Incipient bacon

Jews aren’t allowed to eat bacon because God wants all of it for himself.

This line came to me at work today and I blurted it out, to general amusement. But I immediately started to doubt myself, thinking “did I come up with this joke on my own, or am I repeating something I heard once but forgot?”

This is the problem with jokes, or inspiration in general: how do you know you were the originator? Especially when it’s a tiny nugget of an idea or a simple one-liner. It’s a pretty good joke, I think, but also seems obvious after the fact. Surely someone else thought of this before me?

But I don’t know. I’d like it to be my creation, but it might not be. There’s a long tradition of comedians “stealing” jokes, but how can they tell if it’s a case of lightning striking twice or plagiarism? Even the light bulb was “invented” twice, separately, simultaneously.

Here are some other jokes that I believe I wrote myself (but if anyone knows any better, please let me know):

I have a 32″ vertical leap… wait, I mean inseam.

Old maid to beautiful young woman: “I bet you have to beat the men off with a stick!”     “Who needs a stick?”

I went to an anarchist gathering last week… it was very well-organized.

“Doctor, I have terrible trouble with diarrhea… what are my options?”     “Depends…”

It’s free verse for everyone else, but you have to pay.

I was lucky enough to be able to study abroad for college… her name was Samantha.

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