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March 17, 2010

Open thread 137
Posted by Teresa at 06:10 PM *

Mike Ford’s bar joke:

Werner Heisenberg, Kurt Gödel, and Noam Chomsky walk into a bar. Heisenberg says, “It’s very odd and improbable that we three are in this bar together. It suggests to me that we’re in a joke, but I can’t be certain.”

Gödel says, “Well, if we were outside the joke we would know, but since we’re inside it, there’s no way we can make that determination.”

And Chomsky says, “Of course this is a joke, but you’re telling it wrong!”

(With thanks to Jo and Emmet.)
Comments on Open thread 137:
#1 ::: alex ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:17 PM:

A horse walks into a bar. The barman says, "Why the long face?"

#2 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:23 PM:

A giraffe walks in to a bar and says, "The highballs- they're on me!"

#3 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:31 PM:

A skeleton walks into a bar. He says to the bartender, "Gimme a beer and a mop."

#4 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:33 PM:

Yee ha! Backlink to Open Thread 136.

#5 ::: DonBoy ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:36 PM:

The Self-Referential Joke:

Man walks into bar. Tells the bartender the self-referential joke. Bartender says, "That's something of a non-sequitur, don't you think?" Man says, "Yeah, and these prices you won't get many more either."

(College: too many drugs, too strong an interest in "Gödel, Escher, Bach".)

#6 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:36 PM:

How many theoretical physicists does it take to change light bulb?

Five. One to hold the bulb, four to rotate the reference frame.

#7 ::: DonBoy ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:39 PM:

...AT these prices... crap.

#8 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:39 PM:

A string walks into a bar. The bartender says "Get out, we don't serve strings here." The string leaves, ducks into an alley, ties himself into a half hitch and ruffles up one end. Then he goes back into the bar. The bartender says "Hey, are you that string that was just in here?" The string says "Nope, I'm afrayed knot."

#9 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:41 PM:

Three men walk into a bar. The fourth one ducks.

#10 ::: Tim Hall ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:43 PM:

Two bacteria walk into a bar.

"We don't serve your type in here", says the barman.

"It's OK", say the bacteria, "We work here, we're staph".

#11 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:44 PM:

Duck walks into a bar. "Do you have any corn?"

"No," says the bartender, confused. "We don't have any corn."

The duck leaves.

Next day, the duck walks back into the bar. "Have any corn?"

The bartender is a little irritated now. "This is a bar, not a feed store. We don't have any corn!"

The duck leaves.

Next day, the duck walks in again. "Have any corn?"

The bartender is really p'd off now. "I told you before! We don't have any corn! If you come in and ask one more time, I'm going to nail your feet to the floor."

The duck leaves.

The next day, the duck walks in again. "Have any nails?"

"Uh, no."

"Have any corn?"

#12 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:44 PM:

In honor of the day, the world's shortest joke: Two Irishmen walk out of a bar.

#13 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:47 PM:

How many zen masters does it take to change a lightbulb?

The artichokes are blooming.

--

What's the difference between a duck?

One of its legs is both the same.

#14 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:47 PM:

A priest is driving down to New York and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut. The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car.

He says, 'Sir, have you been drinking?'

'Just water,' says the priest.

The trooper says, 'Then why do I smell wine?'

The priest looks at the bottle and says, 'Good Lord! He's done it again!'

#15 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:47 PM:

(Stolen from my blog):
Have you heard about the Irish boomerang?
It doesn't come back, it just sings songs about how much it wants to.

#16 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:49 PM:

He was daft!

#17 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:49 PM:

Three folks walk into a bar. The first one says "I'm sorry, I have just eaten the plums that were in the icebox." The second one says "It is a truth universally acknowledged that they were delicious, so sweet and so cold." The third one says "Sudo, make me a sandwich, and where can I shave the barber in the morning?"

The bartender says "Burma Shave."

#18 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:51 PM:

A nun, a horse and a Frenchman walk into a bar, and the bartender says, "Is this some kind of joke?"

What's brown and sticky?
.
.
.
.
.
A stick

#19 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:54 PM:

Davy Crockett walked into a bar. He kilt it!

#20 ::: Nathaniel Eliot ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 03:57 PM:

:: golf clap ::

That's a keeper.

