Tuesday, February 24, 2009

But seriously folks

The busier you are, the more you need to waste time. Today, facing numerous pressing tasks, I started from a link at aldaily.com and found my way to an ancient Greek joke book, the oldest known & extant one, which actually can be read on-line here.

Samples of ancient Greek humor, which certainly ought to make us feel better about our own comic tradition, include the following:

An Abderite saw a eunuch talking to a woman and asked if she was his wife. When he replied that eunuchs can’t have wives, the Abderite asked, ‘So is she your daughter then?’”

An egg-head doctor was seeing a patient. ‘Doctor’, he said, ‘when I get up in the morning I feel dizzy for 20 minutes.’ ‘Get up 20 minutes later, then.’

A student dunce is voyaging on a very stormy sea. When his slaves start to wail, he tells them; "Don't worry - in my will I set you all free!"

Cultural overlap notwithstanding (since the Greeks are our precursors), the human genome must have a sequence somewhere for corny jokes.

1 comment:

michael a. livingston said...

Did the Greeks have a version of the joke in which a kangaroo walks into a bar, pays $7.50 for a drink, and proceeds to reprimand the bartender for staring at him?

"I'm sorry," says the bartender, "but we don't get many kangaroos in here."

"No," replies the kangaroo, "and at these prices you won't get many more, either."