Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mom Tells a Joke

My mother cannot tell a joke. People tell her jokes all the time and she writes them down so she won’t forget, but somehow, between the writing and the telling, a whole world is lost. 
Yesterday, we were talking on the phone and she said she had a great joke for me. “I wrote it on a piece of paper but the paper’s in my pocketbook and my pocketbook’s in the bedroom and your father’s in there, he’s sleeping, he has the radio on but I looked in before and he was asleep. I don’t want to wake him.” 

“No problem, Ma, you can read it to me another time.” 

“But it’s a good one, sweetheart, you’ll like it. Let me see what I can do from memory. There are two rabbis in a taxi. One is a young man, the other one is an old man. You heard this already?” 

“I don’t know, give me a little more.” 

“Okay. There are these two rabbis, they’re sitting in a taxi. One rabbi is young, the other one, he’s old. Oh, and the young one, he’s from Israel. He’s Israeli. That reminds me, Sippy’s husband, Arnold, he lost his job.”  

“Why does that remind you? Arnold’s not Israeli.” 

“Of course he’s not, he’s from Brooklyn. Joyce’s husband is Israeli.” 


“So? Joyce, Sippy, they’re cousins, it’s a connection. Don’t distract me. Like I said, Arnold got fired.” 

“That’s too bad.” 

“Yes, it’s a real shame. They just got married, they’re fixing up the apartment, and right away he loses his job. But we can’t blame the boss. Arnold has a temper on him. Plus, according to Marilyn, he has very poor judgment.” 

“Ma, you can’t trust Marilyn, she’s his mother-in-law and she hates him.” 

“But facts are facts, sweetheart. He does have a bad temper. I saw it once. And furthermore, the day he got fired, instead of going out and looking for another job, he shaved his head. That's poor judgment. And by the way, Marilyn does not hate him, she only wants to kill him. So now the big question is, how will Arnold keep his yarmulke on his head? You know, he’s observant.” 

“I know, Ma.” 

“Very religious, that one. But no hair? Where’s he going to put the bobby pins?” 

“I think we could call this a dilemma.”   

“Exactly. A dilemma. Thank God it’s none of our business.” 

“So, Ma, about the two rabbis?” 

“What rabbis? What about them?” 

“The ones in the taxi. The young one and the old one. It’s a joke.” 

“Oh, you know that joke? It’s a good joke.” 

“No Ma, I don’t know it, you didn’t tell me yet.”  

“Sweetheart, next time I talk to you, I’ll have it all written down in front of me, I’ll just read it to you. It’s funnier that way.”