February 1st, 2007


Tell me a joke!

I'm very interested in the subject of jokes right now. I want to write a book -- "The Book of Jokes", no less -- which would begin like this:

"Why the long face?" I ask the customer, a horse.

The narrative would then backtrack and, in a realistic, sober, detailed and tragi-comic manner, tell the whole backstory to that ridiculous scene, with due respect for the full weight of human (and horse) suffering. That would be Chapter One; Chapter Two might be about my grandfather, who died peacefully in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers. Each chapter would state the joke first of all, then try to explain how the situation came about, who the characters are, what else is happening in their lives, and so on.

So I want you to tell me your favourite joke today. It can be as bad as you like, the sort of thing kids tell each other in playgrounds. I'm interested in jokes that sketch a funny scene with maximum economy, in the shortest possible space. Not jokes which hinge on puns ("What do you call a dyslexic hippopotamus?" etc). They should be situational, brief, absurd, able to conjure up pictures in my mind. They should also be things you heard orally, not stuff pasted across from websites or books.

So what's your favourite joke? Go on, tell us!