Joke from a German: First Night in London
It would appear that the employees of Eurosports are mostly stationed around our hotel. We spent the night hanging out with four cycling commentators (and former competitors). There was a Welshman, a Pole, and two Germans. Much was made of the fact that, just a few decades ago, we were killing each other and now we were all making dark jokes about the bombing of Dresden.
We talked about cycling in general as well as Lance Armstrong in particular (“Did he dope?” “Definitely.”). The Welshmen was very opinionated on the subject. He knew Armstrong personally and hated him. It wasn’t the doping exactly (“Everyone did it.”), it was the fact that he gave hope to cancer sufferers everywhere that was all predicated on a lie. I compared him to James Frey, whose false memoir made drug addicts think they didn’t need professional rehab, and he agreed.
We joked about our countries. However, my self-deprecating jokes about America were met with a surprising amount of resistance from the group. The Welshman made a spirited defense of the way Americans just “get up and do things,” unlike English who second guess themselves.
“Our athletes may ‘get up and do things,’” I countered. “But look in the stands. Most of us haven’t ‘gotten up and done’ anything in years.”
Not that they didn’t have good American jokes. One of the Germans (a hilarious guy who reminded me of Liam Neeson by way of Chris O’Dowd but, you know, German), had the best one:
“Why do Americans invade so many countries? So they can learn geography.”
The Polish guy had a good one too but I can’t remember it because his English wasn’t as good. I tried to come up with a rebuttal:
“I’d like to tell you a joke we Americans tell about the rest of the world but we don’t ever think about the rest of the world.”
I was gonna say something like that but I was too drunk, I couldn’t get the phrasing right, and I was intimidated by how much more they knew about World War II than me.