L’étiquette de la blague :
Simon considers the etiquette of being told a joke twice!
I wonder what the joke will be today. It was the one about the disabled prostitute yesterday, and he may simply have forgotten he’s told me – and tell me again. I consider the etiquette of the situation, because it matters. How far into being told a joke you already know should you call time on things? When exactly should you smile, cough a little, and then let it be know that you have actually heard this comedy classic before – and if told it again, you may well die from laughter?
Or is that bad form, and something you should just never do? Take the Queen, for instance. If Stav was telling a familiar joke to our monarch, what would she do? Would she listen to the whole thing through – then politely declare royal delight at ‘the most amusing and surprising of punchlines’? Or would she dismiss him from court, with the words: ‘One struggles to be amused by repeats, good sir – be on thy way, to find new material.’
Or better still, just execute him?
We do need some guidance here. But whenever it comes, it will be too late for me, because Stav is about to deliver. It may not be about the disabled prostitute, of course. It could be the one about the lesbians in the fish shop, which was last week’s joke. He told me that one twice, and I didn’t mention it – but really I don’t want it a third time…