A Joke from my Father-in-Law

It’s well know around here that  ‘s father tells the best stories. His delivery is awesome, and they are always improbable and hilarious and often unintentionally upsetting to the American girl who has to be jolted occasionally into the Soviet sense of humor. Honestly, their whole family is a master class in oral storytelling–at Grandma Yelena’s funeral in June three of them–Dima’s father, mother and uncle–told the same story about their youths three times, in three different ways, over the course of an hour, and it was about the most illuminating thing I’ve ever witnessed. Also hilarious. Also upsetting. I will post that whole exchange at some point, I promise.

Today it’s a simple joke, told while Vadim was telling stories about how he took a side job as a trucker when he was an engineer in the USSR, (and plowed into a house while selling off 10% of the wood to the black market). However, I cracked up. My humanities peeps will appreciate it, I think.

A man takes his young son to the construction site where he works and tells the foreman: "I need a job for my boy, please help me out. He’s a good worker, he only needs something simple."

The foreman says: "Of course! We can get him working on this site right away, carrying and measuring and hammering, what have you. 100 rubles a month!"

The man says: "Oh no, that’s too much! You’re too generous! We only need a job that pays 30 rubles a month!"

The foreman frowns sadly. "I’m sorry my friend. For that kind of job you need a PhD."

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