Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Joked, joking, will joke...

  • A priest, a rabbi, and a nun will walk into a bar, the bartender will look at them and say, "Is this a joke?"

  • A hiker will be walking through the Irish countryside but will not be able to find his way by the map. So he will ask a local cobbler he meets, "How can I get to Glendale from here?" And the cobbler will say, "Well, I certainly wouldn't start from here!"

  • What will be black and white and red all over? A penguin in a blender.

  • What will go up and down but will not move? Stairs.

I present these futurised jokes based on comments I just read in Michael Frayn's The Human Touch (ca. p. 270). Why are jokes only told in the present and past tenses? Why does telling jokes about the future seem to deflate their comedic value? I suspect it has to do with the indeterminacy we associate with the future, which makes all the punchlines merely tentative. They are not punchlines: they are ideas which we must be prepared to laugh at if they are imagined really to have happened. Hmm...

1 comment:

Martin said...

Those jokes will be very funny after work today and I will laugh out loud.