January 19, 2020

Faith In a Time of Robots

““So a priest, a rabbi, and a robot walk into a bar. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.”

David had heard this one before, but he needed a job. He folded his hands in his lap and summoned the patience he’d learned sitting through Talmudic debates. He waved for Aiden Shure, Town of Our Own’s CEO, to continue.

“It’s a dive bar, lots of rough language from the other patrons, but the bartender says, ‘Father, what can I get you?’ The priest says: ‘Well, I have to lead Mass in the morning, but a wee nip can’t hurt. Gimme three fingers of Irish whiskey and cut it with holy water.’ So the bartender runs over to the church next door, borrows a bit of holy water, and makes the drink. The priest is satisfied, so the bartender moves on: ‘Rabbi, what can I get you?’ The rabbi says, ‘Well it is the Sabbath day, but if it’s not too much work I wouldn’t say no to a glass of kosher wine from the vineyards of the Holy Land.’ So the bartender finds a bottle of sweet Israeli red, and the rabbi thanks him.”

Aiden told the joke like he’d practiced it a lot while stuck in traffic. David braced for the punchline he knew was coming.

“So the bartender turns to the robot, which has been quietly listening to the other patrons. The bartender says: ‘Sorry for the wait. What can I get you?’ And the robot says, ‘Fuck you, kike-loving bitch—’ ”

“I think I know how the rest goes,” David interrupted. The joke was a modern-day Aristocrats, intentionally obscene, all the rage on streaming late-night shows. “I’m not super PC, if that’s what you’re asking.””

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