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Guy Walks Into a Bar
July 23, 2014 1:51 PM   Subscribe

And the bartender's, like, "No kidding. You think I wished for a twelve-inch pianist?" So the guy processes this. (SLNewYorker)

Simon Rich previously on MetaFilter: Unprotected, Sell Out.
posted by Metroid Baby (138 comments total) 159 users marked this as a favorite

 
But what happens to the geese?
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 1:55 PM on July 23 [31 favorites]


That was great.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:55 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


That was probably the best version of rolling a joke into Joke Explanation territory then all the way back around into funny then over to tragic and then finally ... I mean, man, what a journey.
posted by komara at 1:56 PM on July 23 [47 favorites]


Guy walks into a bar. "Ouch! That bar really hurt," says the guy.
posted by jonp72 at 1:57 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


A guy walks into Home Depot. Ouch.
posted by maryr at 1:59 PM on July 23


Oh, this is lovely. Thank you.

(Though despite the genie's conclusion at the end, the bartender does admit that, while he has a complex about it, his penis is fairly average, so... sorry, twelve-inch pianist.)
posted by obfuscation at 1:59 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Wow. Really funny!
posted by xammerboy at 1:59 PM on July 23


I have a new favourite thing.
posted by chrillsicka at 2:00 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


I also enjoyed this.
posted by bleep at 2:01 PM on July 23


This is terrific.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:01 PM on July 23


Metafilter: And the graphic nature of the comment kind of kills the moment.
posted by chavenet at 2:02 PM on July 23 [25 favorites]


If Simon Rich wanted to novelize the entire Truly Tasteless Jokes series, I'd be down for that.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:03 PM on July 23 [17 favorites]


That was fantastic on many levels. Thanks for sharing.
posted by dios at 2:04 PM on July 23


That was really great.

It almost makes me sorry for laughing at the "baby seal walks into a club" joke, because now I KNOW that one must have an even bleaker background.
posted by Curious Artificer at 2:07 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


I love all the details reminding you that the pianist is tiny.
posted by maryr at 2:09 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


Next assignment:

... and I sez to the Bartender, I sez, "That was no lady -- that was an iron lung!"
posted by mazola at 2:10 PM on July 23


Brian Doyle-Murray's Stand Up Routine From The 1970s

To get the full effect, read the whole thing without stopping. From Gold Turkey: National Lampoon Radio Hour/Greatest Hits:

A man walks into a nightclub with a beautiful girl on his arm
The show begins and the comedian comes out for his first show of the evening
The comedian says "A man walks into a nightclub with a beautiful girl on his arm
The show begins and the comedian comes out for his second show of the evening.
The show begins and the comedian says "A man walks into a nightclub with a beautiful girl on his arm"
Just then a man in the front row stands up and says "I think I've heard this before"
The comedian says "Well maybe you caught my first show of the evening"
The man says "No, I just walked in here"
The comedian says "Well it was a guy looked just like you walked in with a beautiful girl on his arm could have been your twin brother"
The man says "My twin brother's dead"
The comedian says "What is this, a wake?"
The man says "I don't have to stand for this"
And he stands up and he walks outside
And the comedian says "Are you out there? I can hear you breathing."
The man says "I'm holding my breath"
The comedian says "Well I'm holding you wife"
Just then the man says "That's not my wife"
And he walks back into the nightclub with another beautiful girl on his arm
"Who's that lady I'm seeing you with" the comedian says
The man says "This is my wife. That other lady is my dead twin brother's wife
You can take her if you want her"
And the comedian says "Not unless you say please"
Just then, a man walks into a nightclub with a tatoo of a beautiful girl on his arm eating elbow macaroni.
The comedian says "Is that girl from Italy?"
The man says "No just hungry"
Just then a man walks into the nightclub, he comes riding into the nightclub, on a pony, with a feather stuck into his hat
"What do you call that?" the comedian asks
"An entrance" the man says "But forget that"
Just give me a beer and give my pony a jockey"
The bartender says "I think that pony's had enough already"
"Well make it a short jockey" the man says
"And while you're at it give that lady's lawyer some briefs"
The lady stands up and says "I can defend myself, your Honor"
And the lawyer says "But I'll defend her honor, your Honor"
The judge says "Well on her or off her, make up your mind"
The comic says "Definitely on her, that's the best offer I've had all day"
"Well take it or leave it" says the Judge
"Couldn't we just drop it?" says the comedian
He says "You better drop leaflets before you bomb"
And the comedian says "I'm already bombing"
He says "Maybe it's your material"
He says "You don't think it fits?"
He says "Well it could be let out a little"
The comedian says "How much do you think it will cost me?"
He says "It'll cost you an arm and a leg"
The comic says "Well listen, could you put it on the cuff?"
The tailor says "I'll tell you what I'll do. We'll forget the leg and I'll just charge you an arm"
And a beautiful arm it is
"OK" says the comedian and the tailor cuts off the comedian's arm and gives him the suit
The tailor calls his girlfriend and asks her to go out on the town with him in order to celebrate
He calls on his girlfriend and gives her the beautiful arm as a gift
She wears it around her neck just like a stole and they go out on the town
The man walks into a nightclub with a beautiful arm on his girl
The show begins and the one-armed comedian comes out for his last show of the evening.
He does his act, and the audience stands up and gives him a hand
posted by doctor_negative at 2:13 PM on July 23 [90 favorites]


