Sunday, November 14, 2004

Count the Mistakes

While drinking a cup of English toffee cocoa and watching Ben Hur, I was suddenly reminded of a joke I read from a book when I was very young (about six, I think). It went:

Son: Daddy, who was Hamlet?
Father: You dumb ignoramus! Bring me the bible and I'll show you who he was!

At the time, I thought the funny in the joke was because a) the father used the term "dumb ignoramus" which sounded repetitive and he used it on the person he raised, and b) because the father needed reference materials to answer the question. I still had the feeling I was missing something, so I asked my mother why the joke was supposed to be funny.

"It's because Hamlet really isn't in the bible," she said. "He's just someone who used to live during that time."

And the joke goes on. Yeesh.

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