May 2015 Archives

The asparagus joke

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I was eating some asparagus just now and it reminded me of a joke Peter used to tell. It went something like this:

This woman was at a dinner party, and there was a platter of asparagus being passed around the table. When it got to her, she very carefully cut off all of the tips of the asparagus and put them on her plate, then passed the platter along. The woman next to her said, “Excuse me, but you seem to have cut off all of the tips of the asparagus and kept them for yourself.” The first woman said, “I know—they're the best part.”

My recollection is that Peter found this joke endlessly entertaining. He told it regularly, and laughed every time he told it.

But I have a confession to make:

I don't get it.

(And thus I may've told it wrong! I went and looked for it online, but couldn't find it. If any of you know a better rendition, let me know.)

I think that the idea is that the first woman is so self-absorbed that she doesn't realize that it would be polite to leave some of the best part for other people. But if so, I never found that terribly funny. And I may've completely misunderstood the point of the joke anyway.