--

Mr. Johnson is the science teacher at a posh, all-girls Catholic school. One day, he notices two girls talking in the back of class, and calls on one of them: "Mary Margaret? Please name the organ in the human body that, under the correct conditions, can expand to ten times its size, and name those conditions."

Mary stammers for a moment, then replies "Mister Johnson, that's an inappropriate question, and I'll have you know my parents will find out about this!"

Mr. Johnson sighs "Very well. Susan, can you answer the question?"

Susan, a bright girl who had been paying attention, replies "Yes. The human iris, under conditions of dim light."

"Thank you. Mary, I have three things to say to you. First, you did not read the lesson plan. Second, you have a dirty mind. And third, some day you will be faced with a dreadful disappointment."

#21 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:04 PM:

A dyslexic drunk walks into a bra....


From a Prairie Home Companion joke show: Did ya hear about the man who was addicted to line dancing? He entered a two-step program. (rimshot)

#22 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:14 PM:

A giraffe, a skeleton, a duck, a bacterium, and the Pope walk into a bar.

The bartender looks at them and says "so, the gorilla had to work tonight?"

#23 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:27 PM:

A termite walks into a bar.

"Where's the bar tender?"

#24 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:30 PM:

So Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams and Mike Ford walk into a bar....

#25 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:33 PM:

The speed of light in vacuo, Avogadro's constant and the reduced Planck constant walk into a pub. The landlord says "I'll serve you, speed of light in vacuo, and you, Avogadro's constant, but not you, the reduced Planck constant". "Why not?", asks the reduced Planck constant. The landlord says: "Because you're barred".

#26 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:38 PM:

Three fonts walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, "We don't serve your type in here."

#27 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:41 PM:

According to my Dutch sources*, this is a German bar joke:

A man walks into a bar, which is very sad, because alcohol destroys many families.

----
* yes, a leetle animosity here

#28 ::: Nightsky ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:44 PM:

A grasshopper hops into a bar, says "Gimme a beer." The bartender serves him and says, "Y'know, we have a drink named after you!" Grasshopper goes, "Really? You have a drink named Larry?"

#29 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:51 PM:

A set of jumper cables walk into a bar, and the bartender says, "We don't want your kind in here." And the jumper cables say, "What's the problem?" And the bartender says, "You look like you want to start something."

y

#30 ::: Evan ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:56 PM:

A mushroom walks into a bar. He asks the lady next to him, "Hey, can I buy you a drink?" The lady says, "Sure! You look like a fungi."

#31 ::: Nightsky ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:56 PM:

A neutron walks into a bar and orders a beer. It arrives, and the neutron goes, "Great! How much?" The bartender goes, "For you--no charge."

#32 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:57 PM:

Nightsky @ #28, you owe me a keyboard.

#33 ::: Steve Burnett ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:58 PM:

An ethnographer walks into a bar and asks "How do you order a drink around here?"

#34 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 04:59 PM:

Three men walk into a bar. The fourth is {Nicholas Sarkozy, Tom Cruise, Fiorello La Guardia}.


(adjust as suitable)

#35 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 05:07 PM:

An ion walks into a bar, crying his eyes out. And the bartender says, "Hey, what's wrong?"

"It's my little electron," the ion says. "She's left me!"

"Are you sure?" asks the bartender.

"I'm positive!"

#36 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 05:08 PM:

René Descartes was in a bar. At last call, the bartender asks him if he'd like another. Descartes says, "I think not." And he disappears.

#37 ::: Jim MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 05:23 PM:

Why did the antagonist cross the road?
Dramatic necessity!

Why did the protagonist cross the road?
Deus ex machina!

#38 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 05:25 PM:

A fish rides a bicycle into a bar. The barman says, "Now, you didn't need to do that."

#39 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 05:29 PM:

An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a beer. The second orders half a beer. The third, a quarter of a beer. The bartender says 'You can't be serious', and pours two beers.

#40 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 05:35 PM:

A man walks into a revolving bar on top of a hotel, and strikes up a conversation with one of the regulars, who says: "You know, these revolving buildings create air vortices with interesting properties. If you time it right, you can jump out the window and get blown right back in."

The newcomer says "No way." But sure enough, the regular goes over the window, concentrates for a minute, then jumps out. A few seconds later he comes right back through the window and lands on his feet.

