Yesterday in class, I posed the following riddle to my students: I will give you a list of ingredients, I told them, and you will tell me what the recipe is called.
2 Slices of Prosciutto
Crumbled Blue Cheese (Stella, or its international equivalent)
Is it an omelet? they asked. It is, but that’s a genre, not the name. Is it a cheese omelet? A blue cheese omelet? A ham and cheese omelet? Is it just called — Stella? Finally, I gave them a hint: if something is rotten in the state of Denmark, I told them, it had better not be those eggs.
Then finally, one of them perked up: Is it a Hamlet? he asked, somewhat tentatively.
Yes! I proclaimed. A Hamlet. Or a Hamelet. Or, if you’re being extra fancy about it, a Hamelette!
They’ve been living with the poor mad Prince of Denmark for the past week and more. And yet — not a single one of them laughed.
At least I amuse myself.