Tuesday 12 April 2011

J is for Jokes

I am very, very bad at jokes. For a start, I can rarely remember them (the only one I have always remembered is so rude that there are few people I can tell it to), and I invariably spoil those jokes I can remember by telling them back to front (punchline first. Not funny).

John, on the other hand, loves telling jokes, and is good at it. But we disagree you don't find it funny, then you are not obliged to show more than minimal amusement. After all, the listener probably didn't ask for the joke, and the joker is sticking his neck out (and we all know what happens to people who do that). John, on the other hand, thinks that listeners are under some kind of obligation to laugh, because it's polite. To be fair, he does stick to his rule, for I have heard him laugh uproariousy at jokes which I know for a fact he has heard umpteen times before.

John has a stock of jokes, from the woman in the train (very funny**), the Lufthansa plane (mildly ammuusing), the bacon slicer joke (cringe) and the pot of paint joke, which has caused puzzlement to many of our friends, but which he thinks is hilarious, and persists in telling, despite my imploring him not to.

As I write this, the only jokes I can call to mind are very short and childish (grandchildren provide most of them).

Here's the latest from ten-year-old Harriet*:

Q Where do you find a tortoise with no legs?
A Where you left it.

And a contribution from my sister:

Q What do you call a boomerang that won't come back?
A A stick.

You see? I told you I was no good at telling jokes.

*She also told me a much funnier one, but I've already forgotten it.
** Just my opinion.


  1. hahaha you crack me up! Fortunately my husband does not suffer from that "joker syndrome", but I have seen a few people like John... and what makes me laugh the most, is that they laugh at their own jokes. That I find hilarious!


  2. I have a tremendous sense of humour and love to hear a good joke, but not that good at telling them.
    Must say I enjoyed your post.


  3. I'm rubbish at jokes, too. I can only remember one reliably and it's one that made me cry with laughter (I was clearly easily amused) when my Dad (also a terrible joke-teller) told it to me when I was about 10.
    Man in restaurant: Waiter, what's this soup?
    Waiter: It's bean soup, sir.
    Man: I don't care what it's been, I want to know what it is now!
    Sadly, a smile comes to my lips even as I type...

  4. Hi, Doris. Yes - John thoroughly enjoys his own jokes, too!
    Yvonne, I think there's a knack to telling jokes (never mind remembering them), and sadly some of us simply don't have it!

    Alis, at least your (lovely) joke is a clean one. I'd love to be able to include my very rude joke, because if I write it down I just might get it right. But it is not suitable for nice, clean-minded people...

  5. Love the photo Frances. That's funny.

  6. I can only remember the very short and very bad ones. Eg What do you call a donkey with 3 legs? A wonkey.

  7. Hi, Suzy. The pic was the best I could find!

    Patsy, I find the "what do you call a...?"* or the knock-knock ones the easiest to remember, I suppose because they're formulaic.

    *eg What do you call a man with a seagull on his head? Cliff (groan). I think the sooner today's over the better, and then I can move seamlessly on to K!

  8. "Better is Possible " - join the club!