HE HAD A HAT.

Author:Shore, Jane
Position:POEM
 
FREE EXCERPT

A rabbi walks into a bar. A Jewish grandmother takes her grandson to the beach. Kaplan is driving down the Long Island Expressway. If the name is Kaplan or Klein, it's a Jewish joke. We know the punchline, but it still makes us laugh. Jews don't do knock, knock jokes. We don't do lightbulb jokes. We don't do puns. A Jew and a Gentile walk into a bar. A Jewish grandmother takes her grandson to the beach. A big wave comes up on the beach and sweeps him out to sea. Stop me, if you've heard this one. The kvetching wives, the fed-up husbands, the meshugge in-laws. Nine words that define every Jewish holiday: They tried to kill us. We won. Let's eat. "The Jews suffer from every disease except amnesia." (IB Singer) Q. Why don't Jewish mothers drink? A They don't want to dull the pain. Why is that funny? That's not that funny. A man walks into shul with a dog. A grasshopper walks into shul. A priest walks to the Catskills. A doctor walks into a bar. A lawyer walks into a bar. Lawyers aren't funny. Actually, they are. He had a what? Let me guess. He had a hat. Is that the punch line? A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother. I thought we Jews don't traffic in puns. Waiter to a table full of Jewish women. Is anything all right? Q. What's the difference between a Jewish mother and a Rottweiler? A Eventually a Rottweiler will let go. That's not funny. Yes, it is. The yenta, the kvetch, the busybody, the mother-in-law, the Jewish mother, the Jewish-American Princess... It's all in the delivery. Kaplan is driving down the Long Island Expressway. A cop pulls him over and says, "Sir, do you realize your wife fell out of the car a mile back?" Kaplan says, "Thank God, I thought I was going deaf." It takes a minute. Freud wrote a book called Jokes and their Relation to the Unconsciousness. Max died--Buick for sale. In Yiddish, its called "a bitterer gelekhter" or laughing through tears. A rabbi and a priest got into a car accident. Kaplan was driving down the Long Island Expressway. Serious studies have been done under the headline of assimilation. A...

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