How did this not get posted before now? It's a petit chef d'oeuvre.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:16 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Delightful!

Thanks for sharing. And I like how you highlighted one of the sentences that best captures the tone of the piece.
posted by danabanana at 2:19 PM on July 23


Heheh, this is a great. My favourite (and only) joke - extended mix.

But ... CTRL-F "like" ... 43 matches. I'm, like, wow!
posted by Diag at 2:25 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


That was fantastic. A deft bit of writing, there.

But what happens to the geese?
Thursday lunch special.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:26 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Chased off by a German shepherd. He's was here on vacation, just really hates geese.
posted by maryr at 2:28 PM on July 23


The "like" doesn't bother me remotely as much as the ", like,"
Otherwise, I'm, like, "That was good."
posted by hypersloth at 2:28 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


I read that whole thing in the voice of Ira Glass for some reason.
posted by naju at 2:33 PM on July 23 [10 favorites]


This also reminds me...In an episode of Police Squad! (In Color), Leslie Nielsen's character, Frank Drebin, goes undercover as a stand-up comic. The scene of Drebin as a comic is one of the most hilarious things I ever saw on tv.

It was done in a series of cutaways...We'd see some activity offstage, then cut back to Drebin just as he gives the punchline. The thing is, the punchlines are to some of the filthiest jokes you've ever heard. So, if you've heard the jokes before, you're in on the joke the writers are playing, and are laughing your ass off. If you never heard the jokes, the punchlines are actually kind of senseless and bland.

It's a wonderful bit of tv.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:34 PM on July 23 [12 favorites]


But what happened to the geese ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:37 PM on July 23


Dammit! I didn't wish for a million ducks!
posted by trip and a half at 2:42 PM on July 23 [5 favorites]


I didn't notice at all any of the ,like, the first time I read the piece.

Now I see them and trip over them, all 43 of them.
posted by kanewai at 2:43 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


"…But I'm a podiatrist. You need a psychiatrist. Why'd you come in here?"
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 2:43 PM on July 23 [6 favorites]


"Your light was on."
posted by Mapes at 2:45 PM on July 23 [5 favorites]


"It is chicken shit. Wanna buy a toothbrush?"
posted by ColdChef at 2:50 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


I love riffing on old jokes, so I think this is perfect.

Once I was goofing around and told a friend my take on the giant marshmallow joke which is

"Last night I dreamed I ate a giant marshmallow, and when I woke up, my giant marshmallow was missing!"

Turns out his version is way better:

"Last night I ate my pillow"
posted by aubilenon at 2:53 PM on July 23 [18 favorites]


Well now I'm curious about why the genie gave them the geese and the old van if he wasn't hard of hearing. I figure he gave the guy geese instead of world peace, because we've all watched that one episode of the X-Files where Mulder wishes for world peace and it basically ends the world, so we know that world peace is a stupid wish. But then he also goes with old van instead of saying goodbye to the pianist's old man, which seems pointless, but I guess precipitates the whole make out scene and...my god. That genie really is brilliant.
posted by yasaman at 2:53 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


Excellent piece!

> the bartender does admit that, while he has a complex about it, his penis is fairly average

I think you're confusing a face-saving claim for an admission.
posted by languagehat at 2:57 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


'face' saving?
posted by mazola at 2:58 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


what happened to the geese?

