When asked what he liked best about New York City, Auden (I learned in a recent issue of The American Scholar) said "Jewish jokes," illustrating with one about a man, we'll call him Sam, who consults a psychiatrist because he has been feeling hostile and depressed. The shrink tells him to get a pet.
"But I live in a small apartment."
"Even a tiny pet may help."
A few months pass and the psychiatrist notices the improvement in his patient's mood.
"I took your advice about pets," Sam says.
"What kind of pet did you get?"
"Bees," the psychiatrist exclaims. "Where do you keep them?"
"In a cigar box."
"But how do they breathe?"
Sam puffs on his cigar. "Fuck the bees."