I went with a companion the other night to the home of a friendly neighborhood dealer, in hopes of purchasing some cocaine. Unfortunately, we realized soon after our arrival that the only thing anyone had that evening was heroin, which wasn't at all what we'd had in mind. It took some time to extract ourselves politely from the small party in progress, once we'd realized our mistake; meanwhile, as my companion caught up with several old friends, I sat quietly on one end of the sofa and took in the room. The more serious dealer, purveyor of the unwanted item, was a large, peaceable black guy, who fielded the phone call of a desperate client with good cheer and some discretion. Next to him was a skinny, frantic white guy who, from the sound of later conversations, was looking to get into the trade - a kind of dealer's apprenticeship, I guess. At some point, an exchange of off-color jokes began, at first with rather average fare - nothing most people hadn't heard before. Then skinny white guy, on a roll, broke out the big guns - I think he actually prefaced the joke with a little disclaimer as to its offensiveness. "Why are black people so good at sports?" A jovial, anticipatory silence. "Because they spent their first nine months dodging a coat hanger." The next minutes - the slow, stoned, horrified looks; the distinct possibility of violence; the long, lingering awkwardness that permeated the room - all led me to suspect that this might have been the best joke ever told.


Kleine Fliege