The Aristocrats.
posted by Pudhoho at 3:00 PM on July 23 [15 favorites]


I thought it was a million ducks, not geese. That is how I tell the joke, and it's funnier that way. I swear.

An Irishman walks out of a bar. Hey, it can happen.
posted by Chuffy at 3:04 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


I don't feel great about the gaggle of vicious geese being let loose in close proximity to a twelve-inch man. Those things bite hard, he could die. I remain unconvinced about this genie. What are his real motivations here.
posted by naju at 3:08 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


It almost makes me sorry for laughing at the "baby seal walks into a club" joke, because now I KNOW that one must have an even bleaker background.

...and the mechanic says, "It looks like you blew a seal." She says, "No, that's just milk," and she wipes her mouth.
posted by Chuffy at 3:09 PM on July 23 [6 favorites]


All that and somehow no tragic back story to the fact that a goddamn genie is apparently a permanent resident of the men's room of a bar.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:12 PM on July 23 [16 favorites]


That was lovely and a great piece of comedy writing.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 3:19 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


He pissed off a larger, more powerful genie.

Or maybe it was on.
posted by maryr at 3:27 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


All that and somehow no tragic back story to the fact that a goddamn genie is apparently a permanent resident of the men's room of a bar.

Maybe he previously met another genie who had a hearing problem..."I wish I could spend all day every day driving a fancy car."
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 3:31 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


A gymnast vaults over a bar.
A confectioner molds chocolate into a bar.
A guy with a strong accent comes running out of the woods away from a bar.
posted by JHarris at 3:33 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


A duck walks into a bar. Asks the bartender, "have you got peanuts?"
The bartender says "no, we don't serve peanuts here."
The duck leaves.

The duck comes back the next day. "Have you got peanuts?"
"No, I told you yesterday, I don't serve peanuts!"
The duck leaves.

The next day the duck comes back.
"Have you got any peanuts?"
The bartender slams down a glass and shouts at the duck "Goddamn it, I told you already, no peanuts! And if you come back here again asking about peanuts I'm going to get a hammer and nails and nail your beak to the bar!!"
The duck leaves.

The next day the duck walks into the bar.
"Have you got any nails?"
The barman squints at him; "No, I haven't got any nails."
"Have you got any peanuts?"
posted by chavenet at 3:44 PM on July 23 [41 favorites]


There appear to be people in the thread who did not read the article.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:49 PM on July 23 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: There appear to be people in the thread who did not read the article.
posted by mazola at 3:50 PM on July 23 [43 favorites]


The worse part of that was all the So's, And's, & Like's.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 3:52 PM on July 23


shakespeherian: "There appear to be people in the thread who did not read the article."

A man walked into a thread.
posted by chavenet at 3:53 PM on July 23 [9 favorites]


A man walked into a post....
posted by gingerbeer at 3:57 PM on July 23 [14 favorites]


A horse walks into a bar, and the bartender says, "What is this, some kind of joke?"
posted by infinitewindow at 3:57 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


A horse walks into a bar, and the bartender says, "Why the long face?".
The horse says, "I just found out I have terminal cancer".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:59 PM on July 23 [11 favorites]


A skeleton walks into a bar, and asks for a beer. The bartender, who is a pile of loose skin and organs lying on the floor, cannot respond.

"Oh right," says the skeleton. "Forgot about that."
posted by rifflesby at 4:03 PM on July 23 [9 favorites]


The "like" and "so" interjections are there to force the reader into the cadence of actual speech. It serves a stylistic purpose that.
posted by truex at 4:05 PM on July 23 [15 favorites]


Thank you that was terrific.
posted by smoke at 4:07 PM on July 23


A cryptographer walks into CBS, sits down at the reception desk and says, "gimme a cffs." The receptionist says "what are you talking about?" He looks around and says, "damn, thought that seemed a little too easy," and walks out.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:12 PM on July 23 [15 favorites]


An astronaut walks into a bar, says "oh good", and takes off his helmet.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:20 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


A whale walks into a bar. He has a goat under one flipper and a bouquet of flowers under the other. The bartender asks him, "Going someplace special, are you?" To which he replies

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEREEEEOOOOOOOOOOOHHHEEEHHHHHHHAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

(repeat in best whale voice until listeners stop laughing. Then continue until they start laughing again, first nervously, then in earnest, then so hard that they can't keep their eyes open and their sides ache. Only stop when you can physically no longer make whale noises)
posted by theweasel at 4:20 PM on July 23 [39 favorites]


"But ... CTRL-F 'like' ... 43 matches. I'm, like, wow!"

