The Banter Report
Nerd: … well, my wife is pretty short.
Me [overhearing]: Whoa — you’re married? How long?
Nerd: Seven years.
Me: Seven years?! What did you do, break a mirror?
Amid laughter, I briefly consider putting together a set of material in the style of Henny Youngman and working the Borscht Belt circuit as a Catskills comic.
* * *
Girlfriend: I wish I’d studied more languages.
Me: I took German.
Girlfriend: Ugh. I hate German. It sounds evil.
Me: I like the way they make up useful words, though. Like zugzwang. It means “compulsion to move”. When you’re playing checkers or chess and it’s your turn but any move you make will make you lose the game, that’s zugzwang.
Girlfriend: Yup. Those Germans sure like making people do things they don’t want to. “Get in the gas chamber. You have to. Zugzwang.”
A debate over whether I am allowed to repeat this on the Internet, which I win when I point out that her joke isn’t anti-Semitic, only anti-German.
* * *
Co-worker #1: Check out this picture of my friend with a bear cub. She works for a program that puts tracking chips on animals.
Me: That’s a really cute bear cub. Is she supposed to be picking that up?
Co-worker #1: Well, they tranquillized the mother.
Me: Still. I thought if it got human stink on it, the mother wouldn’t take it back.
Co-worker #2: Maybe they covered themselves with bear urine before handling the cub, or something.
Me: If that mama bear woke up and saw me handling her cub, I’d be covering myself in human urine.
This gets a good laugh. I think back to the Seinfeld episode where Jerry advises George to use the Vegas comics’ showmanship trick of leaving on a comedic high note. Thank you, you’ve been great, I think. That’s it for me. And I leave the room.
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