Betsy and I had dinner in town last night. Having not done this for a number of months, we had a lot of catching up to do. So it was that we were deep in conversation at our table in the corner, when some oul’ boy came over and sat down with us.
“Hello ladies!” he said politely.
“Hello!” we said back, equally politely, for we are well-bred and have sparkling manners.
“Would you like to hear a wee joke?” he asked hopefully. We did not want to hear a joke; we wanted to eat our dinner and continue with our conversation.
“OK!” we chorused pleasantly. He told us a joke so memorable that I’ve completely forgotten it, and left. We recommenced our conversation. Ten minutes later, he was back. “Here,” he said seriously, “did you like that joke? Like, really?” Kindly, we assured him that it was the best joke we had ever heard. “Oh, good!” he said happily, “Here’s another one, then.”
He told us about a Cullybackey man who only tied the left shoelace on each of his shoes, and, when questioned about it, pointed to the stamp on the sole, which read “Taiwan” (we did actually like that one). Then he walked away in the manner of one who has just completed an important task, looking very proud of himself.
“So,” said Betsy, “you were saying you thought – ”
Joker Man was suddenly back at the table. “These two prostitutes -” he began exuberantly. “Here, this’d better not be crude!” I said warningly, all of a sudden fearing that he was going to start propositioning us at the dinner table. He assured me it wasn’t, and went on to prove that in actual fact, it was. “I don’t get it,” said Betsy dubiously as he was getting up to leave. “Shh! Just wave goodbye!” I urged, panicking that he would feel the need to sit down and explain the whole thing in graphic detail. He left us alone after that, but had to shake hands with us when we tried to sneak past him on the way out; for a horrible moment I thought he was going to tell us another joke. Or kiss us.