Note: This post was a “sticky” feature for Fundraising Week, and was at the top throughout that time. Newer items from Monday through Sunday, including Sunday night’s news feed, are posted below it.
Summer Fundraiser 2017, Day Seven
Update from Dymphna: And Then They Rested — Day Seven
Each fundraiser has its own rhythm and rhyme. This one took a while to get going but then the jokes (and donations) started coming in at a good clip. The donations are crucial to our ongoing project here, but I now realize that laughter is indeed good medicine. I’ve even gone looking for jokes this week, just for the fun of it. From now on the theme of our Quarterlies will be jokes. More than ever do we need laughter to keep going.
The Baron keeps a careful log/graph of donations through each and every quarter going all the way back to the first Fundraiser in 2008. There was one year — I forget which — where we simply missed a quarter entirely. We simply forgot to ask for money, and yes, that inattention on our part did indeed pinch; the consequence was a period of beans but no ammo. We didn’t make that mistake again.
Sometimes events push these fundraisers early or late: who wants to compete with a presidential election or
Christmas The Winter Gala Season?? But mostly we’re on time if a little breathless. Even then, y’all inevitably come through, for which we remain most grateful. When you’re depending on the largesse of donors, nothing ever becomes routine or taken for granted.
For those of you who’ve been procrastinating, there’s the tip cup on the sidebar to the left of my words. And for our readers who not only subscribe but give extra during the Fundraisers, you are atop the pyramid for sure, up there with those genius DNA folks.
Now for my joke, especially for the Baron and serendipitously sent in by Col. Bunny. [I was considering doing one on virgins, given the Aztec image the Baron chose for this post. Maybe next time.]
A fellow consults his rabbi.
“Rabbi,” he says, “my cow is useless. She won’t show any interest in the bull.”
“Give me an example,” says the rabbi.
“Well, if the bull approaches her, she moves away to the left. And if he approaches her again, she moves away to the right. This goes on forever.”
“Hmm,” says the rabbi. “Is your cow from Minsk, by any chance?”
“Why, yes,” says the farmer. “How did you know?”
“My wife is from Minsk,” says the rabbi.
Heh. That’s my Bleg gift to the Baron. Better than a bag of cashews; jokes don’t cause weight gain.
Thanks to all you generous readers, including the ones who are bypassing PayPal to send their donations by snail mail. You have to go out of your way to do that… and, yes, you lurking IRS employee, the mail donations go down on our income, you gummint busybody.
The locations of Saturday’s donors:
Stateside: Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Texas
Far Abroad: New Zealand
Canada: Newfoundland, Quebec, and Saskatchewan
Australia: Queensland, and Victoria
Saturday’s update from the Baron:
Here we are at Day Six already — the fundraiser’s almost over. Dymphna will be doing the final day tomorrow.
These are difficult financial times, but even so, a gratifying number of generous people have dug into their pockets and sent in their gifts — we thank you all for your largesse. Every quarter it’s always a pleasant surprise to find that there are so many of you out there.
The week’s not done yet, but from the look of how it’s going, we’re probably going to be OK for yet another quarter.
And for readers who are new to our fundraiser: there’s a donation button as well as a tip cup on the sidebar of our main page. Clicking one of those leads to the donate page. For those who would like to sign up for a monthly subscription instead, click the “subscribe” button.
As you may recall, the theme of this week’s bleg is Jokes.
The day before yesterday I posted a list of punch lines for jokes that are too naughty to be told here. But there are other reasons why I can’t tell all my best jokes in this space. The need for audio, for one thing: the “No Good Jews Coming From Minsk” joke absolutely requires that it be told in a ridiculous phony Russian accent. If you can’t hear that, the impact of the joke is completely lost.
And then there’s the joke about the West Virginia Vasectomy. Not only is it too naughty to tell here, I can’t tell it except in person, because it includes mimed actions and requires a prop. Which is too bad, because it’s hilarious.
