Jokes I Like to Tell
Once there were two tailors who had a shop together in New York City. One of them was an Irish Catholic and the other was a Jew. The Irish Catholic was named, naturally enough, Mick McHugh, and his Jewish partner was named Sol Bernstein.
Despite their differences in faith, they got along well enough, and did well together. In fact, over the years, there was only one significant point of tension. That was found in the fact that Mick would take his lunches in the shop, and Sol would always go out for lunch. That by itself was not the point of irritation—rather it was found in the fact that Sol would regularly come back from lunch having claimed to have met up with some visiting dignitary or celebrity. He was apparently networked like crazy, or talked as though he were.
Mick put up with being regaled with stories about the rich and famous, and did so for years. But as time wore on, he started to wonder if he was about to hit the wall.
A showdown came when Sol came in one day, and said that he had been lunch with the governor, the mayor, and the prime minister of Canada. “That’s it,” Mick said. “I’ll bet you a hundred dollars you did no such thing.” Sol looked at him with a curious expression, said okay, and pulled out his phone, and punched in a number. “Hi, Marsha,” Sol said to the receptionist. “Could I speak to the governor? Thanks.” In a minute, the governor was on, and Sol handed the phone to Mick, who, after he hung up, grimly handed over a hundred bucks.
But then the same thing happened again a couple months later. The president was going to speak at the United Nations, and was in town, and Sol came back from lunch with stories about what he had told the president. “That’s it,” Mick said. “I’ll bet you a thousand dollars this time.” And yes, the same thing happened, and Mick paid Sol a thousand dollars.
The following year, the pope came to visit New York, and sure enough, Sol came back with stories about how wonderful his tête-à-tête with the holy father had been. With that, Mick exploded and bet Sol his half of the partnership that he had no relationship whatever with the pope. Once again, Sol shrugged, and accepted the bet. The problem was that Mick insisted on face to face confirmation, and the pope had already flown back to Rome.
So the two men bought tickets to Rome, and flew there immediate. They made their way to the Vatican, and joined the huge crowd in the square out front. As they were being jostled, Mick lost track of Sol, and discovered that he had lost him. A few moments later, to his horror, he saw two figures come out on the balcony, and start waving to the crowd.
In disbelief, he looked around and started shouting for someone who could speak English. When he found one, he pointed at the balcony and said, “Who’s that?” The Italian replied, “I don’t know who the guy in the beanie might be, but the short fellow is Sol Bernstein.”