Taste the Soup

BACKGROUND: GH is the interviewer’s father.

GH: “ “Guy goes into a restaurant, orders soup. Soup’s delivered. After awhile, he signals the waiter. The waiter says “sir, is there a problem with the soup?”
The man says, “taste the soup.”
“Is it too hot?”
“Taste the soup.”
“is it too cold?”
“tASTE the soup.”
“Is it too spicy?”
“Taste the soup.”
“Is it too bland?”
“Taste the soup.”
Finally, the waiter, now exasperated, says “okay.” He goes down to taste the soup, and says “there’s no spoon.”
The man: “A-HA!
My dad used to tell me the joke, and I used to say “taste the soup” when someone finally came up with a solution to a problem, often one right in front of us. No one ever got it.”

ANALYSIS: “Taste the soup” is a traditional folk joke, one that has become specific family folklore. Eddie Murphy performed it in Coming to America, but my father had heard it for decades prior as a young boy. The punchline has been appropriated as a short-hand, which shows the joke’s dexterity and cultural staying power (even if not many get it).