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A recurrent feature in the Forverts is titled “Mishpokhe Khendlekh,” which may be roughly translated as “Household Humor.” In other words, it is humor fit for the mishpokhe. Indirectly, it makes a point: One can be funny without being smutty.

What follows are two such delightful stories. (The column is edited by Rukhl Schaechter.) The transliteration is by Goldie A. Gold, the English version by Gus Tyler.

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A doktor un an advokat hobn zikh bagegnt oyf a simkhe. Yede por minut iz zeyer shmues ibergehakt gevorn, ven mentshn hobn bashribn farn doktor zeyere simptomen un gebetn bay im an eytse.

Sofkl-sof, fregt der doktor baym advokat: “Vos tut ir, kedey di mentshn zoln nisht kumen tsu aykh nokh legale eytses, ven ir zent nisht bay de arbet?”

“Ikh gib zey eytses — un dernokh shik ikh zey a khezhbm.”

Der doktor iz geven shokirt, ober hot bashlosn tsu pruvn ton dos zelbike. Dem tsveytn tog, hot er tsugegreyt di khezhboynes un zey aroysgeshikt. Mit etlikhe teg shpeter, ven s’iz ongekumen di post hot er gefunen a khezhbm funem advocat.

A doctor and a lawyer met at a party. Every couple of minutes their chat was interrupted by someone describing symptoms to the doctor and asking for his advice. Ultimately, the doctor turned to the lawyer. “What do you do to see to it that people should not come to you for legal advice when you’re not working?”

“I give them the advice and then send a bill.”

The doctor was shocked. But he decided to do the same. The second day he prepared the statements and sent them out. A couple of days later, when the mail arrived, he found a statement from the lawyer.

* * *|

A politsyant shtelt op an oyto un zogt dem pasashir: “Ir zent ersht geforn 75 mayl a sho. Ven men tor do nisht forn mer vi 55 mayl a sho.”

“Nisht emes, ikh bin geforn 65,” entfert der man.

“Vos redst du, Max?” misht zikh arayn zayn froy, “Du bist geforn 80.”

Der mentsh varft oyf ir a beyzn blik un shvaygt.

“Ikh muz oykh onshraybn a kvitl farn tsebrokhenem fonar.”

“Ikh hob a tsebrokhenem fonar? Kh’ob gor nit gevust.”

“Max, du host mit vokhn tsurik gevust az s’iz tsebrokhn,” zogt zayn froy.

Er shenkt ir vider a kasikn blik.

“Um dertsu,” zogt vayter der politsyant, “muz ikh akh beshtrofn far dem vos ir trogt nisht ayer shutspas.”

“Neyn, ir farshteyt nisht! Kh’hob es ersht oysgeton ven ir zent tsugekumen!”

“Vos redstu? Du trogst es keynmol nit,” zogt zi.

Itst hot der man zikh shoyn mer nisht gekent aynhaltn. “Halt dem pisk, ishe.” tseshrayt er zikh..

Der politsyant vendt zikh tsu der froy. “Madam, ayer man redt tomid tsu aykh azoy?”

“Neyn, bloyz ven er iz shiker.”

A traffic cop stops a car and says to the driver, “You have been driving at 75 miles an hour in a zone with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour.”

“Not so,” says the driver. “I was driving at 65 miles an hour.”

“What are you saying, Max?” chimes in his wife. “You were going 80.”

The driver throws a mean look at her but says nothing.

“I must also write you a ticket for driving with a broken headlight,” continues the cop.

“I have a broken headlight? I wasn’t aware of that.”

“Max, you knew weeks ago that it was broken,” says his wife. He throws her another angry look.

“In addition,” says the cop. “I must ticket you for driving without wearing your seat belt.”

“No. You do not understand. I undid it when you were approaching me.”

“What are you saying? You never fasten the seat belt,” she says.

Her husband can no longer contain himself. “Shut your mouth, woman,” he screams at her.

The cop turned to the wife. “Madam, does your husband talk this way to you often?”

“No,” she answers, “only when he’s drunk.”

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