By the way: over the past fifty years West Virginians have gradually supplanted Polacks as the favored ethnic group for Americans to make fun of for their supposed stupidity. Eventually they’ll probably form the Hillbilly Liberation Front or something similar and march on Washington to demand an end to all the racist hate directed at them. Maybe by then there will be enough robots around that we can make fun of them instead — until the Robot Anti-Defamation League becomes powerful enough to shut us up, that is.
My final ha-ha of the week is another Soviet joke, possibly the best of them all. We’ve posted it before, but it bears retelling. It’s better told in person, so that you can hear the fake Russian accent, but it still works in print.
It was already dated the first time I heard it — Brezhnev was gone, Gorbachev was in, and the milieu that gave the joke its impact was fading into history. Nowadays only old fogeys like me appreciate this joke. So, for all you readers of a certain age, here it is:
Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev are riding together in the compartment of a train. The train is traveling across the empty steppe when it suddenly stops, for no apparent reason, in the middle of nowhere.
After twenty minutes of tapping his fingers impatiently on the arm of his seat, Stalin gets up and leaves the compartment. When he returns a few minutes later, he says, “Problem is solved: engineer has been shot.”
He sits down, but still the train does not move. The three of them stare out the window at the motionless steppe for a while longer, and then Khrushchev gets up and leaves the compartment. When he returns, he says, “Problem is solved: engineer has been posthumously rehabilitated.”
He sits down. The train remains motionless. Finally, after half an hour, Brezhnev gets up, pulls down the shade, and says, “Problem is solved: train is moving.”
Yesterday’s generous gifts came in from:
Stateside: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington
Far Abroad: Germany and the UK
Canada: British Columbia and Ontario
Dymphna will be along with the last of the ho-ho-ho this time tomorrow.
Update from Dymphna for Day Five: Beware the Bandersnatch
I’m outta the Dismal Swamp in which I was foundering the day before yesterday, Deo gratias. But I swan, time just flies when there’s a new malady every single livelong day. Makes getting up in the morning an adventure. Sort of.
I’d like just 24 hours without some new/old tribulation raising its head, like an ugly and Bandersnatch just waiting to pounce. Or slither. Or creep. However, today’s plague isn’t so bad, considering. I’ve left the doldrums of dysphoria far behind and since I was last here have sailed on into a stormy migraine and out to the sunset calm of the other side. That’s the great thing about migraines: when they quit, there’s some euphoria in the limp aftermath. Nonetheless, this is getting downright tedious.
Even more tedious would be the explanation for all my maladies. I’ll save it for the end of the bleg so I can go on with my job right now — a plea for donations: we need more beans, ammo and petrol. Plus, the Baron bought life insurance to replace the more expensive term life I’d had when he was a working stiff. That policy ran out in March. They insist on a physical when you apply for a new one and our insurance man called the B to pass on what the underwriter said: she’d never seen such a healthy low score for someone his age. I wasn’t surprised: the man is still climbing trees to cut branches. Lucky dog!
Getting my mojo back by begging for money works well. And when it’s followed by jokes — all the better. Maybe that ought to be our regular theme; we’ll get better at it as time goes on. Think of it: the Quarterly Joke-athon Fundraiser.
I realize I need to laugh more; it really does release endorphins and lower pain. Max, one of our commenters, left a few links to silly You Tube videos. Some show called “The Possum Lodge”? At any rate, the one I watched (I’ll get to the others) seemed to be Canadian humor; many variations on three men not talking about sex. Their antics reminded me of the “research” some years ago that claimed men thought about sex about every nine seconds. Even at the time, I wondered how they did the research and how they came up with such a low number. Nine seconds, my sécateurs!
Speaking of men I like, has the Baron mentioned our video man, Vlad Tepes? Our stalwart video man. I love Vlad’s sense of humor and I love his dog. They are fortunate companions for one another. At any rate, we tithe our donations to Vlad’s enterprise, since he gives us a wealth of material all the time. He and the B have become staunch friends over the years, which is all to the good. When one is tied to a website for much of each day, it is a beneficence to have a friend next to you on the bench, also pulling a similar oar.
