Wednesday, 28 December 2005

Joke

There is a website devoted to the "Spenser" novels by the American author Robert B. Parker. Spenser is described as "the most attractive and resourceful private investigator since Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe" but for Los Angeles read Boston.
The site was created by Mike Loux many years ago and has been carried on by Bob Ames since 1999. It is vast in scope and includes an Annotated Gumshoe section in which the devoted authors have attempted to locate the source of every allusion—and there are a huge number—in the books.
There was one which they were unable to identify and for ten years they have been inviting visitors to the site to provide them with the answer; the reference occurs in three of the books and is clearly the punch line of a joke—but what was the joke? I haven't read any of the books but when I came across the website I realised that I actually knew the joke and was very happy to end their search. This is it.

7 comments:

PerfectlyVocal said...

Oh...for a man with such a silken tongue!

~dawnne~ said...

that particular joke is MUCH funnier in Russian (it plays on variations of the Russian verbs for "go to", "visit", and "enter", wink-wink, nudge-nudge). thank you for sharing it -- i hadn't realized it was a recurring theme in the Spenser novels. i may have to go read them, now!

~d~

Tony said...

It sounds to me, Dawnne, as if the story in Russian is much more complicated and loses the crisp simplicity of the version I know. Anyway, please let me judge by getting hold of a Cyrillic keyboard and giving me the full version. Then I can get my friend Michael Pavlovsky to explain the finer points.
Incidentally it was he who gave me the short one and I doubt if he knew the other: he's led a very sheltered life.

PerfectlyVocal said...

Pavolv-sky - now why does that name ring a bell?

Tony said...

I have no idea. My friend's name is Pavlovsky.

PerfectlyVocal said...

Yes - I must learn to not make poor jokes - particularly when I spell them incorrectly. Every visit to your site is a lesson for me.

Tony said...

No, look here, Cal, you can't leave it there. Getting a name like that wrong is nothing, many people do. But what was the joke?