Looking for a Guy Named Joe. And a Bun.

Posted: August 28, 2014 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Many years ago on the TV show Seinfeld there was a story line about George Costanza not having a witty retort ready when hit by an insult at a meeting. A group of staff, including George, are gathered round the table with a whole passel of food. Most people have a small plate with a few salad leaves on it in front of them, but George is picking shrimp off a platter, dipping them in some sort of sauce, and stuffing his face with them as fast as he can.

George, participating in the meeting, grumbles something through a mouthful of shrimp. Reilly, because this is the kind georgeof guy he is, says

“Hey George, the ocean called. They’re running outta shrimp.”

Of course, this was met by hilarity from the other meeting attendees. George just sits there with his mouth full of food and sheepishly smiles. But the wheels are turning. He finally comes up with the perfect retort (to him) and makes it his destiny to be ready for the next meeting.

Move forward several weeks and it’s the same scenario. Meeting. Food. Shrimp. Reilly. Once again, he snaps off his witticism at George:

“Hey George, the ocean called. They’re running outta shrimp.”

But George is ready this time:

GEORGE: (standing) Oh yeah, Reilly? Well, the jerk store called. They’re running outta you!

REILLY: (unperturbed) What’s the difference? You’re their all-time best seller!

Reilly and everyone else laughs even more than they did before. George looks angry and frustrated, even on the verge of tears for a second, then something occurs to him.

GEORGE: Yeah? Well, I had sex with your wife.

George looks round, smiling arrogantly, expecting laughter. But there is a deep, uncomfortable, silence. Reilly, looks stony-faced. McAdam stands and leans over to speak in George’s ear.

MCADAM: His wife is in a coma.

So what’s the point of me rehashing this episode? I have come up with a great line as well. I just have to find the right place to use it in with the rgoldight person and the right crowd. I can be patient….because I know, in the words of Seinfeld, that it’s COMEDY GOLD! And not just my own idea of comedy gold – this is guaranteed global comedy gold. You may remember my funniest joke that no one ever laughs at, but this one trumps it because it will look like it came off the top of my head. I’ll be an instant hit at the party. An immediate attraction to the ladies (apologies to my wife, but I can’t fend them ALL off). I will be quoted the next morning. I may even be tweeted. God. I COULD EVEN BE RE-TWEETED!

I’m going to tell you what the line is, but I’m asking you please not to share it with your friends – although you’ll want to. If I hear this line uttered somewhere else so help me I’ll track you down like the joke-stealer you are.

OK, here it is. You’re at a dinner party and you see Joe, your friend, starting to make his hamburger. He’s standing there with a bun in his hand. You sidle on up to him and say:

“Where you going? To shoot your old lady?”

Hilarity MAY ensue. However, this one may take a short explanation taking them back to the line from “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix – “Hey Joe, where you going with that gun in your hand…?” If Joe looks perplexed at my above questionjimi (as he might) I’ll have to explain that I substituted ‘bun’ for ‘gun’. If he still looks perplexed, you’re going to have to delve further into the utter humor of the situation and explain the NEXT line of the song as well. He’ll eventually get it, and share it with his friends as such:

“Hey – see that guy over there? He just dropped the most perfect joke on me ever. It took me a minute to understand where it was coming from, but when I finally got it I belly-laughed like there was no other belly laughing to be had.”

That’s what he’ll say. I KNOW it. To make this joke work, I need the following items:

  • A party where I go to that has hamburgers OR hot dogs (I’m flexible) where the bun must be handled separately from the meat.
  • At the party mentioned in 1) above, I’ll need a person named Joe. Who likes hamburgers and/or hot dogs. To be fair, it could also be a guy named Bo. Or I COULD just use the generic ‘Hey Bro…’ but that seems so impersonal.
  • This person will need to be over 40 and know who Jimi Hendrix is.
  • There must be 3-5 other people standing nearby for this to go viral.
  • This Joe-target person must NOT be funny. I don’t want a retort coming at me to overshadow my humor.

That all seems pretty likely to happen – so just be on the lookout for me to drop my Joe-Bomb at the next party you invite me to. That has hamburgers. Or hot dogs.

And a guy named Joe.  And a bun.

  1. A whole “passel” of food- really? I see we are upping the vocab. I wonder if all jokes are better when they are not spontaneous, in the moment affairs, but rather highly contrived, planned out, and anticipated. 🙂


    • Who knew it was spelled like that? At work we have little ‘quiet’ rooms that are called ‘telephone carrels’. I don’t know who started spelling things this way but bravo to them.


  2. As a long-established member of the Always Have The Perfect Comeback 10 Minutes Too Late club, I salute you for your forethought. And no, I promise I will never use your line. It’ll be hard to resist the temptation … but I don’t have any friends called Joe. Well, I have a nephew, but he lives about 1000 miles away from me. So we should be good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure. You SAY that…but what happens at the next family reunion, eh? I hope for your sake that it’s a fried chicken bar-b-q and not a hamburger/hot dog barbeque. You would be SO tempted to try it out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nope. My family reunions involve boerewors and pap. Rolls are present, but strictly for decorative purposes – nobody takes them seriously. The nephew is on the husband’s side … and their reunions involve turkey and all the trimmings. Once again, the rolls are an also ran. Do you think you could design a joke for pap? Or mashed potato? They look similar… It could be a totally multicultural joke.


        • Ok, now you forced me to look up boerewors and pap. So we have a cereal over here called Rice Krispies. Their ad slogan is ‘snap, crackle and pop’. It’s a short reach to offer up some snap. Crackle and pap. Boom. Instant joke that only us dumb Americans will get.

          But thank you for introducing me to boerewors. In return, I give you stink flipper for a truly Native American meal.


          • So happy to have enhanced your education! And Snap, Crackle and Pop had pride of place on our breakfast table, so your brilliant pap joke will work just fine. This is the stuff of international unity!


  3. writerinsoul says:

    Tim, you’ll have to start handing out crib sheets when you tell your jokes! Here’s wishing you find your moment soon – lest you have to wait till next season.

    (p.s. Kramer recommended the I-had-sex-with-your-wife line – and it was uniformly shot down.)


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