Dr. Goldberg was a renowned physician who earned his undergraduate, graduate and medical degrees in his home town and then left for Manhattan, where he quickly rose to the top of his field. Soon he was invited to deliver a significant paper aconference, coincidentally held in his home town. He walked on stage and placed his papers on the lectern, but they slid off onto the floor. As he bent over to retrieve them, at precisely the wrong instant, he inadvertently farted.
The microphone amplified his mistake resoundingly through the room and reverberated it down the hall. He was most embarrassed but somehow regained his composure just long enough to deliver his paper.
He ignored the thunderous applause and raced out the stage door, never to return to his home town again, until many years later, when his elderly mother was ill and he returned to visit her.
He reserved a hotel room under the name of Smith and arrived under cover of darkness. The desk clerk asked him, “Is this your first visit to our city, Mr. Smith?”
Dr. Goldberg replied, “Well, young man, no, it isn’t. I grew up here and received my education here, but then I moved away.”
“Haven’t you visited since?” asked the desk clerk.
“Actually, I did visit once, many years ago, but an embarrassing thing happened and since then I’ve been too ashamed to return.”
Trying his best to console him, the desk clerk replied “Sir, while I don’t have your life experience, one thing I have learned is that often what seems embarrassing to me isn’t even remembered by others. I bet that’s true of your incident too.”
Dr. Goldberg replied, “Son, I doubt that’s the case with my incident.”
The clerk asked, “Was it a long time ago?”
Dr. Goldberg replied, “Yes, many years.”
The clerk asked, “Was it before or after the Goldberg Fart?”