A New Pun From An Old Spoofer

Funny story written by Ralph E. Shaffer

Friday, 18 March 2022

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Typical first-year undergrad philosophy students

The young first-year philosophy professor faced a common end-of-the-term dilemma in an introductory course: one two-hour session left but four hours of ideas that had not been presented yet.

Moreover, he was losing his voice.

The raspy sound was a clear indication that well before the two hour lecture was over he would be too hoarse to continue.

Consequently, he had to be very selective about the order in which he put the subjects he would discuss.

Convinced that his voice would not hold out for two hours, he looked over his notes, trying to decide what could be omitted.

Could he drop that great Seventeenth Century French philosopher? Or omit "The Whores," that rollicking hour in which he mocked the zany philosophers from throughout the ages who had brought discredit to the discipline?

He had ended the first term with that lecture and received a standing ovation from his students.

While "The Whores" lecture was strictly academic, there were raised eyebrows among the Deans when they heard the racy title.

The college had a conservative administration and a campus which still had a student dress code.

So what should be put first when arranging his notes, knowing that he probably wouldn't get to the other topic?

He turned to a colleague for advice.

The older professor understood the problem, one that they all had faced at some time, compounded in this case by the approach of hoarseness.

His advice had less to do with the importance of the various philosophers than with protecting his young colleague's chance for retention, which would in part be determined by his students' scores on the standardized philosophy final exam.

The old professor didn't have to ponder his answer.

Knowing from experience which philosophical ideas and philosophers were emphasized on the test, he responded quickly: Should you put "The Whores" first or the Frenchman first?

Easy:

Put Descartes before The Whores.

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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