"Mussolini made the trains run on time." Historically speaking, this is not true, right? What is another meaning?
Mussolini is famous for being a bad guy but also making the trains in Italy run on time. You are right Masa, (while he was a bad guy) he did not make the trains run on time. (The train system did improve when he was leader, but most of this work had been started before he came to power). The above joke is a play on words using a homophone. (the words time and thyme are pronounced the same) So one man says that you can run an engine on any organic matter that burns even 'spices' (such as chilli or pepper for example) He then says the Mussolini made the trains run on 'thyme' replacing 'time' with the spice thyme http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thyme It is a really bad oyaji gag. But I still though it was funny in a stupid way.:Phil
The meaning behind "Mussolini made the trains run on time." is that if you look hard enough you can find positive things even in the most awful situations, but that doesn't change the fact that it is still bad. Sorry I think that is what you were really asking Masa. Right?:Phil