January 16, 2008

Kafka Jokes

Most of the hits I get on this blog are suddenly from people who are searching for Kafka jokes. In an effort to be a good guy, I've decided to post the three I wrote way back in the '80s with a prefatory note here so that people won't have to go pawing through old posts to find them. Here goes:

The Kafka jokes were all written about 20 years ago out of sheer boredom. You see, one of The Many Jobs of Len was a long-term temp position with the quasi-governmental entity FNMA, better know to the mortgage lending and borrowing world as Fannie Mae.

I was enlisted as part of a huge effort to computerize and balance all the files of that huge organization. By the time I was brought in, the work of the group I was assigned to had been pretty much done. I did some idiot job for about two weeks and then was informed by my supervisor that there was really nothing else for us to do.

Fortunately, our jobs were not going away, just the work. Our group turned into a kind of social club, and we amused and entertained the 100 or so other temps on our floor. (Those poor schmucks had to actually work every day.) As part of my humble way of keeping myself from going insane, I used to draw cartoons and write poems and other strange things on the blotter that I inherited as part of my office furniture.

I filled up sheets with my doodlings, including one that was entitled, “Spot the Firesign Theatre References.” The Kafka jokes developed from a little drawing I made of a nondescript building. Under the drawing, I put a caption that went something like this:

“Franz Kafka’s last apartment, located on the third floor of the Prague Arms, which can be found next door to the Prague Legs.”

After six months or so of this amusement, I decided to get into the legal assistant biz. More proof about suckers being born every minute. My great victory on that job was this: My boss’s boss, Wayne, on my last day asked me if he could keep my blotter sheets. I hope he still has them.

And now, The Kafka Jokes:

Why did Franz Kafka cross the road? He was making a futile attempt to flee the horrors of existence.

Franz Kafka walks into a bar. He orders a dry martini. The bartender asks, “Do you want that with an olive or a twist?” And Kafka replies, “I choose despair.”

A traveling salesman named Franz Kafka stops by a farmhouse in hopes of finding a place to sleep for the night. The farmer reckons that it would be okay, but allows that the only sleeping space available would be in the bed with his buxom, young daughter. Kafka agrees and, after downing a sumptuous meal, climbed into bed with the nubile young woman.

The next morning, after a fitful sleep, he awoke to find himself transformed into a giant bug.

I know I probably should have come up with 362 more to make a page-a-day calendar, but three seemed like plenty.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed them. Feel free to pass them on to your friends or perhaps your enemies, depending on how they struck you.


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