Personal synchronicity: less than half an hour before I saw this, somebody sent me (via Facebook, not by either e-mail or fax) a joke which, because of its political nature, can’t be repeated here.

But it doesn’t have to be, because the point of this post is that I told him I’d been hearing variations of that joke for decades, and my first was

An airplane was going down. On board were Henry Kissinger, a priest and a hippie. The pilot comes back to the passenger area and says “This plane is going down , there are three parachutes, and I’m taking one!” and jumps out of the door.

Henry Kissinger says “I am ze smartest man in ze world und I need to live,” grabs a parachute and jumps out.

The priest says to the hippie, “My son, I have lived a long life and am one with God, please take the last parachute that you may live.”

The hippie turns back to the priest and says “Don’t sweat it, pops, the smartest man in the world just jumped out of an airplane with my backpack.”

Does anybody know of a variation earlier than this one?


  1. SingaporeBill: Wow, I guess Kate Beaton (hat tip to Usual John) really called it on the way you guys feel about the war.

  2. Undoubtedly we, as a country, could learn from the long USA tradition of calm, measured, and proportionate responses to any attack or even perceived slight. Until then, better the jokes that exalt us than a single truth:

    Once upon a time in the Kingdom of Heaven, God went missing for six days. Eventually, Michael the archangel found him, resting on the seventh day. He inquired of God, “Where have you been?” God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, “Look Michael, look what I’ve made.”

    Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said, “What is it?”

    “It’s a planet,” replied God, “and I’ve put LIFE on it. I’m going to call it Earth and it’s going to be a place of great balance.”

    “Balance?” inquired Michael, still confused.

    God explained, pointing to different parts of Earth, “For example, Northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth while Southern Europe is going to be poor; the Middle East over there will be a hot spot. Over there I’ve placed a continent of white people and over there is a continent of black people,” God continued, pointing to different
    countries. “This one will be extremely hot and arid while this one will be very cold and covered in ice.”

    The Archangel, impressed by God’s work, then pointed to a large landmass in the top corner and asked, “What’s that one?”

    “Ah,” said God. “That’s Canada, the most glorious place on Earth. There are beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers, streams and an exquisite coastline. The people from Canada are going to be modest, intelligent and humorous and they’re going to be found travelling the world. They’ll be extremely sociable, hard working and high achieving, and they will be known throughout the world as diplomats and carriers of peace. I’m also going to give them super-human, unbeatable hockey players who will be admired and feared by all who come across them.”

    Michael gasped in wonder and admiration but then proclaimed; “What about balance, God? You said there will be BALANCE!”

    God replied wisely. “Wait until you see the loud-mouth bastards I’m putting next to them….”

  3. Phil, it would be wrong if we pretended that Canada did not have problems that need fixing. (NSFW due to language, but you’re all at home, so who cares? Also, contains War of 1812 reference)

  4. Phil, oh yeah, Bud. That’s beauty, eh? I just shared it with a USer friend and told her it’s our number 1 song this week.

    And of course Because News! And The Debaters!

  5. Geo Washington is discussed as having started the French and Indian War (called Seven years War in other countries). He was 21 and leading Virginia Colonial Militia with British Gen Braddock & his troops. They were trying to take Ft Duquesne (later Ft Pitt and even later Pittsburgh). Braddock was killed in the battle. The Seven Years War is also referred to the first world war also as it involved fighting not only in North American but also in Africa, Asia, South America and Europe.

    Never learned this in school.

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