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Why Waste It?

I put up a post over on, in which I had complained about the ancient joke about the Poles sending an expedition to the sun, in which they'd go at night to avoid being burned up.

I pointed out that jokes about ethnic groups that just point out how stupid they are are pointless, since the groups themselves are interchangeable, and have nothing to do with any actual characteristics or history of that ethnic group. In that vein, I provided an example of an appropriate (and I think funny) ethnic joke. I figured that, since I spent the time typing it over on Usenet, I might as well post it here as well:

A guy is walking down the street in Gdansk, and he sees a lamp. He picks it up, brushes the dust off it, and of course, out pops a genie.

"In reward for releasing me from my bondage, I will grant you three wishes. What would you like?"

The guy thinks about it for a while, then he says, "I'd like the Chinese to pillage Warsaw."

The genie scratches his head at the strange request, then shrugs and says, "OK, here you go."

The Chinese march in and pillage the Polish capital.

The genie says, "OK, now what's your second wish? Make it a good one this time."

The guy thinks about it for a while again, and then he says, "I'd like the Chinese to pillage Warsaw."

The genie is wondering if he hears him right.

"What do you mean? That was your first wish. They've been there, done that. Don't you want something else?"

The guys says, "No, I want the Chinese to pillage Warsaw."

The genie throws up his hands, and has the Chinese pillage Warsaw again. This time no woman is left unraped, no one is left alive, many of the buildings have been leveled.

"OK. You get one more wish. Don't waste it, like you did the others."

The guy thinks for a long time, and finally, he says, "You know, what I'd really like, is for the Chinese to pillage Warsaw."

Now the genie is about to have a fit.

"What are you talking about?! There's nothing left to pillage!"

"I don't care. I want the Chinese to pillage it anyway."

Well, the genie has to honor the wish, and this time, when all the festivities are over, the former Polish capital is nothing but a smoldering crater.

The genie says, "You know, we aren't supposed to ask these things, but I've just got to know. Why? Why, three times, you have the Chinese pillage your own country's capital?"

The guy says, "Look, they did it three times, right?"

The genie says, "Right."

"So, every time they do that, they cross Russia twice.


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on October 16, 2006 5:16 PM.

Emergency was the previous entry in this blog.

Safely In is the next entry in this blog.

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