Gabriel Bennett

July 9, 2023

The genius of Hassan’s Joke

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

My parents gifted me a copy of “Fish Whistle” for my birthday one year. It was a delight to read from cover to cover, but I especially enjoyed the “Hassan’s Joke” story. However, I feel like I didn’t get the joke fully, until I decided to read the story aloud to a friend. Seeing his bafflement in real time, turning into laughter as the story went on, brought the story to life. 

A few weeks later, he and I went on vacation with some friends. We decided that we would test this further. On the first day, before everyone had arrived, I told the joke to a few of our friends. Later that evening, when everyone WAS there, I told it again. Just like in the story, the first time, there was confusion and bafflement over the joke, but with each subsequent telling, those who had heard it found it funnier and funnier. This continued, with me telling the joke at every opportunity, to tour guides, people we met at dinner, and so on. And sure enough, my core group of friends had to hold in their laughter as I laid it out for a new, befuddled stranger.

Anyway, this is not so much a question, but I just wanted to share that a bunch of 20 somethings got a great kick out of that story. Thank you for all of your stories.

-Gabriel Bennett

Daniel replies:

Thanks for telling me, and for your information, that story is a detailed account of real-life events, with not a single thing invented, which will not come as news to you, since you duplicated the experience and prompted the same responses.