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Fixing Watches

Towards the end of the Cold War an American ex-serviceman was visiting Berlin, where he had previously spent time on duty at Checkpoint Charlie.

Now, as a visitor, he had all the time in the world in his hands. This did not, however, prevent him occasionally checking his precious Ingersoll pocket watch to make sure he ate at regular intervals.

On one such occasion he noticed that his watch had suddently stopped working, and, as he relied on it so much, his priority was now to get it fixed.

"At least" he consoled himself "the Germans are very good at this mechanical stuff."

So he carried on along the street till he came to a small doorway with a large watch sign over it.

He went in, to be greeted by a small Jewish looking gentleman behind a small counter.

"My watch has just packed up. It's a very good watch and has great sentimental value for me. Rather than replace it, I'd like to get it fixed, and you look like the ideal person to help me out."

He was very taken aback by the direct and emphatic reply from the little man.

"Ve don't fix vatches."

"You mean you're not open for business at the moment or you don't have the time or something?"

"No, ve don't fix vatches"

Perhaps it was his strong Southern accent that was putting the little man off.

"Well, I know we bombed most of your cities to a pulp, but it was in a good cause. Now you are here and free to carry on your trade just like before the war. So give me a bit of leeway here."

"Ve don't fix vatches"

"Look this is very important to me and I will pay you double the normal rate for whatever you need to do."

"Ve don't fix vatches"

"Well, what do you do then?"

"Ve do circumcisions."

"But you have a bit watch sign out over the door?"

"Vat you vant ve put over the door?"

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