January 24, 2010

Politically Incorrect Sunday

In grade school we told jokes on the play ground.

Knock knock. Who's there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you glad I didn't say banana?

What's black and white and red all over? A newspaper.

We made fun of different races - for some reason the Polish were popular:

How many Pollocks does it take to change a lightbulb? (I forget how many.)

There were the Chinese jokes that either zeroed in on the inability of Chinese people to pronounce the letter 'R' or else made fun of their names.

'Yellow River' by We Pee Freely.

Incidentally, the Germans have their own version of these jokes.

What do you call a Chinese butcher? Ping Sau Hi (in Bavarian this means, 'Bang! Pig Dead').

None of these are particularly funny (unless you're 6, in which case they're hilarious) but at least the humor is comprehensible.

Years ago when I was a starry eyed computer programmer we had a global team meeting in Madrid. Yes, those were really the days. One night at a tapas bar a French colleague tried gamely to explain several French jokes with absolutely no success.

For example, there was this story about a small dog crossing a busy street in which the humor lies in the double meaning of the punchline, which was, 'Bang zee dog!!!!'

Then, to everyone's surprise and increasing alarm, he collapsed onto the floor howling with laughter. 'HAAAAAahahahaha HOOOOOOhoohoohooooo WAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!!!!'

Finally he pulled himself together, reclaimed his chair, lit a cigarette and informed us calmly, 'It's funnier in French.'

I guess it must be. It can't be less funny in French.


  1. Yes - it must be funny in French...

  2. Too funny I would of laughed at the fact he thought it was so funny! Humor in different countries is a hard one to get! Easier with many beers.

  3. So, what do we think it means in French?

  4. I think the dog's name was 'Bang' and bang was also the sound of the car hitting the dog.

  5. FYI: It's spelled "Polacks." I think a pollock is a kind of fish--or a late modern artist known for splattering--neither of which are likely to change lightbulbs at all!

  6. Everything's funnier in German. Except maybe for bad rapping. No wait, that's funnier in German, too.

  7. Ah, the innocence of jokes for 6-year-olds.

    In Texas, we make fun of the Aggies.

  8. I remember how lame the jokes were back then! These are definitely things I would have giggled at.

  9. Ok, the French jokester...not funny ... you however, I find very funny!!

  10. My kids are really into lame jokes right now.

    What did the peanut butter say to the jelly?
    - Stick with me.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

  11. Yes, it must be funnier in French. ;) Princess Nagger's been having fun telling lame (first grader) jokes. She rags on me if I don't laugh as hysterically as she does. ;)

  12. Joke, not funny. Your assessment: pretty funny. Elly Lou totally nailed it last week in her jokey flashback blog. Whatever happened to jokes anyway...the non 6 year old variety are free of racial and sexual messages.

  13. I still crack up at the Chinese jokes.

  14. I would have started laughing AT him, then eventually fallen off my chair. Maybe he would have gotten it?! Love it!

  15. I remember telling Polack jokes when I was a kid, too. (Shame!) They slowly were replaced with dumb blonde jokes.

    The joke I hear around our house almost daily is "Why was 6 afraid of 7?" Because seven ate nine.


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