Archive for January 20th, 2011

THE SARTRE JOKE

20 January 2011

This is one of my vary favourite jokes, even though some people don’t seem to find it funny or witty.

The French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre was sitting at a café table working. A waiter approached him

‘Can I get you something to drink, Monsieur Sartre?’ he asked.
‘Yes, I’d like a cup of coffee with sugar, but no cream’, the philosopher replied.

A few minutes later, however, the water returned and said,

‘I’m sorry, Monsieur Sartre, we are all out of cream — how about with no milk?’

What’s not to love about this?  You do not need to know who Sartre was, or what he stood-for or wrote about. The joke still works: only if the café had cream in stock, could it not serve it —  the fact that they do have milk allows them to not serve that instead  Brilliant. Maybe it’s me, but this joke tickles places in me a lot of jokes don’t reach. This joke has made me laugh again and again over the years, because jokes do that — they circulate.  I look forward to hearing it again in a few years’ time, and enjoying it all over again. Blokes are like that with jokes, especially with Monty Python.

— Of course, it is even funnier when you DO know Sartre’s Being and Nothingness and the origin of negation

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