Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorializing Jokes


Memorial Day is upon us and it always makes me think of my grandfather who fought in the 82nd Airborne in world War II. I used to spend a lot of time with him before he passed and the only thing I heard more than his war stories were his favorite jokes. So, this Memorial Day, I'll pay homage to a world class kibitzer with a couple of his favorites.

The first is an old Yiddish classic:

Morty and Sarah open up a restaurant in their village and the first customer to walk through the door is none other than the Rabbi. Seeing him come in, Morty nervously tells his wife to make sure everything is perfect. "What would you like?" he asks the Rabbi walking up to the table. "I'll try the roast beef," came the response.

After the meal, Morty asked the Rabbi how it was. "It was absolutely delicious," said the Rabbi, "but there is one small thing I hardly even want to mention." "Please, Rabbi, let me know so we can do better." "The food was wonderful, but it would be nice to have more than two slices of bread."

The next week, the Rabbi returned. This time he was given four slices of bread. "Well," Morty asked clearing the plates when the Rabbi had finished, "how was your meal today?" The Rabbi responded, "Fantastic, but to be honest, it could use a little more bread."

The following week Morty gave him six slices, the week after that eight, still the same complaint. "It could use more bread."

Finally, upon seeing the Rabbi come in, Morty took an entire loaf of rye bread, cut it in half and put it in front of the Rabbi. "How was the meal?" he asked, once the Rabbi had finished. "Delicious as usual," said the Rabbi, "but why go back to just two slices?"
The other is a joke that no one who came to the house for a meal ever left without hearing.
"A Texan visits New York City and stays at the Waldorf Astoria. He goes to check in and the man behind the desk tells him that he is in room 354. He asks that his bags be taken up to his room and he goes to the hotel restaurant.

When the waiter comes out, the Texan says, "I want the biggest steak you got and the biggest glass of beer." "And you'll start with the chicken soup," says the waiter. "No," says the Texan, "I want the biggest steak you got and the biggest glass of beer." "The waiter again responded, "And you'll start with the chicken soup." Indignantly, the Texan says with a slightly raised voice, "I don't want chicken soup. i just want the biggest steak you got and the biggest glass of beer." Unmoved, the waiter says, "And you'll start with the chicken soup." Enraged, the Texan shouts, "I don't want any god damned chicken soup. just bring me the biggest steak you got and the biggest glass of beer."

That night, the person staying in room 534 has severe abdominal pain and the hotel physician orders an enema, but the night manager taking the call writes down the number of the room incorrectly.

A week later the Texan is back at home and his friend asks him what he thought of New York City. "It's a great town," said the Texan, "but if you ever stay at the Waldorf Astoria and the waiter tells you to have the chicken soup, you better eat it 'cause they'll get it in you one way or another."
If anyone tried to say they were full or didn't want another helping at Sunday dinner over my grandparents, the simple response always came, "Remember the chicken soup."

So, on this Memorial Day, remember the chicken soup and please remember the favorite jokes of anyone you think deserves to be memorialized.

Live, love, and laugh,

Irreverend Steve