Resorting to Anecdote
by Paul Violi
That French joke that I first heard decades ago?
First Frenchman: How are you?
Second Frenchman: My mother died today.
First Frenchman: Hmmm….At what time?
Second Frenchman: 10 o’clock.
First Frenchman: Hmmm…10 o’clock… .
Well, I told it to a guy yesterday
And today he told me he’d told it
To a couple of Frenchmen.
They wanted to know what time it was
When I told it to him.
I told all this to Michael and Tony
At Café Loup tonight
And they wanted to know what time it was
When the guy told me what the Frenchmen said.
I said because my class ended
On the hour and I had walked down
A flight of stairs to the exit, stopping briefly
To speak with a student
who seemed inordinately worried
About a late paper, I could say
With the greatest confidence that
It was exactly three minutes passed 8.
They nodded and said no more.