Wednesday, September 07, 2005


We’ve all suffered from this affliction at one time or another...when you say something and realize, just a little too late, that it has reached an unintended audience.

Oh, yeah. I am the Past Master at the old Dick-Step.

Politically Incorrect Jokes are a great way to get you in trouble. Last night I was at the ballgame with a few of my friends, and one of them told a Classic Anecdote:

It seems that there was a young man who, having lost his left eye in an accident, wore a prosthetic eye made of wood. Why wood, you might ask? Well, the young man was of limited means and could not afford an expensive glass eye – not to mention the fact that this joke just doesn’t work with a glass eye.

The young man with the wooden eye was depressed, for he felt that he was unattractive. What woman would have him?

One of his friends saw that the young man had fallen into a Prolonged Mope, and he decided to do something about it. He insisted that his friend accompany him to the Church Social that evening.

Once there, the young man’s friend saw a young woman sitting quietly by herself in the corner. He insisted that the young man invite her to dance with him.

“Now, she’s kind of quiet, and she’s not real self-confident. She used to have a harelip, but a few months ago she got it surgically repaired. You can barely see it anymore, but I know she’s still self-conscious about it. You’d be doing the both of you a world of good if you asked her to dance. G’wan, go do it!”

And so the young man found his way to the forlorn young lady’s table. He leaned down and smiled, asking, “Would you care to dance?”

The young lady was so happy to have been asked to dance by this (to her) handsome, dashing gentleman that she could scarcely contain herself.

“Would I? Would I?

“Harelip! Harelip!”

[Once you know this joke, you don’t even need to bother with the setup. The punchline works perfectly well all on its own.]

One time, as I was getting ready to chair a meeting at the Great Corporate Salt Mine, I told this joke to a few early arrivals. Afterwards, one of them - an attractive young lady – remarked casually, “Say, Elisson, did I ever tell you about my glass eye?”

For, indeed, the attractive young lady had a glass eye – which explained her perpetual Wonky Gaze. She had suffered from a case of retinoblastoma – a virulent form of Eyeball Cancer - as an infant, and one of her eyes had had to be removed.

Good thing for me she had a sense of humor. As it was, I felt three inches tall.

But as bad as that was, it pales in comparison to the time we were putting on our synagogue’s Talent Show last winter. Between the acts, the discussion turned to Al Jolson, who, back in the day, used to perform in blackface. Extremely un-PC by today’s standards...but not nearly as un-PC as me on my knees, doing my best impression of Mr. Jolson singing “Mammy,” at the exact moment one of the synagogue’s African-American custodians chose to walk by.

Glass eye, schmass eye – how the fuck do you explain that?

And so, Esteemed Readers, always keep your feet clean and well-scrubbed. You never know when you might be dining on one of them.

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