Friday, September 21, 2012

Namibian Joke

Shalom, chaverim! I hope everyone had a beautiful Rosh Hashanah and that the (Jewish) New Year of 5773 is filled with happiness, sweetness, good health, love and prosperity for everyone. Now, if only I could stop writing "5772" on my checks.*

After a very enjoyable potluck supper with nearly a dozen fellow olim chadashim (new immigrants) on Erev Rosh Hashanah (Rosh Hashanah Eve), the next day Elul and I went to Zikhron Ya'akov with a lovely couple, Angie and Shimon. One of the most delightful things about living in Israel is that you get to meet people from so many different parts of the world, all of whom have interesting stories to tell. In fact, this week I learned that some Israelis refer to Israel as "the kibbutz of the Diaspora." This ingathering of exiles has allowed Cupid's pagan bow to create the most unlikely of pairs.

For example, Angie is originally from Colombia. (Ironically, she also lived for twenty-six years in southern Florida, just miles away from our last apartment in Boca Raton.) She met Shimon, the man who is now her fiance, while they were living in an Absorption Center in Karmiel. Since they were part of only a handful of people who spoke English (the rest of the olim were from the former U.S.S.R. and Ethiopia), they were thrown together a great deal, and things then took their natural course.

Shimon is a fascinating man from Namibia. I'd never met a Namibian before, so I really had no preconceived notion of what to expect. So based on my extensive sociological sample of one, I can tell you that this particular Namibian is funny, hard-working, and a very kind man. He's also completely head-over-heels in love with Angie, so they are a happy pair.

Shimon told us an old Namibian joke. This was fascinating, as I believe humor imparts a great deal of information about a culture. We're still laughing at this joke, but Elul and I cannot agree on the true interpretation of the punch line. Nor can I conclude too much about Namibian culture from it, either, except something, perhaps, about Namibian female hirsutism. Perhaps you can help, gentle readers. The joke goes like this:

An old couple, who have been married for a long, long time, are living way out in the Namibian countryside. One day, the wife says to the husband, "There's something wrong with the outhouse. You need to go out and fix it." The husband responds, "What are you talking about, woman? There's nothing in an outhouse except walls, a roof, a door, and a seat with a hole in it. What could possibly need to be fixed...there's nothing that can break!" The wife responds, "Just go out there, and you'll see what needs to be fixed."

The man goes out to the outhouse, and goes inside. He can't see anything that's broken. He shouts to his wife, "Woman, what are you talking about? There's nothing broken in here!" She responds, "Just stick your head in the hole and you'll see what the problem is." The man shouts, "I'm not going to stick my head in there!" "Just stick your head in there!" she shouts back.

The man sticks his head down the hole, and immediately screams, "Ouch! My beard got stuck in a crack in the wood!"

The wife answers, "Hurts, doesn't it?"

Interpretations of this joke are welcome in the comments section of this blog. Shabbat shalom and gud yontif, everyone!

*I wish I had been clever enough to think up this joke myself, but I got it from my Las Vegas "chaver" Adam Reisman. Adam, as it will soon be Yom Kippur, I ask your forgiveness for stealing your joke. Likewise, I beg everyone's forgiveness for my assaults on you with so many bad puns and off-color and scatalogical humor last year. This behavior is not likely to change, though, so you have been warned.


1 comment:

  1. My interpretation suggests the lady has need for Gilette products


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