As the lunch hour drew to the close, we asked Auden what he liked best about New York, and he said Jewish jokes. He asked if we knew any. I said I was from Los Angeles and couldn't really do a good accent, but my aunt from Brooklyn and my father told some good jokes. He laughed at the couple I told him, and then he told one of his favorites. A man from the Upper West Side goes to his psychiatrist. The doctor listens and tells him he is depressed and hostile. The doctor suggests a hobby or a pet, something to bring him out of it. The man says he lives in a small apartment; it would be difficult. The doctor says even a small pet would do. After several weeks, the doctor noted improvement and asked if the man had bought a pet. "Yes," the man said. "What kind?" "Bees," he replied. "Bees?" the doctor said, puzzled. "I thought you said you had a small apartment. Where do you keep them?" "In a cigar box," said the patient. "But how do they breathe?" the doctor asked.
"How do they breathe?" said the patient. "Fuck 'em."
from "Lunching on Olympus" by Steven L. Isenberg [The American Scholar, Winter 2009]