Many of Freud’s disciples, despite the veneration they professed to their teacher, describe him as a cold and distant man. “Icy” is the word used by Hostrich. But you have to keep in mind that, at the time that Hostrich knew him, Freud was recovering from a regrettable accident he suffered while skating on a frozen lake. It just so happened that, when making a cabriole, the ice broke under his weight, and when they took him out of the cold waters, Freud was made an ice cube. It took several months to thaw him, which was the time when Hostrich had dealings with him. But either way, in general when Freud was in a warm environment, he was even too effusive, and even slobbery. It is true that in the numerous photographs that are preserved of him, he is always seen with a sour face, frowning and looking very unfriendly. But the people closest to him say that he had a great sense of humor. Above all, he liked jokes about the sewer system… although there are some who think that this is due to the laughter that caused him to learn that Adler had had to escape from an angry patient through the sewers. We must also bear in mind that Freud wrote a brainy essay on the importance of the sense of humor from the point of view of the subconscious, although it is true that he used the original manuscript to straighten a table that hobbled. On the other hand, he found it difficult to understand the jokes that were told, he didn’t see anything funny in them, and often laughed at the wrong time and with a forced laugh that looked more like a rattle. However, when he managed to capture the funny side of a joke, he would not stop telling it and laughing out loud. His disciples were forced to listen to the same joke fifty or more times, and from the fourteenth time the joke had exhausted its funny side, but they had to feign the same reaction as when hearing the joke for the first time. Once, Ferenzci, after hearing the same joke for fifty times became ill, and when Freud went to visit him at the hospital and started telling the same joke again, he tried to slit his wrists. But the quick reaction of a nurse, who stopped Freud from telling it, saved his life.

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