Three Dempenii walk into a wine-seller’s stall and ask to sample the wares, so the merchant gives them each a sip of his best vintage.

“It’s too sour,” said the first of the Dempenii. “I feel like I’m sucking on a mouthful of Median apples.”

“It’s too sweet,” said the second of the Dempenii. “I feel like someone’s jamming handfuls of candied berries down my throat.”

“It’s perfect,” said the third of the Dempenii, who didn’t even taste it. “If two Dempenii aver agree on anything, you know if must be a bad idea.”

-From a Linear B inscription pieced together from pottery fragments in an offal heap near Knossos on Crete. Written ca. 1300BC, it represents one of the earliest appearances of this particular form of joke. Scholars have tentatively declared it the source for all known ethnic humor in use today.