You Motherf***er!

Philogelos 45.1:

“One night a student slept with his grandmother. He consequently received a beating from his father, and complained, ‘You’ve been having sex with my mother all these years without suffering anything at my hands, but now you’re angry at me because you found me having sex with your mother once?’”

aβ: Σχολαστικὸς νυκτὸς ἐπανέστη τῇ μάμμῃ αὐτοῦ. πληγὰς δὲ διὰ τοῦτο ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς λαβών· Σύ, εἶπεν, τοσοῦτος χρόνος ἐστὶν ἐξ οὗ τὴν μητέρα μου ὀχεύεις, μηδὲν ὑπ’ ἐμοῦ παθών, καὶ νῦν ὀργίζῃ ἐπὶ τῇ μητρί σου ἅπαξ με εὑρών;

A version of this joke is also found in Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Vol. 4 Chp. 29):

“—But this, Triptolemus, cried Didius, proves too much—for from this authority cited it would follow, not only what indeed is granted on all sides, that the mother is not of kin to her child—but the father likewise.—It is held, said Triptolemus, the better opinion; because the father, the mother, and the child, though they be three persons, yet are they but (una caro (Vide Brook Abridg. tit. Administr. N.47.)) one flesh; and consequently no degree of kindred—or any method of acquiring one in nature.—There you push the argument again too far, cried Didius—for there is no prohibition in nature, though there is in the Levitical law—but that a man may beget a child upon his grandmother—in which case, supposing the issue a daughter, she would stand in relation both of—But who ever thought, cried Kysarcius, of laying with his grandmother?—The young gentleman, replied Yorick, whom Selden speaks of—who not only thought of it, but justified his intention to his father by the argument drawn from the law of retaliation.—’You laid, Sir, with my mother,’ said the lad—’why may not I lay with yours?’—’Tis the Argumentum commune, added Yorick.—’Tis as good, replied Eugenius, taking down his hat, as they deserve.”

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