The newcomer says, "Wow! That's awesome! I want to try that. But how do I know when to jump?" The regular says, "Don't worry, I'll count it off for you." So the newcomer goes to the window, the regular concentrates for a bit then counts "3, 2, 1, GO!," and the newcomer jumps out of the window and falls thirty stories to his death.

The regular goes back to the bar. The bartender leans over to him and says, "You know, Superman, you're kind of an asshole when you're drunk."

#41 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 05:36 PM:

Three men walked calm into a bar
(hey down, hoe down, walk this way now)
by the light of yonder sacred star
(with a down, Derry, Derry, down, down).

The first man to the barman spake
(hey down, hoe down, walk this way now)
to ask if everything was jake
(with a down, Derry, Derry, down, down).

The second to the first did say
(hey down, hoe down, walk this way now)
some things are best done for good pay
(with a down, Derry, Derry, down, down).

The third said naught, but he did spit
(hey down hoe down, walk this way now)
and barman thought it time to quit
(with a down, Derry, Derry, down, down)

Now, Ghu send every honest bloke
(hey down, hoe down walk this way now)
the point of this protracted joke
(with a down, Derry, Derry, down, down).

#42 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 05:40 PM:

A database analyst walks into a bar and goes up to two tables. "Hi. Can I join you?"

#43 ::: CosmicDog ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 05:46 PM:

A ham sandwich walks into a bar and the bartender says "Sorry, we don't serve food."

#44 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 05:51 PM:

Also in honor of the day:
A Priest, a Rabbi and a Leprechaun walk into a bar. The Leprechaun stops and says, ""Faith and Begorrah! I'm in the wrong joke!"

#45 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 05:52 PM:

Steve Burnett @ 33: An ethnographer walks into a bar and asks "How do you order a drink around here?"

Passport to the Pub: A guide to British pub etiquette, an entertaining (and informative) bit of research.

#46 ::: Shinydan Howells ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 06:16 PM:

So Route 66, the M25, I90 and the New Jersey Turnpike walk into a bar. The barman asks what they're having, and Route 66 orders four Budweisers. The M25 looks at him a bit funny but the barman serves the drinks. The New Jersey Turnpike asks for some change for the pool table, and the four freeways go over and start playing.

All's well for half an hour until a long, thin, orange piece of tarmac walks in and, in a high squeaky voice, orders a vodka and tonic. The barman's looking over at the pool table at this point, and all four roads are trying to hide behind it.

Once's he's served the piece of tarmac, the barman wanders over and nonchalantly whispers, "Hey, what's with you guys? Big strong roads like you, I'm surprised you're afraid of anything!"

And the M25 whispers back, "Yeah, but he's a cyclepath!"

#47 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 06:18 PM:

An Englishman, a Scotsman, and an Irishman walk into a bar. Each orders a Guinness, and as they're served, a fly lands in each pint.

The Englishman sniffs at the affrontery of the fly and pushes his beer away in disgust.

The Scotsman blinks for a moment, shrugs, and tosses the pint back.

The Irishman turns bright red, fishes the fly out of the beer, and holds it over his glass shouting at it: "SPIT IT OUT, YE WEE BUGGER! SPIT IT OUT!"

#48 ::: calico cat ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 06:33 PM:

Three women leave the office together and go to the nearest bar. As they get a table, the brunette notices a whitish puddle on the floor and exclaims, "Ew! Is that sperm?" The redhead leans over a little, and remarks, "Yep. Definitely."

The blonde leans over and dips a finger in the puddle. Licking her finger, she says, "Well, it isn't anybody from our office."

#49 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 06:46 PM:

Oh, all right. A fried rasher of bacon, a fried egg and a slice of toast walk into a bar ... "Sorry, we don't serve breakfast here."

#50 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 06:47 PM:

an irishman is walking on the beach, when he finds a brass oil lamp, looking exactly like something out of the thousand and one nights.

so he sets to rubbing it, and just as you'd expect, a genie pops out and offers him three wishes.

"anything I want? well i've no doubt what my first wish is. genie: give me a bottle of guiness that never runs out!"

the genie hands him a bottle of guiness, and the irishman takes a long swig from it. it's still full. then he pour some into his hands, and laps it up from his hands. it's still full. he stands pouring it into the sand of the beach, and it keeps pouring and pouring. soon he's running around the beach, splashing guiness everywhere. and no matter how much he pours, the bottle never runs out.

