach and he comes across a magic lantern. He rubs it and a genie comes out. The genie says to the old Jewish man, "I will grant you anything you want." The old Jewish man pulls out a map of the Middle East and shows it to the genie and says, "I would like peace in the Middle East between Israelis and the Palestinians." The genie looks at the map and says, "I cannot do that. Anything else?" And so the Jewish man says, "I would like my wife to blow me one more time." The genie says, "Let me see that map again."

  2. Mr. Simon's epigram is worthy of inclusion with those cited above. So, So true.

  3. Do you know what you get when you cross a Jehovah's Witness with an atheist?

    Someone who knocks on your door for no reason at all.

  4. How many pols does it take to screw up a lightbulb?

    Depends how taxing it is.

  5. An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman go together to a local pub for a pint. A fly circles and lands in the Englishman's glass.
    "Drat!" he says, and calls the bartender over for a fresh drink.
    Another fly circles and lands in the Irishman's glass.
    "Begorah!", he exclaims and take the fly out, throws it away, and finishes his ale.
    Yet another fly lands in the Scotsman's drink. He looks down, lifts the fly by its wings and says:
    "Spit it out, you little devil!"

  6. Thierryng mon Yves

    I scratched me pate
    Tryin to equate
    An orange tastin pussie
    With a horse sized
    Nightingale's tongue

    Wiff shite sophisticate
    Cunt relate
    Preferrin to keep busy
    Wiff me mate's prized
    Chocolate rimed bung

  7. How do you drive a Jew crazy? Put him in a round room and tell him there's a penny in the corner.

  8. A groid is walking one day and comes upon a magic lantern. He rubs it and genie comes out. Genie grants him three wishes.

    The groid wishes to be white, so the genie turns the groid into a honker. Groid wants a $1000, so the genie gives him free money. Then the groid wishes he'd never have to work a day in his life again, the the genie turns him black again.

  9. What do you call two homo Irishmen?

    Patrick Fitzgerald and Gerald Fitzpatrick.

  10. Q: What happens when a Mexican and an China man make a baby? A: A car thief who can't actually drive is born.

    1. Why does Blogger always have sex doggie style with his boyfriend?

      That way they can both watch wrestling.

      Gotcha Blogger!! Hehe.

    2. Blogger has sex doggie style: he sits up and begs, his partner rolls over and plays dead.


    3. A fun and fertile topic. Here's one aspect of many a successful joke: it's funny because of what's left unsaid. Example:
      A guy, new in town, is waiting at a bus stop, his dog at his side. The bus pulls up, the guy is about to board. The driver tells him no dogs are allowed on the bus. The guy tells the driver what to do with his bus. The driver responds: "If you can do that with the dog, you may get on the bus."
      It's funny only because no one, within the economy of the joke, says "shove it up your ass."
      Another example:
      Q: What's the difference between computers and sex?
      A: With computers, the software goes in the hardware.
      Funny because the listener finishes the thought.

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  13. I spoke to one of my wife's kidnappers today.

    He said, "We want 50 grand or we kill your wife."

    I said, "Can't you make it 100 grand?"

    He said, "You think she's worth more?"

    I said, "No... I haven't got 100 grand."

  14. Here is Soviet joke during Gorby era.

    A person, he go to buy bread. He stand in long line. He so tired. So, he say I'm gonna go kill Gorbachev. Off he goes.

    Soon, he come back and stand back in the line for bread.
    So, someone ask him, 'you got kill him?'

    No, he say. The line waiting to kill Gorby even longer.

  15. https://reformjudaism.org/tzav-holiness-shmutz

  16. 'The Onion' is an established jokester:


  17. Since everyone's piling on Woody Allen, this one seems an appropriate counterbalance:


    1. Maybe Mia got screwed by The Lord of the Flies again as happened to her in ROSEMARY’S BABY.

    2. Yes, or Steven Tyler, the "Lord of the Thighs"!

  18. A senior cardinal rushes into the Pope's office at the Vatican. "Holy Father, Holy Father, come look! The most amazing thing has happened?"

    "What?" asks the Pope.

    "Jesus Christ has returned! He is riding through the streets of Rome on a donkey! The people are strewing palm leaves under his feet! Oh, Holy Father, what shall we do? What shall we do?"

    The pontiff thinks hard for a moment, then says: "Look busy!"

  19. An old woman is said to to have cornered Bess Truman at some party, and said, "Mrs. Truman, isn't there anything you can do to get the President to stop using the word 'manure'?" And Bess is supposed to have replied, "It took me forty years to get him to use that word!"

  20. Good piece on Woody Allen, "the Pete Rose of the movies":


    1. It’s called show “business” for a reason. Two American directors, no matter what you think of their films, mastered the business side of moviemaking each in a different way: Woody Allen and Robert Altman. They made dozens of films because they knew how to take care of business while still maintaining high artistic standards as Hollywood “mavericks.”

      Back at the beginning, a Woody Allen film cost three to five million to make and cleared profits of 15 to 20 million. Those numbers have grown over the years, of course, but Allen’s tight control has never wavered. Bit by bit his directing skills got better and he never had to fight with screenwriters. Also he adapts as things change. Note in the interview below how quickly he brings up money.


      Hard to think of a director more different in the style of his films than Robert Altman. He has a technical virtuosity that Allen does not remotely approach. People forget Altman had 20 years of experience writing scripts, directing industrial films, working in radio, working in television with Hitchcock and others, before seemingly coming out of nowhere to direct MASH. Like Allen he was able to land top actors who were eager to work for less just to be in one of his films. But, again, notice how quickly he talks about salaries.


  21. For those with Amazon Prime, I recommend one of their current offerings, a 1972 horror picture by George Romero, SEASON OF THE WITCH (a/k/a JACK'S WIFE).


  22. Enjoy.

    1. Wonderful movie. Did Lucas (Star Wars) steal the titles idea from this classic? I think so.

  23. JYOKO:

    Q: Why did Yoko Ono stop paying John Simon?

    A: Because she finally got around to reading his review of “Let It Be!”

    (If memory serves, Simon said Yoko looked like “a sphinx without a secret.”)

    1. Speaking of Yoko and the lads, here's a hilarious piece by Bob Odenkirk, "The Origin of 'Blackbird'":