Those endorphins again — the Baron sometimes leaves his office to tell me a not-suitable-for-work funny he and Vlad dreamed up, and it’s usually a variation on guy stuff, but funny anyway. Think Dave Barry, only not as well-paid. I like guy humor.
Anyway, Vlad has to buy techie stuff for his videos, plus the usual expenses of web-hosting fees and firewalls and ammo and beans. Not to mention dog food. All more expensive in urban areas.
One of my favorite parts of each fundraiser is sending his tithe to Vlad. Since it’s every three months, he never remembers the transfer is coming, so I title it “Funny Munny” just to remind him. I used to torture him by making him write a thank-you note I could post, but it became problematic quickly… no need to make him suffer any further. Those Canadian jornolists are stressing him to the max without my help.
Here’s my joke for this fifth day. It’s my litmus-test joke. If you grok why it’s funny, or if it just makes you laugh, then you have an inborn funny bone. If it leaves you scratching your head, you might be a Leftist.
Just sayin’, y’all. Check your pants.
The Russian Horse
A Russian guy was walking down a back street in Moscow, and saw a sign above a door that read: “See the talking horse, only 50 kopecks.” His curiosity was aroused, so he dug out a coin, paid the doorkeeper, and went on in.
Inside there was a brightly-lit raised platform surrounded by a rope barrier, kind of like a boxing ring. Around it were rows of seats where scattered spectators watched the platform expectantly.
On the platform under the bright lights was an old, tired, mangy-looking horse, half-heartedly nibbling from a nose-bag.
Nothing happened. That horse wasn’t saying word one. After fifteen minutes or so the crowd started muttering and booing. Someone threw an empty vodka bottle at the platform, where it bounced off the ropes and broke on the floor, to lie with the others thrown earlier.
Then a man came out of the backstage area carrying a two-by-four. He climbed up on the platform and gave the horse a good hard whack upside the head. There was a long, freighted silence in which the horse failed to react.
Finally, the horse turned his head slowly toward the audience and said in a mournful voice, “Why can’t I just die?”
OMG! The B just came down to tell me the latest news. It’s so creepily funny, I had to include it here. And it’s true, even better: it seems that Nancy Pelosi, the venerable Congresscreature from California delivered herself of a new solecism — or whatever you’d call it. A little background here: most Americans are familiar with Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ famous quote that “you can’t shout fire in a crowded theatre”. (That was 1919 and has since been overturned). Well, today the Honorable Dingbat Nancy Pelosi said the Constitution does not give you “the right to cry wolf in a crowded theater”…
Here’s the 19-second video:
She’s stupidly wrong, by the way: tell your daughter that if some strange letch in the seat next to her in that crowded theatre is putting his hand up her dress, by all means cry “WOLF! WOLF! HELP!” Whatever it takes…
I sure hope someone is collecting Pelosi’s malapropisms. Like the one where she mixed up North Korea and Afghanistan.
Good news! The pace picked up today, and more donations came in. Thanks to everyone who tipped that cup. And after my superlative Russian joke, I’m hoping there will be even more tomorrow.
Thursday’s donations rolled in from:
Stateside: Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas
Far Abroad: Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania, and New Zealand
Australia: Western Australia
Thursday’s update from the Baron:
Well, here we are in Day Four of the Quarterly Bleg, more than halfway through. This week’s theme is jokes; that is, the telling of them. Dymphna veered off topic yesterday morning — the German-Polish food fight in the comments had gotten her down, and dampened her joking mood. We’ll get back on track this morning with some jokes, but first a reminder of why we’re here.
This site is a distributed operation, with lots of people contributing their individual efforts to the larger endeavor. It’s the same with the donors — lots of generous folks who send in a modest portion of their hard-earned money to help keep the core of the operation going.
We don’t have any corporation or foundation behind us to fund a fully-equipped top-of-the-line website and pay for a staff to keep it running. Which is great — we have no one to clamp down on us when we say “racist” or “xenophobic” things. But it also means we have to scrabble for the wherewithal to continue with our rampant Islamophobia from year to year.
