Words & Stuff

jj: Girls and Boys Together

(8 March 1998)

Little-girl jokes form a small genre unto themselves. I've always heard these two told about little girls, for some reason, rather than little boys...

...There's at least one other in a similar vein, but I can't recall it. So instead I'll add a couple of little-girl anecdotes (of unknown veracity) about real people:

Finally, here's one about boys (I think my father told me this one):

Once there was a married couple named John and Jane. Unfortunately, they were very poor; when Jane gave birth to identical twin boys, they had to give the kids up to an international adoption agency. One of the boys was adopted by a family in Central America, and was named Juan; the other was adopted by a family in the Middle East, and was named Jamal (pronounced /h@ 'mAl/). Many years went by, and John and Jane finally came into some money and wanted to meet the kids. After many hassles with the adoption agency, they finally contacted Juan and sent him money to fly up and see them. They all had a wonderful time, got along marvelously, but like all good things this brief reunion had to end, and Juan went back home. Jane turned to her husband and said, "That went so well, we've got to bring our other son here and meet him as well." But John just shook his head and said,

"Ya seen Juan, ya seen Jamal."

I may have accidentally stolen the von Neumann anecdote from a Raymond Smullyan book. See the reader comments and addenda page for details.

Jed Hartman <logophilia@kith.org>