Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 7:28 pm | A Few Clouds 62º


She Said, Z Said: Joke Thief

What do you call a husband who says exactly what his wife just said, only louder?

She: You’re a thief.

Z: Did I steal your heart again?


She: Answer me this: When we’re out to dinner with friends, how many comments do I make in my soft voice that you then repeat for a laugh in your loud voice?

Z: None. You can’t prove a thing.

She: It kills me, because then people think you’re the funny one.

Z: But I am the funny one. If a joke falls in the forest and no one hears it, is it funny?

She: Is that a confession?

Z: I’m just saying. An unheard joke is no joke at all. It gets exiled to go live on an island somewhere, like the Island of Unloved Toys.

She: This sounds like a confession to me.

Z: Not even Rudolph can save comedy from the Island of Unheard Jokes. No nose is bright and shiny enough to cut through the fog of silent comedylessness.

She: You don’t even bother to give me credit. You say the same thing I said, only louder. Then you laugh so that people think it must be funny, as if my material needs a laugh track.

Z: The premise of your argument is flawed. It’s as if you think joke stealing is a bad thing.

She: At least when Robin Williams "accidentally" steals a joke from someone he sends them a check later. Maybe I should start charging you.

Z: Ideas are a dime a dozen. Here’s a dime. It’s all in the delivery.

She: Tell that to a real comedian. There’s nothing worse than someone who steals jokes from another person’s act.

Z: Tell it to Shakespeare. He’s the world’s biggest "borrower" of material, and I think it worked out very well for him.

She: When you repeat my joke verbatim, I don’t really think that’s borrowing.

Z: Of course it is. If I find a wounded and lifeless joke whimpering next to a soup spoon, it’s my duty to nurse it back to health. By sharing it with the table, I’m essentially returning it to you. Not only does that make me a good borrower, but also a very good returner.

She: Is that a confession? Sounds like a confession to me.

Z: Purely hypothetical.

She: If I say it really loudly that you’re a joke stealer, perhaps people will realize the truth about our relationship: I’m the ventriloquist and you’re my puppet.

Z: Sorry. I can’t hear you. I have some string caught in my ear.

She: You’re the Charlie McCarthy to my Edgar Bergen.

Z: I still can’t hear you.

She: Talk about selective hearing.

Z: Besides, most of the things you say under your breath are mean or petty, or somehow beneath you. Really, I’m saving your reputation. They may think that I’m the funny one, but I’m gallantly preserving the notion that you’re the nice one.

She: Wow. Aren’t you considerate? You’re a regular Emily Post of joke etiquette.

Z: I’m the Emily Post of joke etiquette. Ho, ho, ho!

She: See?

Z: What?

She: You did it again. Right there, in print. Well, in cyberspace anyway.

Z: You can’t believe everything you read. I think you taught me that after I quoted the L.A. Times one too many times.

She: You’re shameless.

Z: I don’t steal. You can’t prove a thing.

She: Yes, dear.

Surely She and Z aren’t the only couple to "share" jokes. Share your stories by e-mailing [email protected].




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