I’d heard this joke before, but Daniel Handler tells it well enough in The Basic Eight that Beckie has had to deal with me regularly saying “Would I? Would I?” and trying to devise joke-variants ever since we finished reading it:
A man loses his job, goes to a bar and gets drunk, and gets into a car accident while driving home. When he gets to the hospital he is told that his eye needs to be replaced with a prosthetic. His recent unemployed status fixed firmly in his mind, he prices several models: an amazingly lifelike and amazingly costly porcelain model, a reasonably lifelike and reasonably costly glass orb and finally the bottom of the line, which he chooses. It’s made of wood.
He wakes up from surgery, looks in the mirror, and embarks on the life of a hermit for the next fifteen years. Heedless of the pleas of his friends, he refuses to socialize or even leave the house. Finally, a friend comes to see him, gets him tipsy and drags him to a discotheque. Our hero sits in a corner, hoping the dim ambience is hiding what looks like an ugly mahogany periscope dangling from his face. Then, across a crowded room—the camera swooping between extras—he spots a beautiful woman, sitting quietly alone, who stuns him from her feet to her—the camera sliding up her body—glabrous head! A bald woman! Someone who will understand his pain! Someone undoubtedly alone, because she, too, feels incapacitated by a medically induced deficiency on the head. Breathlessly, he rushes to her and shyly asks, “Would you care to dance?”
Her eyes light up. “Would I?” she repeats. “Would I?”
He turns and stalks away, but not before shouting, “Baldy! Baldy!”
The part where we come up with variants on this joke would probably be funnier if I provided an example of one, but I had to type this whole thing in because we read it on the Nook instead of the Kindle. When folks are pulling fixtures from the walls of what was the very last Barnes & Noble, perhaps someone will realize it all went pear-shaped when they decided to skimp on highlighting features for the Nook app.