Therefore, if you consider what we do here important, and want to make sure it continues, please go over to the sidebar of our main page and click on the tip cup.
We welcome donations throughout the quarter, but we only bug you about them for one week out of every thirteen. We make ourselves annoying all through that week, but then we shut up for the rest of the quarter!
Now for the jokes — two of them, and then a special section on punch lines.
The first joke is another venerable Soviet artifact. As I’ve said many times before, Soviet jokes are always the best. I got this one from Walt Kelly, in a Pogo book published back in the 1950s. God only knows where he got it:
Two peasants are trudging across the tundra in Siberia, and happen upon the tracks of the Trans-Siberian Railway. One of them says with great fervor: “Oh, if only we had a loaf of bread, we could commit suicide!”
The other one is perplexed, and responds: “I understand that we could lie down on the tracks to commit suicide. But why the loaf of bread?”
The first one replies, “You could starve to death waiting for a train in this country!”
The second is a non-Soviet joke. It’s more modern, but still dated, because its context includes the wearing of beepers — remember those? From the 1990s — before the age of ubiquitous hand-held devices:
A little boy and his dad are standing in line at McDonalds. Directly in front of them is a woman of impressive girth, with a beeper on her belt.
In a normal conversational tone the boy says to his father, “Dad, look at that lady, she’s so fat!”
Mortified, his dad hisses at him: “Ssshhh! Don’t say that; you’re being rude!”
“But Dad, she’s HUGE!”
“Hush!” says his father sternly.
At that point the woman’s beeper goes off loudly.
The little boy yells in alarm: “Watch out, Dad! She’s backing up!”
Finally, for a change of pace, here are some punch lines for jokes that are too naughty to be told on a PG-13 site:
|1.||Oh my God, Big John’s dead!|
|2.||Well, then, buy yerself a thre’p’ny teacake.|
|3.||Yes, I did, but it kept leakin’ out the lace-’oles.|
|4.||I couldn’t, it were all in one lump!|
|5.||Doc say, “You gone die.”
I learned all of them when I was a teenager in the 1960s. Nos. 2 through 4 are from Yorkshire, and are meant to be told in broad dialect.
I wonder if anyone besides me remembers the jokes that go with them…
Wednesday’s generosity arrived from:
Stateside: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington
Far Abroad: Israel, and the UK
Australia: Australian Capital Territory
Wednesday’s update from Dymphna: Day Three in the Sun’s Shadow
It takes longer to get into the swing of the fundraisers than it used to… which is not the fault of the venue. Our donors remain generous and open-handed. But it’s been a rough three months since we Last Danced This Soft Shoe Routine, and the skies are even darker than they were.
Saint Baron, bless him, remains steadfast and true. His work is impeccable and continues to improve. He remains a joy.
Today, he went for his free, brave-new-world-socialist-medicine annual physical. No, he wouldn’t have bothered if they charged for it. The doctor was surprised that he’s not on any medications at his age. Nada. Just the vitamin and mineral supplements I researched for him when he developed wet macular degeneration — which has resolved thanks to the anti-angiogenesis treatments available now. He is so very fortunate his eye malady didn’t happen five years ago before they developed this treatment. [I often think, had van Gogh lived he’d surely have gone blind in that blazing sun of Provence. Just as the B did here for decades, Vincent went out in the sun every day, devoutly painting. It was their mutual vocation, Vincent to slather onto canvas every cypress in Provence, the B to portray with more economy every cedar in central Virginia. The difference being that Vincent’s brother Theo paid for his supplies.]
For me, during this particular Octave of Beating The Drum for money, the donation cup stretched out into the ether, is hard. Harder than usual. This one — my idea — is supposed to be about humor and wit during parlous times — and yes, the jokes have been funny (and the money has been real) but inconveniently, I’ve fallen into a hole. Again.
