when men trade jokes back and forth, it’s like a reverse dick measuring contest in that the point is to come up wit the shortest or most efficient possible joke. the one who made the last joke in effect said “i’m better than you.”** i guess it’s more like the game where everybody’s holding a baseball bat and the next person tries to reach a tiny bit higher. the one at the end is holding the knob (whatever it’s name is; i’m sure it has one) – he’s got the weak joke, the one that doesn’t quite fit, i.e., the failed comeback, the “yeah, well, suck it.” it’s like the uncertainty principle. the difference between the information content of the words uttered and the information content of the words implied can’t vary too widely from round to round. the information content of the words implied increases in a certain way because the added implied words are to the effect of, “oh yeah, well i know that you know that i know …” (huh. so i guess it’s straightforward d*ck measuring after all. anyway:) hence (or something) the pleasure of getting a joke after a time. you walk around under the illusion you won – or fear you may not have. and then – bzzht! – you hadn’t won at all! HE’S keyser soeze.
**I’m being wildly uncharitable to myself and Others. There are (at least) two ways to take an interaction like understand a comic back-and-forth interpret comic sparring. One is negatively, as adversaries. The other positively, as creative partners. “I’m better than you” becomes “you’re all right – no YOU’RE all right” and so on.