"this is brilliant!," he yells, "it never runs out!"

"master, you still have two more wishes," says the genie, "what is your request?"

"i know what i want, then: give me two more just like this!"

#51 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 06:51 PM:

So how many Fluorospherians would it take to change a lightbulb?

#52 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 06:54 PM:

The entire crowd. Nobody'd want to miss the next comment.

#53 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 07:00 PM:

Shinydan Howells@46, I used to live in New Jersey, back before they had to turn most of their ersatz traffic circles into normal intersections to get highway funding. There was an intersection near Camden (on one of the state roads that you could take instead of the NJ Turnpike) that was a fairly good model of the Ballantine Beer three-intersecting-ring logo. I suspect if you accidentally drive into a bar from there, it's Connie Mac's.

My wife and I once went to a Hong Kong action movie, not because we expected it to be good, but because there was simply no way to pass up something with dialog like "Only Deus ex Machina can save you now!"

#54 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 07:02 PM:

The Unmarried Mother walked into a bar. He asked the Bartender, "Do you serve Zombies here?"

"Maybe we do, and maybe we don't," said the Bartender circuitously.

"Never mind," said the Unmarried Mother. "I'll have a beer instead."

"Yes, you will," the Bartender replied, filling a tall glass from one of the taps and drinking it.

"Hey, why'd you drink my beer?" the Unmarried Mother exclaimed, an angry expression rising on his face.

"Because, as a matter of fact," the Bartender explained, "we do serve your kin here."

#55 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 07:07 PM:

So, a baby seal walks into a club...

#56 ::: EmmetAOBrien ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 07:09 PM:

A stochastic context-free grammar walks into a bar.

The barman says "Hang on a minute. You're not one of the regulars."

#57 ::: EmmetAOBrien ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 07:14 PM:

A priest, a rabbi and an elephant walk into a bar.

"Oh goodie," says the barman. "I can't wait to hear your punchline."

--

Three goths walk into a bar

"Ouch !"
"Ouch !"
"Oooh, do that again."

#58 ::: Sica ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 07:40 PM:

Bill Bailey has a string of fantastic pub jokes but I think this one has to be my favourite of his:

The Chaucer Pubbe Gagge

Three fellowes wenten into a pubbe, And gleefullye their handes did rubbe,
In expectatione of revelrie, For 'twas the houre known as happye.
Greate botelles of wine did they quaffe, And hadde a reallye good laffe.
'Til drunkennesse held full dominione, For 'twas two for the price of one.
Yet after wine and meade and sac, Man must have a massive snack,
Great pasties from Cornwalle! Scottishe eggs round like a balle!
Great hammes, quaile, ducke and geese! They suck'd the bones and drank the grease!
(One fellowe stood all pale and wan, For he was vegetarianne)
Yet man knoweth that gluttonie, Stoketh the fyre of lecherie,
Upon three young wenches round and slye, The fellowes cast a wanton eye.
One did approach, with drunkene winke: "'Ello darlin', you fancy a drink?",
Soon they caught them on their knee, 'Twas like some grotesque puppettrie!
Such was the lewdness and debaucherie - 'Twas like a sketch by Dick Emery!
(Except that Dick Emery is not yet borne - So such comparisonne may not be drawn).
But then the fellowes began to pale, For quail are not the friende of ale!
And in their bellyes much confusione! From their throats vile extrusione!
Stinking foule corruptionne! Came spewinge forth from droolinge lippes,
The fetide stenche did fille the pubbe, 'Twas the very arse of Beelzebubbe!
Thrown they were, from the Horne And Trumpette, In the street, no coyne, no strumpet.
Homeward bounde, must quicklie go, To that ende - a donkey stole!
Their handes all with vomit greased, (The donkey was not pleased,
And threw them into a ditche of shite!) They all agreed: "Wha a brillant night!"

#59 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 08:00 PM:

I spy the fine structure constant (although Heisenberg didn't have much to do with it).

#60 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 08:03 PM:

Mary Aileen, #936 from #136, I have a piece of wall art that I bought at a Minicon that is very close to the Supernovas Black fabric.

#61 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 08:04 PM:

@50

the more i reflect on it, the more i feel that i heard that joke from kieran healy.

if it was not from him, then it was from someone else with an equal right to tell it.

