Friday, June 12, 2009

more B-day mishugas

I can't say I've gotten much substantive work done this week, what with a thousand piddly errands to run, the girls on a truly crazy summer camp schedule, & much of my mind dominated by the madness going on in the corridors of Our Fair University. So I haven't really thought much about the "entertaining" half-hour talk on Joyce I'm supposed to deliver tomorrow (in "Edwardian dress, if possible").

A quick Google search reveals almost no decent Joyce jokes on the internet. The closest to funny is an anticlimactic thing:
Charles Dickens walks into a bar.
CD: Give me a martini.
Bartender: Olive or Twist?

James Joyce walks in an hour later.
JJ: Give me a Guinness.*
Bartender: Hey, Charles Dickens was in an hour ago.
JJ: mmm.
B: He asked for a martini, so I said "Olive or twist?"
JJ: mmm
B: Because, you know, he wrote this book Oliver Twist...
JJ: What a shitty joke.
Okay, so no jokes. What I'm really worried about is nailing the fiddle break on Paul Brady's version of "Mary and the Soldier."

*Convicted Joyceans know, of course, that Joyce's spirit of choice was Swiss white wine, which he described as "drinking electricity" – as opposed to red wine, which was "drinking beef."

3 comments:

aksm said...

Not really jokes (and don't know if it's your type of humor), but there are a few Joyce pieces in McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes that I found pretty funny. I'd excerpt one right now, but I don't have it with me at the moment.

Vance Maverick said...

I didn't know about his taste for Swiss white (obviously, I haven't been convicted). I approve his choice, as would M.F.K. Fisher. Alas, what little makes it out of Switzerland now is overpriced. Austrian gruener Veltliner is a reasonable equivalent, and often good value.

aksm said...

POSTCARDS FROM JAMES JOYCE TO HIS BROTHER STAN
by Martin Bihl

February 14, 1907
Dear Stan

I'm in Rome now. Still blind, of course. Listened to Nora describe the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to me. "Ooh," she says, "doesn't Moses have big hands!" Good Lord.
Jim

June 4, 1920
Dear Stan

News from Paris. In addition to being blind I now get migraine headaches. They're so painful I have to stop working so I can scream in pain for about three hours. I'm a big hit with the neighbors.
JJ

March 10, 1922
Stan--

Met some fat American today. Wants to be a writer. Wants to take me hunting. Put his gun in my hands. At least, I think it was his gun.
J
P.S. Still blind.

August 26, 1928
Stan--

Hired a new secretary named Beckett. Writes letters for me. I read them and I have no idea what he's talking about. One to the phone company starts, "The bill. The bill. The bill. I can't talk about the bill." What the hell does that mean? It means I am in hell.
jj

December 17, 1931
Stan

Greetings from Paris. Yesterday, my son said, "Let's go see Napoleon's tomb." Yes, let's, I thought. And don't let the fact that I'm blind stop us. Christ.
And even if I could see, why would I want to look at the remains of a dead Corsican when there are hookers flashing their hoo-hahs in Pigalle? Idiots.
J