Monday, January 25, 2021

Old Joke

 In Heaven...

    All the comedians are English

    All the cooks are French

    All the lovers are Italian

    All the service is Swiss

    and all the mechanics are German

In Hell...

    All the comedians are German

    All the cooks are English

    All the lovers are Swiss 

    All the service is French

    and all the mechanics are Italian

Dreadfully unfair, of course.  I like English cooking, or some of it.  Roast beef, Shepherd's Pie, Cornish Pasties.  Hearty stuff.  As for Italian mechanics, someone there must work on the Lamborghinis and Ferraris. I wouldn't know about the rest. We were only in Switzerland for a long layover and went into Zurich, but the service we had at the restaurant was rude, so I'm not buying that their service is universally excellent.  And I don't know the basis for picking on its lovers. I think five entries each is the proper balance for the joke, so the Swiss got thrown in because they couldn't think of anything for Scandinavians or Dutch or whatever. Graham Chapman of Monty Python might agree about the German comedians, though.

I asked a Romanian friend if there was a way to construct something similar involving Romanians and Hungarians and he said it must be easy - then laughed because after five minutes of trying he couldn't think of anything that worked.



james said...

Funny how stereotypes can change sometimes : Twain got a laugh out of this line:
"I stayed out in the woods till 4 p. m., to let the weather moderate and then turned up at the station just in time to take the 3 o'clock express for Zurich along with the Expedition, "

But these days the Swiss are thought of as models of punctuality (and with my limited experience of Swiss trains, they were).

Uncle Bill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna B. said...

Where I heard this, I don't remember: The French learned to make wonderful sauces because the meat was either tough or near rancid.

The joke on Italian mechanics is that someone must always work on Lamborghinis and Ferraris. Though, I knew someone who ended up with their only vehicle being a Jaguar because it was, as usual, in the shop when their neighborhood flooded. Why no mention of English mechanics or lovers?

@james - It was Mussolini made the trains run on time!

Uncle Bill said...

In the version I like, the police in Heaven are English, and in Hell are German. Grossly unfair, but fits the stereotypes well enough to be funny.

As an aside, your comment service did not want to let me type the word "Hell" . Kept changing it to bell. Awkward for a blog that deals with religious matters.

james said...

@Donna--I read that the train claim was untrue

WRT Swiss lovers--According to google the population growth rate in Switzerland is higher than in France, and than in the US. Immigration no doubt confounds the correlation somewhat...

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I had heard that Mussolini made the trains run closer to on time, but still not very close. It depends on what your expectations are, I suppose.

As for meat going bad, that is the background of many spices and sauces in many countries. The prized "ethnic foods" that people bring here from the old country usually fall into two classes: vile stuff made from the worst leftover parts of an animal, made palatable with what skill they had, which was typical fare for 90% of the populace - and emigrants to the US and Canada were not often drawn from the upper 10%; or holiday, special meals, that the poor seldom or never could afford that they bought in joy as soon as they had a few dollars here. The Irish and corned beef is an example. They usually couldn't afford it in Ireland, and many who packed it up for export to the English and other rich countries were deeply envious and resentful. To be able to eat it here was deeply satisfying.

Donna B. said...

I needed the sarcasm tag on trains running on time. My understanding of it was that it was "decreed" that whatever the time was, it was on time.

Honestly, I am thrilled that I don't have to eat what my ancestors (and yours!) ate.