Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Spotlight personality

Not only was Carl Michael Bellman a great composer of drinking songs, he had a whole genre of jokes named after him. One from my youth, before I knew it was a Bellman joke:
An Englishman, a Frenchman, and a German all died in the war and were sent to hell. The devil greeted them and said that he admired them for their bravery and wished to give each of them a chance to escape damnation. If any one of them could set him a task he could not perform, that one would be sent up to heaven.

The Englishman made the first attempt: one of His Majesty's greatest warships was sunk at Scapa Flow....can you restore it to its former glory? A hundred demons were set to the task, and it took them only 5 minutes to raise and repair the ship.

The Frenchman tried next: in the bombing of our cities, ten of our finest artworks were destroyed - can you bring them back and enrich our culture? A thousand efreets were dispatched, and the art was resurrected in 15 minutes.

As the Englishman and the Frenchman toddled off to eternal damnation, still pleased they had done something for their fatherlands, the German made his request: I'm going to fart now - can you paint it green?

Satan was baffled and the German was saved.

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