The problem, I've realized, is that I find these things funny for complex reasons that I just can't explain to others. It's not that they're not smart enough to get the joke; it's just that these things are funny because of a thick stew of reasons. If people were telepathic, most people would get the humor.
"Fortunato!" Or, alternately, "For the love of God, Montresor!"
At work, the stockroom consists of about thirty aisles, each about twenty feet long, bounded by shelves fifteen feet high. Sometimes, I will have to put something into an aisle someone is working in, just for a moment. Sometimes, someone will have to do the same thing to me. And at those times, I am inevitably reminded of Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado".
"A thousand times I had borne the insults of Fortunato," goes the story, in which the main character rets revenge on Fortunato by chaining him to a wall in the catacombs beneath the city, and then bricking up the niche. At the end of the story, the man calls, "Fortunato!" several times, to see if the guy is still alive, or what, but Fortunato does not respond.
The last thing Fortunato says is "For the love of God, Montresor!" as the niche is being bricked up.
I don't think many of the people at work have read much Poe, though. "Cask of Amontillado" is a bit obscure.
Onward, Rocinante! We ride!
Sometimes when I'm in a decent mood, and I am using one of the Wave mobile work platforms, I'll gun the throttle and say, "Onward, Rocinante! We ride!" It is, of course, a reference to Don Quixote; Rocinante was Don Quixote's horse, and sometimes tilting at windmills is a remarkably apt metaphor for my job.
[Name]? He owes me money!
Other forms include, "I owe him money!" and "She owes me a wedgie!"
In the movie Stripes there is this scene where Bill Murray and Harold Ramis have been "arrested" by the extra-cute MPs played by PJ Soles and Sean Young. Murray and Soles are walking past an ornate house, the home of the base commander, and Murray asks who lives there.
"General Barnicke," she replies.
"Barnicke? Barnicke?" Murray explodes. "He owes me money!" And he runs toward the house.
No matter what name I use, no one ever finds this funny.
As for the "wedgie" line: one night, when I had only just gotten up, I was thinking about Star Wars and I couldn't think of "Princess Leia". For some reason, the first thing I came up with was "Princess Oobie". The rest just came out: "Princess Oobie? She owes me a wedgie!"
And then I realized what I had said, and laughed and laughed.
In Azumanga Daioh there is this character who is nicknamed Osaka. She's a space case and a probable future engineer. There is a scene where the characters are on a class trip to Okinawa, and they are eating a local treat called sataa andagii. It's basically a type of donut or pastry. And Osaka says:
"Sataa andagii! Sataa andagii! Sataa andagii!"
"What is it?" Tomo-chan asks.
"How much did it cost?"
"Where did you get--?"
"WILL YOU SHUT UP?"
...for a variety of reasons--mostly because my sweetie is from the Philippines--I decided to try pancit guisado, which is a dish from the Philippines. And so I found myself, in an internet chat session, saying:
...over and over again.
In Star Wars: The Hidden Menace, Sebulba's pod racer sounds exactly like I car I used to own.
* * *
On the other hand, it is also possible that I am just too easily amused.