It's the discourse particle form of like. In ordinary speech, it has numerous functions but, in this case, at face value, it signals paraphrase and implies and underscores attitude. If I say "I was like, 'wow!'", you're invited by the like to understand that quoted exclamation as a package representing my reaction -- indeed, I think you're invited to take the word as the cue to build a mental image.

But the usage here is layered and the more subtle layer is the more important. This is a form of literature, a carefully crafted written fictional narrative. In this context, the discourse particle likes function on a meta level, too -- they underscore the sense that someone is telling this story and, crucially, the notably heavy usage creates an ostentation of clumsy rhythm. In my opinion, it's intended to call to mind the patter of a stand-up comedian but, especially as read (as opposed to spoken) it's a little awkward and off-balance -- a synecdoche of the whole piece.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:24 PM on July 23 [33 favorites]


37!
 
posted by Herodios at 4:25 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Pudhoho: "what happened to the geese?

The Aristocrats.
"

So there they are, shitting all over the place...
posted by symbioid at 4:27 PM on July 23


Relevant AskMe.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:28 PM on July 23


I was kinda hoping we'd finally have the small penis confessional thread that metafilter's been clamoring for all this time, but apparently y'all had other plans.
posted by symbioid at 4:38 PM on July 23 [5 favorites]


I really liked that.
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:38 PM on July 23


Guy walks into a goose. Momentarily startled, takes a half-step sideways, walks into another goose. Pivots, walks into, like, a whole gaggle of 'em. Finally stops looking at his phone, notes the barman making out with a comically tiny guy in a tux, then sees the guy he was supposed to meet for his Scruff date walking in from the bathroom with a genie. (They're holding hands, but not for the reason he thinks.)

"Dammit," the new arrival says. "I wish I'd taken the L train."

The genie sends him to Chicago.
posted by psoas at 4:47 PM on July 23 [8 favorites]


Hitler walks into a bar, where a joke is already in progress. Bartender sees him, and says to the horse / string / rabbi / mushroom / duck or whatever, "never mind, fuck it, we're Godwinned."
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:54 PM on July 23 [9 favorites]


What's worse than finding a worm in your apple?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:54 PM on July 23


AIDS
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:55 PM on July 23 [5 favorites]


What's made by a cow and sounds like a bell?
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 4:58 PM on July 23


Wow. How did I miss that AskMe, and thus my opportunity for this:

Byte walks into a bar. Bartender says "Hey, buddy, what's wrong?"
"Parity error," says the byte.
"Yeah," says the bartender. "I thought you looked a bit off."

(Oh, look, AskMe threads don't close!)
posted by The Bellman at 5:04 PM on July 23 [6 favorites]


A pirate captain walks into a bar. He has a ship's wheel hanging from his erect male member.

The bartender says, "Excuse me, but I can't help notice that you have a ship's wheel hanging from your erect male member."

And the pirate captain says, "Yarr! And it's drivin' me nuts!"

Thaaaaank you.
(Edit: On subsequent view of AskMe thread: Dammit.)
posted by sourcequench at 5:09 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


So glad this was on here. I just came to the blue to post this very link on the thread a few days ago, where we were talking about how much of the humor in the New Yorker is anything but.
posted by graphnerd at 5:16 PM on July 23


Also, would you rather fight a 100 duck-sized pianists or a 1 pianist-sized duck?
posted by graphnerd at 5:17 PM on July 23 [8 favorites]


Guy walks into a flock, a gaggle of geese. "I thought this was a cocktail party!" he says. James Earl Jones is not amused, but Sidney Poitier is.
posted by maryr at 5:17 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


... And then the twelve-inch pianist starts playing a Bach fugue, and the bartender yells "hey! No minors!"
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:17 PM on July 23 [6 favorites]


Really funny but also this makes me wonder about a lot of things including whether we would read this article differently if it appeared in a bad font on Cracked.
posted by johngoren at 5:21 PM on July 23


Really funny but also this makes me wonder about a lot of things including whether we would read this article differently if it appeared in a bad font on Cracked.

We, as in MeFi, have responded to favourably to Cracked articles on many occasions.