Here’s what the Baron observed in 2005, and it’s come ’round again:
The Love Song of Anne Hedonia
I vow that I will learn to love Dysphoria:
You surely will become my latest craze!
The question must be: How do I adore you?
It’s too much work for me to count the ways.
So here’s to misery! I salute you,
A succotash of suffering to behold,
And pray that no morsel of joy pollute you,
Nor ever turn my woeful lead to gold.
Bring on the armies of lugubriation!
Each gloomy foe I will embrace as friend,
And so await with dread anticipation
The melancholic dirge that knows no end.
My head is in the sand. My ass is in a sling.
Discomfort, ‘tis of thee! Of thee I sing.
It’s a drag on my soul when there are protracted food fights in the comments — why can’t we all just get along? Ah, me. I am entering The Silence. I hate this period, when my mind mutes itself.
Instead of my joke, here’s a bit of musical observation from fifty or so years ago. And it’s still relevant:
The Merry Minuet
by the Kingston Trio
They’re rioting in Africa
They’re starving in Spain
There’s hurricanes in Florida
And Texas needs rain
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls
The French hate the Germans
The Germans hate the Poles
Italians hate Yugoslavs
South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don’t like anybody very much.
But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud
For man’s been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud
And we know for certain that some lucky day
Someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away
They’re rioting in Africa
There’s strife in Iran
What nature doesn’t do to us
Will be done by our fellow man.
On that cheerful note — Tuesday’s donors hailed from:
Stateside: Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas, and West Virginia
Far Abroad: Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK
Canada: Ontario and Saskatchewan
Tuesday’s update from the Baron:
We’re roaring into the second day of our summer fundraiser — many thanks to all the generous people who have sent in contributions.
Dymphna has already explained what we’re doing, but I’ll outline it again, just in case you’re a new reader who missed the earlier explanation. This one-week quarterly bleg is how we fund the operation of this site. And expenses have risen, unfortunately: as many of you know, we had to move up notch in server capacity earlier this year, due to increased traffic. An additional layer of expense is needed to provide security, because we, like most dissident sites, are subject to DDoS and other forms of attack.
This isn’t the only source of income for us, but it’s the largest one, so you’re helping us get by when you donate. And somehow, for almost ten years, we’ve managed to get by. It seems unlikely, and providential, and we’re very gratified by the willingness of our readers to help out.
One other thing I need to mention: we tithe to Vlad Tepes for his invaluable contributions in the video department. Gates of Vienna wouldn’t have nearly the breadth and reach it does without Vlad’s videos, so we send 10% of what you give us to Vlad. If you want to increase that amount, Vlad has a donate button of his own at his site.
And now for the jokes. Dymphna made my job easy this quarter by coming up with the idea of doing jokes every day.
I’ll tell you a couple this morning. The first one is a vintage Soviet joke — Soviet jokes are always the best:
A flock of sheep hurried up to the Soviet side of a border outpost with Finland and bleated urgently to be allowed through.
“Help, help!” cried the lead sheep. “The KGB is rounding up all the chickens and sending them to Siberia! Please let us in!”
“Faugh!” replied the border guard skeptically. “You’re not chickens — you’re sheep.”
“Hah!” said the sheep. “You try telling that to the KGB!”
The second joke is non-Soviet:
The ego and the superego walked into a bar. Each of them ordered a beer. The bartender said, “Let’s see some id.”
Monday’s donors wandered in from:
Stateside: California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, and Wyoming
Far Abroad: Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, and the UK
Australia: New South Wales
Dymphna’s post from Monday:
The time for our Summer Quarterly Fundraiser has arrived, eclipsed though our opening day event may be by sun and moon dancing in partial tandem above us.
That solar eclipse is mercifully shorter (who wants to sit through a week of semi-strange twilight?) than Gates of Vienna’s Summer Octave. And it’s certainly more exciting to experience heavenly portents…as long as you live in the right place, which we mostly do. We won’t get the full monty, but enough (89% or so) to make it worth our while to go outside and not look up at the sun. Isn’t it fortunate you live in a place where you can experience our Fundraiser? Yes, I thought so.
