THE HALL OF FAMOUS JOKES
is walking on a downtown street one day, and he happens to see his
old high school friend, Harry, a little ways up ahead.
"Harry, Harry, how are you?"
he greets his old buddy after getting his attention.
"Not so good," says Harry.
"Why, what happened?" James
"Well," Harry says, "I
just went bankrupt and I've still got to feed my family. I don't know
what I'm going to do."
"Could have been worse," James
replies calmly. "Could have been worse."
A month or so later, James
again encounters Harry, in a restaurant.
"And how are things now?" he asks.
"Terrible!" says Harry. "Our
house burned down last night."
"Could have been worse," says James,
again with total aplomb, and goes about his business.
A month later, James runs into
Harry a third time.
"Well, how goes it?" he inquires.
"Oh!" says Harry. "Things just
get worse and worse. It's one tragedy after another! Now my wife has
Harry nods his head and gives his usual optimistic-seeming
little smile, accompanied by his usual words: "could have been
This time Harry grabs
James by the shoulders.
"Wait a minute!" he says.
"I'm not gonna let you off so easy this time. Three times in
the past few months we've run into one another, and every time I've
told you the latest disaster in my life. Every time you say the same
thing--"could have been worse."
This time, for God's sake, Harry, I
want you to tell me--How in Heaven's name could it have been any
James looks at Harry with
the same little wisp of a smile.
"Could have been worse," he
says. "Could have happened to me."
shot, please, drummer!
OF FAMOUS JOKES CONTENTS
Remains Is the Essence", the home pages of Max Reif
Baba, children's stories,
"The Hall of
Famous Jokes", whimsical
prose, paintings, and
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