Framing the Dialogue

Surprising Joke

I recently attended a workshop.  Pretty exciting I know!  Well after the introductions the first speaker got up and opened his talk with the following joke:

President Obama was visiting Queen Elizabeth.  As they were talking Obama asked her how she selects good people.  The Queen stated that she tests them to make sure that they are intelligent and promptly summoned Tony Blair to her office.  She gave Mr. Blair a quiz;  “if your mother and father had a child and it was not your brother or your sister who would it be?”  Tony Blair thought for a minute and answered, “it’s me!” the Queen smiled and Mr. Blair left them alone.  President Obama seemed impressed.

A few days later Obama was in the Oval office and Joe Biden came in.  Obama thought that this would be a good time to try the Queen’s riddle.  So he asked Biden, “Joe, if your mother and father had a child and it was neither your brother nor your sister, who would it be?”  Joe was very visibly perplexed and after a few minutes of thought made an excuse and left the office where he ran into General Patreaus.  Joe asked him the question to which Patreaus replied, “it’s me.”

Joe hurried back the the Oval Office quite please with himself.  “Mr. President the answer to your riddle is that the child is General Patreaus.”  Obama was outwardly disappointed by the answer and correct his vice-preseident.  “No Joe the child is Tony Blair.”

The joke is modestly funny, but the fact that a speaker told this joke to an audience with a lot of liberal members was cool.  The joke was met with muted laughter, but I was impressed.  I didn’t seem that long ago that one could not make fun of the emperor and his lack of clothing.  Times they are a changin.

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