Sunday, November 02, 2008

Leaving a bad taste

I remember reading somewhere, that an elderly Jorge Luis Borges on a lecture tour of the United States once reacted to a crude inference about the young female secretary who was accompanying him by unhesitatingly challenging the cad who had dared to utter it to a duel, despite being over ninety years of age and legally blind at the time. The William Grove spirit, that's the thing.

I merely offer it as an observation to Andrew Sachs.
Refugees fleeing the Civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo said their suffering had been made far worse this week after learning of the obscene radio broadcast made by ‘so-called’ comedians Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand. The brutal African war is entering its tenth year, but UN observers on the ground say that this week’s BBC Radio 2 scandal has left morale in the region at an all time low.
Jokes are funny things.

Rod - who is now in the Congo as you remember, where laughs are pretty scarce I imagine - had a gag published in the Economist (at the bottom of this link) earlier in the year.

SIR – Your review of a book on Soviet cars (“Spluttering to a halt”, July 12th) reminded me of the old Soviet joke about the man who finally puts together enough for a deposit for a car.

Having handed over his hard-earned roubles to the factory boss, he is told to return in exactly 8.3 years on June 4th when his new car will be ready. Okay, he says, but should I come in the morning or the afternoon?

Puzzled, the car boss asks why and the man replies, “It’s just that there’s a chance the plumber said he could come around on that date”.

Rod MacKenna
Prévessin, France
Prodnose: I don't understand
Myself: No you don't, "and it might serve me in a time when jests are few”.

1 comment:

Nick Browne said...

That story is rendered all the more remarkable by the fact that Borges was 86 when he died.