Since childhood I've been fascinated and irritated by the human tendency to make the same joke. Back when there were such things as subway tokens, and those subway tokens had a hole in the middle, I used to wear one around my neck. Over and over people would say to me something like, "And if you ever need a subway token, you can use your necklace." Which isn't much of a joke, especially not after several dozen repetitions. I understand that not every pleasantry is going to be of Groucho Marx caliber, and that one of the functions of jokes is less to be funny and more to establish a social bond between people, kind of like how rats groom each other, or like how the survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 established a rule that everyone had to shake hands with everyone else every day, because they couldn't afford any resentment when they were already pretty upset about having to engage in cannibalism. But still. It's very grating to hear the same witticism over and over, especially when each person who says it expects it to be received as if it had never been said before, and in many instances one should be able to figure out when what one is about to say isn't fresh and original. For example, I am in the midst of a seemingly infinite series of I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Sometimes it's I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy, which is even more frustrating, because there has never been any such thing as a "full frontal lobotomy" and now you've turned what was originally a very clever line into nonsense plus I've heard it sixty-six times already this week. But what appalls me is that Howard Dully, in his memoir My Lobotomy, mentions that people quote this line to him. What kind of psychotic asshole says that to a person who was lobotomized?
One I haven't heard anyone say so far is "I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy." Google informs me that I am not by any means the first person to think of this jape either.