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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One Response to “THE SARTRE JOKE”

  1. Doug Walker Says:

    Wanted: Schrodinger’s cat – dead and alive.

    -now THAT is a joke where you HAVE to know about Schrodinger’s cat or it just ain’t funny.

    So I take your point. And yes, Python lives forever.


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