Chiste Alemán

Chiste Alemán

German Joke

“Existe otro chiste, que cuando yo estaba en la escuela primaria un compañero me lo contó. Y lo contaba con mucha gracia. El chiste es bueno, era la época de Adolfo Hitler. Entonces, resulta que Adolfo Hitler tenia para atender al pueblo, de su parte, unos inspectores que iban a revisar las cosas que hicieran falta en las colonias. Llegaba el inspector y les preguntaba que cual era el problema que tenían. Entonces llego a una colonia, y en esa colonia, pregunto si necesitaban algún servicio. Un señor ahí dijo que necesitaba que le destaparan el baño. Bueno, paso la siguiente semana, volvió el inspector,  y encontró que el mismo señor, no tenia la mano levantada en el “Hail Hitler!” como era la costumbre. El inspector, bastante molesto, le pregunto que porque no alzaba la mano, y el señor le respondió que todavía no le habían destapado el baño. Así pasaron varias semanas, y siempre la misma persona con la misma queja, no alzando la mano. Finalmente, un día regreso el inspector y encontró al mismo señor levantando la mano. Y dijo, ‘Ay que bueno! Ya le resolvieron su problema!” Pero el señor contesto, ‘No, es que así ya esta hasta este alto el excusado de caca!’”

“There’s another joke, that one of my classmates told me when I was in elementary school. He told it very well. The joke is a good one, it was the time of Adolf Hitler. Anyway, it turns out that Adolf Hitler had, to attend to the needs of the German people, some inspectors who went to look around and check that nothing was going missing or wrong around the neighborhoods. The inspector would arrive and ask the people what the  problem was that they were having. So one day he arrived in a certain neighborhood, and asked the residents if then needed some service. A man there said that he needed someone to unclog his toilet. Upon returning the following week, the inspector noticed that the same man who had requested the service, was not raising his hand in the “Hail Hitler” salute that was the custom. The inspector, being somewhat upset by this, asked him why he wasn’t raising his hand, and the man replied that no one had come to fix his toilet yet. In this same way many weeks passed, always the same man with the same complaint, not raising his hand. Finally, one day the inspector came back and found the same man, making the salute. And he said, ‘Oh great! They came to fix your problem!’ But the man replied, ‘No, its because this is how high the toilet has been filled with caca!’”

My grandfather, the informant for this joke, was born and has lived in Mexico all his life.   He has seen the country change drastically and in many different ways over the 86 years of his life, and as a result knows a very great amount about Mexican culture, customs, and folklore. He often tells jokes, riddles and stories that he has garnered throughout his life, most of which he remembers very clearly and recites in the form a great storyteller.

The informant remembers this joke very clearly from his childhood because it was very relevant for the time period. He was in elementary school when Hitler began his rule in Germany, and this joke in fact, predates World War II, given that the informant must have heard it at some point during the 30s. The joke is very interesting, for although it uses dirty humor to get laughs, it speaks very truthfully to the state that Germany was in after World War I, when Hitler came to power. The economy and infrastructure were in shambles, making it very possible that no one would come and fix any problems, in ones house, for weeks. It also begins hinting at the fascist regime that Hitler would eventually enforce, with the detail of the man not raising his hand in a salute and being scolded for it. Although it is not a native Mexican joke, the fact that the informant heard it from a friend must mean that it had been in circulation at least minimally among the school children. It represents a joke that resonates both in a literal childish way as well as a more serious political and social commentary.