This is good. It would still be good if published by someone else.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:27 PM on July 23 [5 favorites]


See, I'm fine with using "like" to introduce a line of dialogue. It just seems bizarre as fuck to insist on putting commas before and after it when you use it that way.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:27 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


A border collie walks into a bar with a cow. Bartender says "herd it."
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:31 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


A meteorologist walks into a bar. Bartender asks what he'd like to drink, he says "nothing". Bartender says, "come on, we've got beer, wine, spirits, what'll you have?" Again, "nothing, thanks." The bartender says "seriously, you have to order something, it's a bar." The metorologist snorts and says, "if this is a bar I'd hate to see what you call high pressure."
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:33 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


George_Spiggott: "All that and somehow no tragic back story to the fact that a goddamn genie is apparently a permanent resident of the men's room of a bar."

Phenomenal cosmic powers! [sh]Itty bitty living space!
posted by Mitheral at 6:08 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


A whale walks into a bar

The version I heard was: "two whales are sitting in a bar, and one turns to the other one and says [whale noises for as long as you can possibly maintain it]

...and then the other whale turns to him and says 'dude, you're WASTED.'"
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:12 PM on July 23 [22 favorites]


Also, on the topic of derailing classic jokes: the other day I got an opportunity I had been waiting YEARS for. I was in a restaurant with a friend of mine, and he commented favorably upon the atmosphere of the place.

Barely able to contain my glee I asked him, "oh, speaking of that- did you hear about that restaurant on the moon?"

He rolled his eyes and said no, he hadn't, what about it?

"There was an explosive decompression. There were no survivors."
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:14 PM on July 23 [13 favorites]


"See, I'm fine with using 'like' to introduce a line of dialogue. It just seems bizarre as fuck to insist on putting commas before and after it when you use it that way."

It's representing how that sentence was (fictionally) spoken. Some people will sometimes pause before discourse particle like. I'd be interested in some linguistic research on this. Intuitively, to me, it emphasizes its discourse particle usage.

This isn't uncommon -- discourse particle say (meaning "here's an example") and well (meaning, um, some kind of signaling that's not dissimilar to the preceding um) both appear frequently in my writing will often be preceded and followed by a comma. That's how I'd say it, and I'd say it that way because I'm emphasizing that it's a discourse particle.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:18 PM on July 23


Brian Doyle-Murray's Stand Up Routine From The 1970s

That's amazing. Brian Doyle-Murray is of course also one of our finest rappers.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:18 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


And of course, there's the ever-popular one where you wait for a V of geese or ducks to fly overhead and casually say:

"Hey, know why one side of the V is longer than the other?"

"No, why?"

"More birds on that side."
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:20 PM on July 23 [9 favorites]


-- a synecdoche of the whole piece.
How to pronounce 'synecdoche'.
posted by smcameron at 6:24 PM on July 23 [8 favorites]


but here's the real question: how did the foot-tall pianist drive a van?
posted by kagredon at 6:26 PM on July 23


Loved the story.

Also, from smcameron's link, love the pronunciation videos, especially pneumonia.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:52 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


It's representing how that sentence was (fictionally) spoken. Some people will sometimes pause before discourse particle like. I'd be interested in some linguistic research on this. Intuitively, to me, it emphasizes its discourse particle usage.

For me there's a difference between quotative "like" (introducing a line of quoted dialogue) and discourse particle "like."

So I would say "It had to be, like, fifty miles away" with pauses before and after "like."

But I would say "And then I'm like, 'that's no lady, that's my wife'" with a pause after "like" but not before.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:07 PM on July 23 [7 favorites]


37!

posted by Herodios at 4:25 PM on July 23 [+] [!]



. . . nothing.


I never could do a convincing French accent.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:07 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


That was fantastic. Thanks!
posted by rtha at 7:21 PM on July 23


There is such a lovely soaring goodness about Simon Rich's stories.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:57 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


That bartender better wrap his new boyfriend in duct tape.
posted by 445supermag at 8:10 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


A three-legged dog walks into a bar and says, "I'm lookin' fer the man who shot my Paw!"
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:12 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Dung!
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 8:24 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


A cop sees a clown motoring down the highway, and he pulls him over. The clown has a bunch of dangerous-looking knives on the seat beside him. The cop goes: "Hey buddy, whaddaya doing with them knives?" And the clown goes "I juggle them". "Oh yeah?' says the cop. "This I'd like to see." So the clown gets out of the car and starts juggling the knives.
Meanwhile the guy from the bar drives by with his wife. He sees the clown juggling. He turns to his wife and says: "Honey, I'm so glad I quit drinking. Look at the test they're making you take now!"
posted by storybored at 8:26 PM on July 23 [11 favorites]


Well now I'm curious about why the genie gave them the geese and the old van if he wasn't hard of hearing.

