Via my friend Theresa
You’ve heard of or know the basics of the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch, I am sure, even if you haven’t seen it. A pet store owner sells a dead parrot to a naive customer, who then comes back demanding his money. Said pet store owner blithely comes up with outrageous explanations for the parrot’s state, denying that the parrot is in fact dead.
Well, it turns out the joke is old. Very old. It turns up in a recently translated group of jokes from 4th Century BC Ancient Greece, with a dead slave instead of a parrot.