#62 ::: Kaja ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 08:24 PM:

Jacque @ 13: That second joke is very similar to a Polish one told in my family. It translates roughly to:

How does a sparrow differ? In that one of its legs is more so.

Very neat that it has variants.

Also, hello everyone. I'm fairly new here but have been reading lots over the past month or so, and this is my first time commenting.

#63 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 08:26 PM:

A carboxylic acid group, an amino group and a halogen all go to a postmodern film festival to present their work.

Naturally, the carboxylic acid wins. After all, it's the best meta director...


#64 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 08:26 PM:

Welcome, Kaja!

Another variant: What's the difference between a duck? Four oranges, because a vest has no sleeves.

#65 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 08:27 PM:

Kathryn #44:

A leprechaun walks into a bar, and goes over to a table where there's a giant rabbit and a pink elephant. He sees they're both drunk and says, "Drat, you started without me." The gorilla says "Damn right we did, you were supposed to be here by 6'o clock!" The leprechaun answers "Yeah, sorry about that, I ran into Rabbi Cohen and Father O'Malley...."

#66 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 08:49 PM:

The Buddha walks into a pizza joint and says, "Make me one with everything..."

#67 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 08:51 PM:

A teabagger walks into a bar and orders a drink, and the bartender says "Show me your birth certificate."

#68 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 08:58 PM:

Christopher Marlowe and Graham Greene walk into a bar. "Why, this is a joke!" says Greene, and Marlowe replies, "Nor are we out of it."

#69 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 09:09 PM:

Our family version was similar to Xopher's:

What's the difference between an orange? A bicycle, because a vest doesn't have any sleeves.

Welcome, Kaja.

#70 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 09:09 PM:

A guy walks into a bar and says "Give me something strong with a twist!"
Barkeep hands him a drill bit.

#71 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 09:14 PM:

Welcome, Kaja. Do you write poetry?

#72 ::: Louise ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 09:35 PM:

My father's standby:

How Long is a Chinaman.

#73 ::: Chaos ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 09:44 PM:

A bear walks into a bar, and orders a beer. "Sorry, we don't serve bears," the barman replies.

The bear, enraged, roars loudly, and then repeats his order. "I told you, we don't serve bears," comes the response.

The bear rears up, smashing mighty paws down on the bar and snarling. Calm as anything, the barman restates his position: "We don't serve bears."

The bear smashes his paws down snarls and roars, and bites into the bar, so enraged he tears loose a piece of the wood and swallows it. The barman sighs. "Look, I've told you three times, we don't serve bears. And we certainly don't serve drug users!"

The bear frowns at this. "But I don't do drugs!"

"Don't you lie to me," the barman says. "I saw that bar bit you ate."

#74 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 09:50 PM:

(I can see I'm going to have to avoid this thread while at work, or everyone else is going to be in my cubicle, wondering what's wrong with me.)

#75 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 09:55 PM:

A sans-serif font walks into a bar, and the bartender says, "We don't serve your type."

#76 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 10:05 PM:

Bruce Arthurs #54: Fooey, I'm not getting that one. Even reading "kind" for "kin". :-(

#77 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 10:07 PM:

Sorry to interrupt the jokes, but: R.I.P. Alex Chilton.

#78 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 10:13 PM:

It happens that I told the Mike Ford joke just this Sunday to my game group. All of them loved it. I love my friends.

(The bar jokes Sunday came about because one of them had recently read a article about young Brooklyn hipsters bringing their babies into bars, and then complaining vociferously about people smoking outside the bar, about drinkers using bad language, etc. I suggested:

A baby walks into a bar. He goes "Waaaah!")

#79 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 10:20 PM:

David Harmon @ 76 -- The joke is based on Heinlein's story "-- All You Zombies --", in which nyy bs gur punenpgref (vapyhqvat gur "Hazneevrq Zbgure" naq gur onegraqre) ner gur fnzr crefba ng qvssrerag cnegf bs n irel gnatyrq crefbany gvzr yvar.

#80 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 10:20 PM:

@27--

abi's dutch joke on german humourlessness has gotten the biggest snort from me so far.

anyone remember monty python on the killer joke, and the german inability to retaliate?

"there were zwei peanuts, walking down der strasse, and one of them was, assaulted. peanut."