He needed to subtly nudge the bartender and pianist into their realizations.
posted by oddman at 8:32 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Well now I'm curious about why the genie gave them the geese and the old van if he wasn't hard of hearing.

He gave them what they wanted, not what they asked for.

Typical genie arrogance.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:24 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


That's actually kind as far as genies go. Most of them, ask for "world piece" and they'll just transport you to a planet with no one else on it, to die of loneliness.
posted by JHarris at 10:46 PM on July 23


Tip: Genies never let you wish for more wishes, but they'll pretty much always allow you to wish for fewer wishes!
posted by aubilenon at 10:52 PM on July 23


"I wish for more genies."
posted by rifflesby at 11:01 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Also relevant, the Broken Joke ask.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:34 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


I wish I had a genie that would let me wish for more wishes.

This way, of course, lies madness.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:54 PM on July 23


And what a genie would do if you were careless enough to spell peace as P I E C E, well, I wouldn't even care to speculate.
posted by JHarris at 1:00 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


How to pronounce 'synecdoche' yt .
posted by smcameron at 9:24 PM on July 23 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


I had to favorite it, not just because of the initial one, but because clicking the yt username led me to a playlist of these things, which as it turns out, is weaponized humor. I was crying about 3 minutes in, and by 5 had to get up and walk away because I was having problems breathing. I think I might have witzelsucht <:^(
posted by mcrandello at 1:42 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah, so this guy walks into a talent agent's office with a bunch of rough looking cats and a bunch of small road cases. The talent agent says "Get out, I don't book animal acts" and starts reaching for the phone to call his secretary. The man says "Wait a minute, this is no ordinary animal act. Just give me a minute of your time" and the Talent agent sits back in his chair rolling his eyes. After opening up all the tiny crates a series of small instruments are produced. "Can you believe I adopted all these cats as strays?" he says trying to butter up the agent, who is still completely unimpressed. One by one the cats wander over to the music instruments, and a scruffy siamese cat counts them off on the drums. The room is suddenly filled with some of the best dixieland jazz the talent agent has ever heard. After about two or three instrumental numbers one of the cats who hadn't been doing too much starts calling scat rhythms out to the music. The talent agent can hardly believe his eyes and ears, this was too much.

"Well you know I said I don't book animals but that was one hell of an act, what do you call yourselves?" he asked once they finally stopped playing.

The man looks at the ground for a few seconds, grabs his chin, and after another moment's thought says, "Well, we really haven't come up with a good name for the act yet. I thought I had a great one but as it turns out the Walt Disney World Corporation had that one trademarked and, well, I could never afford the lawsuit that would bring..."

"Yeah, I'll tell you what, we'll think of something." replies the talent agent.
posted by mcrandello at 1:57 AM on July 24 [7 favorites]


Someone completed the joke over on Reddit, and even mentions what happens to the geese:


So, the genie's like "Hey, I could totally go for a beer; thanks." And the four of them end up sticking around way past the bar's closing time, just getting drunk and telling each other their life stories.
Later that night, when they're all good and drunk, they take the van out to the lake and grill up one of the geese.
As the guy is eating the goose meat, he starts noticing this strange feeling- like, he gets really sad about the stuff he's heard on the news, and he also feels like everyone else is an idiot.
"What kind of geese are these?" he asks.
"Magic geese," the genie says, "They make anyone who eats them super compassionate and intelligent. Breed enough of 'em, and you'll get world peace." The genie gives him a look. "Like I said, I ain't hard of hearing."
So, everyone agrees that that's pretty awesome, and they all pile back into the van to go back to the bar for some more beer. But, along the way, they smash into a light post- because, you know, drunk driving- and the twelve inch pianist goes flying out the windshield.
Next thing he knows, he's in heaven- clouds, angels, pearly gates, the whole shebang- and his father's there. The first thing he thinks to say is "Dad? How'd you get into heaven?"
His dad's kind of taken aback "Twenty years of me being dead, and that's how you greet your old man? I fucking repented on my deathbed, that's how!"
The twelve inch pianist feels awful. "Dad, I'm sorry. It's great to see you again, and there's a lot we need to talk about. It's just... this isn't really what I meant when I said I wanted to say goodby to you."
The dad relaxes, and gives his son an uncharacteristically kind smile. "Son, I'm sorry too. Hell, there's a whole shitload of crap I need to apologize for, and if it takes eternity to make it up to you, well that's what I'm gonna fucking do. But about that genie..." he pauses "Son, did you ever wonder why that genie answered wishes in a way that made you think he was hard of hearing?"
"I guess I didn't really think about it."
"Well, you see son," the father says, "you may be a twelve inch pianist, but that genie is a gigantic dick."