As many others have done, The B made a pinhole box for viewing. Moi? I plan to sit under the hickory tree and watch the changing patterns filtered through the leafy shade. I will see many eclipses, not just one. But whether it’s a pinhole image or images in leafy shadows, we’re all reduced by the power of the Sun to some version of sitting in Plato’s Cave if we want to be safe.
It turns out there is more than one Plato’s Cave in which to hunker down and scare yourself: some otherwise normal people are claiming this eclipse is racist. No, I’m not making that up, but I did hurt myself when I fell down laughing. Perhaps I should sue…
Old-timers at Gates of Vienna know that we deeply depend on these quarterly fundraisers to underwrite our time and effort here. When we were kicked off Pajamas Media back in 2008 for being racist, we had to hunt around for revenue. Back then we asked if y’all preferred to see ads on the sidebar, or if you’d rather contribute to our continued existence. “NO ADS!” won hands-down. Ever since then you’ve contributed every quarter — hitting the tip cup on our sidebar with amazing regularity — to the cause of keeping us fed and sheltered.
You don’t fund vacations; our time with you precludes our leaving town. And we don’t do iPods or cell phones or whatever gizmos it is people use while walking down the street. There’s no cell coverage here and the B can’t see those small screens. Besides, the work at Gates of Vienna long ago became far more than a job; it is not something from which we need a “break”. Such might be the case if we didn’t have all the comments, but our readers are vastly entertaining and often informative.
We don’t eat out anymore. Most restaurant food is pedestrian, plus being full of hydrogenated fats and low-nutrition carbs and mystery ingredients. We keep saying we’ll go out to eat but we never do. [Now that Bezos has snapped up Whole Foods we’ll probably go elsewhere for non-manufactured meats. There are several small “health food” stores that sell what we need.]
No new clothing needed for this job, either. The Baron’s office clothing, bought more than a decade ago, is still serving him well. When you only need one Sunday-go-to-meeting suit (serves for weddings and funerals as well), then this becomes a simple category.
Hmmm… I realize I no longer know what else people do with their time and money. TV? Movies? No… we don’t have a TV. I thought when we got into this we’d be watching new movies, but we’ve left that world behind, too. Compared to real-life events, movies are tediously predictable. We depend on the future Baron to alert us to anything worthwhile, but commenters are welcome to chime in on the Newsfeed. How do people find the time for TV??
The Baron always hesitates on letting me do the first of these Quarterly Fundraising posts, with good reason. I often forget to talk about finances, which is their whole point. Just so you know: this is indeed about the money, but let’s enjoy the process, hmm?
Meanwhile, back in what passes for the real world, these be dire times indeed for the Dissident Right (as opposed to Conservatism, Inc. which lives in the pockets of the Left while pretending to be elsewhere). Those of us with traditional views on citizenship, nation, family, even what constitutes human life find ourselves belittled and besmirched by others who are ignorant of history or determined to smash the past in order to build a braver future. “Braver” for them, perhaps. We are surely bedeviled, as our opposition to the demonic forces of MarxCult draws the ire and fire of those who dwell in darkness, who act deceitfully and with malice aforethought to destroy what we value. To destroy it with impunity.
Meanwhile regular folks continue to live their lives as if nothing untoward were happening, or as if it’s still safe to vocalize their opposition to the combined forces of our Evil Institutions. If you never pass beyond the boundaries of close family, you’re safe. Except that even families have fractured on political lines now. Thus everything, even a natural event, is open to politicization. It’s insane, as though the crazed ghosts of the French Revolution have come to infest our once-free country. You know the place is in deep do-do when smashing icons becomes a frenzied pastime.
