A gestalt joke

I’ve been telling this joke a lot recently so I thought I’d share it here.

George the farmer has got to that time of year when his fields need ploughing. It’s the ideal time, and he knows the weather forecasts indicate that he’d be smart not to leave it another week.

Trouble is George’s tractor is up the spout and won’t be back from repairs until the end of the month. George decides to try and borrow the tractor of his neighbour across the fields. After all, the neighbour has just done all his ploughing and probably won’t be using it.

So George sets off across the fields to talk to his neigbour. He starts out thinking, “I’m sure it will be fine, he’ll be happy to lend it to me”

After a few strides, it occurs to him “Of course, I’ll offer to pay for the fuel…”

A few strides more and he thinks, “I’m sure it will be ok.. though some poeple can be a bit funny about lending things”

A few strides more…”Hmmm, I haven’t talked to him much lately… I hope he’s not upset with me…”

Later… “Well, he did give me that funny look in the village store last month… I don’t know what that was about”

Later… “Oh, I hope he’s not going to give me a hard time about this… I’m only asking, after all”

You get the picture, as he strides along, he runs over all the pitfalls that could await him.

Anyway, eventually George reaches his neighbour’s farmhouse and taps a little awkwardly at the door.

As soon as his neighbour opens the door, Georges says to him, “You can keep your blasted tractor you miserable git. I never wanted it in the first place!!”

I was orignially told this joke by a gestalt psychotherapist to highlight the value of separating our fantasies about the future from the observable facts of our experience. I rather think there’s a moral in it for most of us.

5 thoughts on “A gestalt joke

  1. Jack Yan

    There was a similar one as played by the late, great (in talent as well as physically) New Zealand comedian, Billy T. James. He spots a beautiful girl on a park bench, and begins thinking, ‘Whoar. What a spunk. Probably has a rich Daddy. And if we got together, her father would probably give me a job. … And before I know it, I’ll be there all hours, slaving away for the sake of these blasted kids while she’s relaxing at home.’ When he gets up the courage to talk to her, he exclaims, ‘Hey, you can tell your old man to stick his job!’

  2. Lee Bryant

    Gentlemen, you are actually referring to a phenomenon known as “Suljo’s bicycle” which is a mainstay of my own worldview. It is part of a series of what were originally anti-Bosnian jokes (Bosnian Muslims were the Irish of the former Yugoslavia in joke terms) and then re-assimilated (?) by Bosnians themselves during the war. These jokes alsways revolve around Mujo and Suljo (short for Mohamed and Suleiman) plus Mujo’s ever-suffering wife Fata (Fatima) and occasionally a golden fish (who they catch and grants wishes).

    Anyway, the ‘Suljo’s bicycle’ story is indentical in structure to those you quote above:

    * Mujo wants to borrow Suljo’s bike; as he walks to his house he begins thinking “what if it has a puncture … then I will say ‘Suljo: can I borrow your bike, and if it has a puncture I will fix it….” etc etc.

    * Mujo continues presuming various complications, each of which he addresses in his ever growing bicycle request statement.

    * Finally, Mujo arrives, knocks on the door and shouts: Suljo: f**k you and f**k your bicycle!” before walking off.

    boom boom.

    Plenty more Mujo and Suljo jokes were those came from!

  3. Dorie LaRue

    Hi you may use my email dlarue@lsus.edu> I am working on a novel. A character is a Bosnian who tells jokes. If you have some good Bosnian jokes please contact me. If you have thoughts on pre and post war Bosnian jokes please tell me.


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