16 June 2006

Good Start

Shocking headline in IHT for June 10 about African migration and how 80,000 illegals are "poised to migrate illegally to Europe".

Sliver of comfort in the body of the text where one learns of:

"a small vessel overloaded ... capsized off Malta ... 11 feared drowned ... the capsized Africans discovered by Italian fishermen who came upon people crying for help in the sea.

Trying to reach Malta from Tunisia ... Sixteen rescued, four in serious condition, three bodies found, eight missing."

80,000, eh? An uphill operation for our worthy Coast Guard custodians, whom God preserve.

I'd been asked to produce a typical joke *in Greek* and for my Greek class.

Lawyers are two an €vro out here, but *very* revered, so no jokes about what one calls 10,000 noble attorneys in Davy Jones' Locker.

What I have managed to cobble together in my halting Greek is a slight variation with a pleasingly relevant feel.

"What does one call a boat-ful of capsized illegal immigrants?"

One doesn't. They're crying to *you* for help."

"Very well then, what does one call 11 West Africans at the bottom of the sea?"

"Out of 80,000? Let's see ... maybe not a huge  start - but a good one."

It actually draws on a lot of good vocabulary that comes in handy elsewhere. It also gets a splendid guffaw, so they've clearly not heard the tasteless version involving attorneys.

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