That business in Charlottesville was a definite hinge point, but we can’t yet see ’round the corner of the future to discern fully what follows… or what follows after what follows. We know the radical Left (there doesn’t seem to be any other kind now) owns the microphone. It’s busy assembling virtual guillotines, but we can’t tell how many of us will fall victim to Goolag’s vindictive self-righteousness. It seems likely we will be forced to build alternate channels for information. Or perhaps those alternatives will be mau-maued into submission, too. Will our fate be more like South Africa’s, or will it fall more closely toward to Russia’s experience of tyranny? Whichever way it goes, America will become even more culturally impoverished. At least it will until such time as people reclaim responsibility for their own lives and situations.
In the meantime, we have a fundraiser to put on. Our theme was decided last month. We always spend a bit of time thinking this over, and back then we settled on humor as our unifying topic. Of course, since we’re curmudgeons, what is “humorous” becomes the final decision of GoV’s moderators. We’re ultimately responsible for what is published here and we guard that responsibility despite the cries of “censorship”…
It is now more important than ever to laugh. If we don’t develop some Russian fatalism, we’re all doomed to desperation. So kick back a bit, relax, and send us your jokes. What kind of jokes? Anything that’s a safe target. Men’s jokes about women’s foibles are fine, as are women’s tales on men. The battle of the sexes is best carried out on the playing fields of Humor. Or Humour. Keep your wits about you, boyos.
Blond jokes are fine, as are most ethnic jokes. It’s open season on religion — have a go. Given my heritage, I love Irish jokes and plan on telling a few old chestnuts, like the one which explains why God invented poteen. Russian jokes are finely honed, sometimes subtle but nearly always fatalistic. I love them.
There is one particular Russian story that I was in the habit of using as a litmus test for real friendship. If my interlocutor didn’t get it, I’d explain, but they went down on the B List; that’s the group of people you like otherwise but know you have to trim your sails when in their presence. Now that I think of it, they were mostly liberals. Authentic conservatives deeply comprehend the essence of life as essentially imperfect and often tragic.
But no jokes that demean, or rather, that would make the average person feel diminished. The overly sensitive won’t grok the humor, but there’s no point in dumbing down wit and sensibility for, say, a group of people who find the motto “Don’t Be Evil” to be deep and meaningful. Those folk are humor-challenged.
I knew the world was in for a heap o’ trouble when I was told of Goolag’s motto. It is just plain wrong on so many levels but those three words sum up The Ugly Giant’s destructive effect on everyone, including their employees. How can they be so deeply ignorant about the rules of communication? It would be funny if Google weren’t so powerful. It’s unfortunate that none of them took a semester or so on Thomas Aquinas. Or neurolinguistics. Breathtaking ignorance.
Ride with us for the coming week. Bring along your jokes and funny stories. To start us off, here’s one from my email last week. A twofer, men and Irishmen. I noticed when it came in on the 15th of this month that it had been forwarded many times, beginning all the way back in April…
Murphy Goes to Paris
Murphy, a furniture dealer from Dublin, wanted to expand the line of furniture in his store, so he decided to go to Paris to see what he could find.
After arriving in Paris, he visited some manufacturers and selected a line that he thought would sell well back home. To celebrate the new acquisition, he decided to visit a small bistro and have a glass of wine.
As he sat enjoying his wine, he noticed that the small place was quite crowded and that the other chair at his table was the only vacant seat in the house.
Before long, a very beautiful young Parisian girl came to his table. She asked him something in French (which Murphy could not understand), so he motioned to the vacant chair and invited her to sit down.
He tried to speak to her in English, but she did not speak his language. After a couple of minutes of trying to communicate with her, he took a napkin and drew a picture of a wine glass and showed it to her. She nodded, so he ordered a glass of wine for her.
After sitting together at the table for a while, he took another napkin, and drew a picture of a plate with food on it, and she nodded. They left the bistro and found a quiet cafe that featured a small group playing romantic music.
They ordered dinner, after which he took another napkin and drew a picture of a couple dancing. She nodded, and they got up to dance. They danced until the cafe closed and the band was packing up.
Back at their table, the young lady took a napkin and drew a picture of a four-poster bed.
To this day, Murphy has no idea how she figured out he was in the furniture business.
[Yes, it’s permissible to groan.]
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