I work in construction in NYC, almost always with all men, most of whom are looking for a cheap laugh usually at someone else’s expense. Over the years, I’ve grown accustomed to the usual gags and perpetrated some myself. Oftentimes, we will ask a brand new apprentice to go and ask around for something that doesn’t exist like a sky hook or a bucket of steam. I once sent a gullible young man to the union hall to get a column stretcher. And don’t come back until they give it to you, I admonished. It’s akin to sending a first day freshman to the phantom pool on the third floor of the high school.
Yesterday, I got off two jokes on the assistant super, an unusual feat. Neither joke is mine, but I’ve used them many times over the years. He’s a young fellow, not new to the business, and apparently more innocent than most. We were talking for a bit among a bunch of my crew when I asked him, Do you know where they put the henway?
The henway, the henway. What have they done with it? I insisted.
What’s a hen weigh? He fell neatly in my trap.
About 5 pounds, I replied, straightfaced. My men laughed.
Sensing I might get away with it, I got him with the second joke: Jeez, I said. You’re a bit of a rube. You never heard that one before? Here’s a second one; you can use it yourself some day.
How do you keep an idiot in suspense? I asked, turning to walk away.
I dunno, how?
I kept walking.
*As bugs bunny would say.
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