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Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 1 19:28:33 UTC 2015


On Sat, Aug 1, 2015 at 11:02 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

>
> A woman on a train walked up to a man across the table. "Excuse me," she =
> said, "but are you Jewish?"
> "No," replied the man.
> A few minutes later the woman returned. "Excuse me," she said again, =
> "are you sure you're not Jewish?"
> "I'm sure," said the man.
> But the woman was not convinced, and a few minutes later she approached =
> him a third time. "Are you absolutely sure you're not Jewish?" she =
> asked?
> "All right, all right," the man said. "You win. I'm Jewish."
> "That's funny," said the woman." You don't look Jewish."


That's it! You've found it!

I first heard it from a colleague - Ken Berry; at that time, ca. 1963, the
TV show, F Troop, had a character played by another guy named "Ken Berry" -
from Los Angeles by way of Lubbock, Texas. As a consequence, I assumed that
I had been told some kind of un-funny, anti-Semitic - or should that be
"anti-Semetic"? (Hey! My spell-check knows the difference!) - Jew-joke.
That your mom used to tell it doesn't change my mind. The nigger-stories I
could tell you!

Besides, it doesn't fit my shaggy-dog story template: a long, convoluted
story whose expected conclusion will impart some interesting,
hitherto-unknown, arcane piece of knowledge. The first such that I ever
heard ended,

And you know what they finally found out was in it?!

No! What?!!!

All this bull I'm shitting you.

The best one began.

... sleeve-job. Uh, you guys know what a "sleeve-job" is, right?

This is not to say that I'm some kind of bleeding-heart liberal. Everyone
is familiar with the joke whose punch-line is, "I'm not just telling *you*!
I'm telling *everybody*!", no doubt. It has many variants, but I first
heard it as a Jew-joke. I fell out! (It's in HDAS. [Go 'head, Jon!] Look it
up. It was one of my mother's expressions.) Well, I did hear it first from
a Jewish friend, ca. 1973, but I would have LOL'ed, anyway, even if I'd
heard it first from Ken Berry.

BTW, was F Troop supposed to be understood as "Eff Troop"?! I've failed to
consider that possibility till this very moment, having spent a
half-century pondering the question, " '*F* Troop'? Why not 'A Troop'? Or
'Z Troop'?"
-- 
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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