posted by exit at 3:11 AM on July 24 [17 favorites]


How to pronounce 'synecdoche' yt .
posted by smcameron at 9:24 PM on July 23 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


mcrandello: I had to favorite it, not just because of the initial one, but because clicking the yt username led me to a playlist of these things, which as it turns out, is weaponized humor. I was crying about 3 minutes in...

They are utterly brilliant mcrandello -I just got to "phlegm"!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 5:18 AM on July 24


It's awfully heartwarming.
posted by acb at 6:03 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


I wish I had a genie that would let me wish for more wishes.

This way, of course, lies madness.


See also: eyelash wish log
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:43 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Also, would you rather fight a 100 duck-sized pianists or a 1 pianist-sized duck?

A pianist-sized duck, because square/cube relationships dictate that a duck the size of the average pianist would be unable to move effectively.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:54 AM on July 24 [5 favorites]


A border collie walks into a bar with a cow. Bartender says "herd it."

The border collie sighs and says, "You know, I get that a lot. But I'm a sheepdog, not a cattle dog. I mean, sure, I could herd cows if you really needed me to. But cattle really are not my forte. Thing is, I'm too tall to be a really good cattle dog; cows can get -- no offense, Elsie -- cows can get pretty unpleasant when you're trying to herd them. They kick, and can put a lot of force into it. So what you really want for a cattle dog is one of the stumpy-legged dogs, like a corgi or vallhund. They're kinda underneath the kick zone. Basically you want a heeler, not an eye dog like me."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:08 AM on July 24 [9 favorites]


METAFILTER: in the voice of Ira Glass for some reason.
posted by Fizz at 7:44 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


"Someone completed the joke over on Reddit"

I feel about this the same way I feel when I see an elegantly-drawn single-panel comic where the artist has managed to capture the essence of a humorous situation solely in a visual format and someone has found it, saved it, brought it into their copy of Paint Shop Pro, typed up the "punchline" of the joke in Comic Sans - and with a bunch of exclamation points at the end to emphasize that it's funny, do you get it? - and pastes that underneath this beautiful wordless panel, along with a red circle somewhere to mark the amusing bits of the illustration.



... which is to say I do not like it at all.
posted by komara at 8:08 AM on July 24 [12 favorites]


I was kinda hoping we'd finally have the small penis confessional thread that metafilter's been clamoring for all this time, but apparently y'all had other plans.

Yeah, we're all going to the bar.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:10 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Yeah, we're all going to the bar.

*Everyone is trying
To get to the bar
Name of the bar
The bar is called Heaven

The band in Heaven
Plays your favourite song
Plays it over and over
Plays it all night long

Heaven
Heaven is a place
Place where nothing
Nothing ever happens . . .

*Sung.
In the voice.
Of Ira Glass.
For some reason.

posted by Herodios at 8:24 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]


A whale walks into a bar

The version I heard was: "two whales are sitting in a bar, and one turns to the other one and says [whale noises for as long as you can possibly maintain it]

...and then the other whale turns to him and says 'dude, you're WASTED.'"


Or maybe, "Go home, Shamu, you're drunk."?
posted by aught at 8:26 AM on July 24


[debbiedowner] Shamu died in 1971. [/debbiedowner]
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:50 AM on July 24


So there are two sausages frying away in a pan. And the one sausage says to the other, "Gee, it sure is hot here!" And the other sausage says "Holy shit! A talking sausage!"
posted by mrbigmuscles at 9:17 AM on July 24


"I wish for more genies."

