From ‘Zizek’s Jokes’

A peasant and his wife were walking along a dusty country road;  a Mongol warrior on a horse stopped at their side and told the peasant he would now proceed to rape his wife; he then added: ‘But since there is a lot of dust on the ground, you must hold my testicles while I rape your wife, so that they will not get dirty!’ Once the Mongol had done the deed and ridden away, the peasant started laughing and jumping with joy. His surprised wife asked: ‘How can you be jumping with joy when I was just brutally raped in your presence?’ The farmer answered: ‘But I got him! His balls are covered with dust!’

Two Men Contemplating The Moon

“Use the word obdurate in a sentence.”
“I can’t.”
“Why not?”
“I don’t know what obdurate means.”
“Oh. Okay.”
“Do you?”
“No.”
“So how would you know if I even used it the right way?”
“I wouldn’t.”
“So I could have used it in a sentence then.”
“You could have.”
“Where did you hear that word.”
“Yesterday I heard it used three different times by three different people.”
“In what context?”
“I don’t remember.”
“What did the people look like?”
“One of them was an old man. He was wearing a black overcoat and a scarf.”
“It was really hot yesterday.”
“Then another man said it. He was walking down the street and he said it into his phone.”
“That’s a little bit of context.”
“Not really.”
“You’re right.”
“And then a woman said it while I was standing in line at the market. She said it to her kid.”
“Well now that’s all the context you need right there. Was she angry when she said it?”
“No.”
“Was she pointing at the kid? Did she say something like, Stop being obdurate, and then she wagged her finger in the kid’s face?”
“No. She was flipping through a magazine and she showed a picture of a woman in a blue dress and then she said something-something obdurate.”
“Huh. Well, let’s look it up. Where’s your phone?”
“I didn’t bring mine.”
“I didn’t bring mine either.”
“You said we should come here and look at the moon without any distractions.”
“That is what I said.”
“It is a very nice moon.”
“Crescent moons kind of freak me out.”
“Whenever I look at a crescent moon I always picture a woman using it as a chair, with her legs dangling off, like a woman in a naughty sailor’s outfit, and she’s winking at me.”
“I think that’s a logo for a record company.”
“Which one?”
“I forget.”
“I know which one that is. That’s the one, with the guy, and the coke sting.”
“He got set up.”
“Yeah, yeah, and then he died.”
“No, I thought he went to prison.”
“Maybe.”
“He had an Egyptian sounding name.”
“I thought he was Italian.”
“No, no, wait, he was Jewish.”
“With an Italian last name.”
“Maybe he was half Jewish.”
“Was his mother Jewish?”
“I have no idea.”
“I can’t remember his name but I can remember that it sounded Italian and that he was Jewish.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means I’m done looking at the moon.”

A Citizen In Possession Of Extraordinary Capabilities

After years of responding to me with barely concealed disgust and something just short of withering contempt, it appears my brother is now able to answer my questions with a modicum of humility and graciousness. My brother, who invented a new type of solar cell technology, knows I’m going to ask him what he thinks are stupid and pointless questions, and I know that he doesn’t want to answer these stupid and pointless questions, but I ask them anyway, because to me they are not stupid and pointless questions, they are just questions. I see my brother maybe three times a year at family functions he feels he has to attend out of respect for our father and the memory of our late mother, and since I am not versed in nanotechnology for device physics, there is not much for me to discuss with him. Therefore I’m resigned to asking him questions like, How are you (to which my brother’s typical response has always been, “The same as the last time you asked me that question”) and, What have you been up to lately (to which my brother’s typical response has always been, “The same as the last time you asked me that question”). I saw my brother a few weeks ago and for the first time he actually made light of my stupid and pointless questions, but he was not rude about it, which, to me at least, was a breath of fresh air. For instance, several months ago my brother finally got married, and recently he became a father for the first time. I too have a child of my own, so when I saw him at Thanksgiving I asked him how it felt to be a father, a stupid and pointless question, no doubt, but one to which he responded with, “I’m sure it feels the same way to me as it does to you.” Then my brother smiled, slapped me on the back, and walked away. I know I should be excited about this turn of events, and I am, but I also know that the brightening of my brother’s mood has more to do with my father’s ill health. As soon as my father dies my brother will no longer feel obligated to attend family functions, and, as such, will no longer have to speak to me or tolerate my inquiries into his daily activities. After all, my brother is a busy man. His research will have long-lasting implications in the field of mobile communications.

Magic Realism

On his forty-second birthday his wife threw him a small party at their apartment. After dinner there was a cake covered with forty-two candles. Right as he was about to blow out the candles someone told him to make a wish. He closed his eyes and wished to be young again. He wanted to go back to a simpler time, when life was easy and he didn’t have to be so responsible for everything. He blew out the candles and when he woke up in the morning he was thirty-five again. No wife, no kids, and fifty pounds lighter. The first thing he did when he got up was look at himself in the mirror and smile because his wish had come true. He opened his closet and put on all the clothes he hadn’t been able to wear in seven years, like that cool blue windbreaker and those skinny black jeans. He was thirty-five and that meant he didn’t have to go to work because it was only when he decided to get married and have kids that his family cut him off financially, as they didn’t approve of his wife. He zipped up his windbreaker and drove to the last record store in town. He bought ten compact discs filled with the type of music his wife and kids could not stand, the kind with odd time signatures and wonky, expressive vocals. He drove and listened to his new music and smoked cigarettes and threw them out the window. Since he was skinny he saw no harm in stopping for some fast food. When he got back to his apartment he drew the drapes, locked the door, and turned on his computer. He immediately logged onto a site where he could chat and watch people have sex in real time. He opted to watch Kasey and Marcus. They said hello to him and he felt as if he was amongst friends. When he was done he thought about clearing the browser’s history and emptying the cache, but then he remembered that he didn’t have kids yet, so he didn’t have to worry about his daughters opening the computer and seeing something they shouldn’t see; and he wasn’t married yet, so he didn’t have to worry about his wife investigating his cyber-whereabouts and then lecturing him about how his patronization of certain websites made him partially responsible for all horrors of the global sex trade. He took a shower and walked around the apartment naked, which is something he hadn’t done in seven years. He air dried. He went to the convenience store at the corner and bought two packs of Twinkies. He ate one pack on the way back and the other in bed. He fell asleep while listening to the radio. When he woke up he was forty-two again. His wife told him he better hurry up or he was going to be late for work. His oldest daughter reminded him that after work he had to show up for her parent-teacher conference. His youngest daughter poopooed all his suggestions about what she should wear. He stood at the front door and zipped up his blue windbreaker, the front of which was straining against his belly. His wife looked at him and said, I don’t think so.