***Poof***

The room is full of bell bottoms, hiphuggers, acid-washed and skinny-legged denim pants.
posted by misha at 9:17 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


"I wish for a straightforwardly amusing punchline."
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:27 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


This was a great read but all I know is that now I am thinking of both pianists and penises and now I will get no work done for a day or so...
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:31 AM on July 24


Finally just RTFA and now I hurt from laughing so hard
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:45 AM on July 24


"Dammit," the new arrival says. "I wish I'd taken the L train."

Oh, you take the M train
And I'll take the L train
And I'll be in Brooklyn before you!
posted by thecaddy at 10:54 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


> See, I'm fine with using "like" to introduce a line of dialogue. It just seems bizarre as fuck to insist on putting commas before and after it when you use it that way.

So like you think it should like be written like this? Like I don't.
posted by languagehat at 12:34 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


No, you should, like, check out the subsequent comment where I'm like "this word should be punctuated differently depending on whether it's being used quotatively or not."

But maybe that's a distinction that nobody else makes?
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:48 PM on July 24


[debbiedowner] Shamu died in 1971. [/debbiedowner]

Sure; that was just my amusingly species-ist funny-name for the joke whale. Because it was a joke and all. I mean, don't you call all whales "Shamu" when you joke around with them?
posted by aught at 1:57 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Beautiful image of a blue whale slowly turning its massive head, bringing its eye right up in front of your face, and rumbling "Who you callin' 'Shamu', boy?"
posted by benito.strauss at 2:01 PM on July 24 [4 favorites]


"But maybe that's a distinction that nobody else makes?"

I understand why it makes sense to you, but you shouldn't insist that what makes sense to you is the only usage that's correct. Which you're not exactly doing, I recognize. But there does seem to be an implicit "this is bizarre-as-fuck and so is, um, wrong".

My explanation for those commas is that, superficially, the writer thought that in speech there would be a pause before and after like -- even when it's a quotative usage. (There's not the big distinction you think there is between "quotative" and as a discourse particle; I think the former is an example of one kind of usage of the latter.)

The deeper explanation is what I wrote above -- that the writer is very strongly forcing this to read as something that was spoken. That's why the writer is hitting both the likes and the commas around it so hard.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:15 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


A salesman is sitting in the reception area of a big corporation, waiting to give a presentation to some of the people there. He is kept waiting almost 40 minutes beyond the time of his appointment, and then he’s finally ushered into a conference room. He goes in, and sitting around a big table are two Jews, an African-American woman, and a gay guy of Chinese descent. The salesman goes into his pitch, for software or a phone system or something, and it’s pretty evident a couple minutes into it that these four people couldn’t care less, especially the younger Jew, who keeps checking his BlackBerry. But he plows through the presentation anyway, and when he finishes, everybody shakes his hand and thanks him. He goes out to his car and starts to drive home. On the road, his cell phone rings and he answers it. It’s his wife, and she asks him to pick up a couple of groceries on his way home. He says OK. She says, are you OK? And he says, yeah, I’m fine. She says OK. He hangs up, and this commercial for anti-itch powder comes on the radio, and it’s got all these country-sounding old people giving testimonials about how this powder completely improved the quality of their lives. And the salesman starts crying. Big choked sobs. He shades his eyes with his left hand so that the other drivers can’t see that he’s crying and says, “And I don’t even fucking care about this shit!”

-Andy Richter
posted by St. Sorryass at 10:18 PM on July 24 [9 favorites]


I liked the likes.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:19 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I'd bet the placement of commas was dictated by editors who were following the New Yorker style guide.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 3:51 AM on July 28


They are notorious for their strongly enforced style. But would they do that for literary stuff like this?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:30 AM on July 28


Yes. They do it for everything (though they've been slipping ever since [insert the date of departure of your favorite editor here]). You should read their correspondence with authors sometime; even Nabokov had to argue over commas.
posted by languagehat at 6:43 AM on July 28 [2 favorites]


"You should read their correspondence with authors sometime; even Nabokov had to argue over commas."

That rings a bell. Also, that's insane.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:12 PM on July 28


A duck walks into a bar. Asks the bartender, "have you got peanuts?"

This needs a ear-worm trigger alert for anyone with kids who has been repeatedly exposed to this alternate musical version of this joke.

…then he waddled away - waddle, waddle …
posted by Kabanos at 11:57 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


SMBC's take on the meme.

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=3437
posted by grateful at 7:27 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


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