(confused looks all around).

it's unfair, really, since i've known several german people with excellent senses of humor. really.

#81 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 10:26 PM:

I might have heard this here, but I don't remember:

A robot walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry, we don't serve robots."
The robot replies, "Oh, but you will."

What's blue and smells like red paint? Blue paint.

#82 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 10:30 PM:

David Harmon @ #76:
"Fooey, I'm not getting that one."

You're making me feel old, David. (Oh wait, I am old. Crap.)

If there was one classic story I'd have thought everyone's read (especially the group here), or at least heard of, it would have been this one.

#83 ::: Your Obedient Serpent ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 10:35 PM:

Our family variant on that one went:

Why is a rat when he spins?

Because the higher he goes, the fewer.

#84 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 10:40 PM:

Adolphus Busch, Frederick Miller, and Arthur Guinness walk into a bar. Col. Busch orders a Budweiser. Mr. Miller orders a Miller Lite. Mr. Guinness orders a Coke.

"Hey Art," says Miller, "what's with the Coke?"

Guinness replies "Well, if you guys aren't going to order beer, I won't either."

#85 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 10:46 PM:

Joel Polowin: Ahh, thanks! (Zragvbavat gur anzr "Wnar" zvtug unir urycrq.)

#86 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 10:54 PM:

David: I took it to be a twist on Heinlein's 'All You Zombies', which starts in a bar and in which, not to spoil it too much, the Unmarried Mother is a major protagonist.

#87 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 10:56 PM:

A pirate walks into a bar with a ship's wheel in his pants.

"That looks uncomfortable," the bartender says.

"Arrr," says the pirate, "It's drivin' me nuts."

#88 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 11:12 PM:

How many Witches does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. Witches aren't afraid of the Dark.

#89 ::: Joseph M. ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 11:47 PM:

Theophylact@66: ...then the Buddhist pays for his $8.00 pizza with a ten, and gets nothing back from the man behind the counter. Finally, he asks "Where's my change?" And the pizza mans says "Change comes from within."

My favorite: How many flies does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Only two, but the real question is how you get them in there.

#90 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 11:49 PM:

Oh man. We had an improv sketch that was called 187. It's the standard bar joke; you get a profession as a suggestion and then a group of you comes up with as many jokes as you can. The format's like this:

187 [whatevers] walk into a bar. The bartender says, "We don't serve [whatevers] here." and 187 [whatevers] say, [something suitably punny.]

So here's some of my favorites:

187 cucumbers walk into a bar. The bartender says, "We don't serve cucumbers here." and 187 cucumbers say, "But we came here to get pickled!"

187 Jesuits walk into a bar. The bartender says, "We don't serve Jesuits here." and 187 Jesuits say, "Fine," and leave, and the bar goes out of business. (Went to a Jesuit college, can you tell?)

187 bartenders walk into a bar. The bartender says, "We don't serve bartenders here." and 187 bartenders reply, "We don't serve bartenders here." The first one gets confused, leaves, and the rest serve themselves.

187 lawyers walk into a bar. They fail.

#91 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2010, 11:54 PM:

A brain walks into a bar, and the bartender says, "If you think I'm serving you you're out of your skull."

#92 ::: Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 12:14 AM:

Ooh, I was wondering if anyone else was going to mention the fine structure constant! 137 is an interesting number for spectroscopists and atomic physicists, because the fine structure constant (a.k.a. α, a.k.a. e²/ℏc) is a dimensionless number that's pretty close to 1/137.

Back in the old days before the measurements were very precise some people thought it might be exactly equal to 1/137, which made it seem as if there was something very special about the integer 137. There was a time (brief, I think) when some physicists were speculating, in an almost mystical way, about the the mathematical properties of that fundamental and magical number. And there's even a famous spoof paper by Beck, Bethe, and Riezler (yes, that Bethe), which they actually got published in Die Naturwissenschaften, making fun of the numerology of 137.

#93 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 12:17 AM:

Because it hasn't appeared here yet:

A man walks into a bar and does a double take when he sees, standing calmly at the far end of the bar, a stallion. Beside the horse is a large jar filled with $100 bills. The man orders a drink and, unable to fathom the horse's presence, asks the bartender about it.

"Oh, it's a little contest," replies the bartender. "The first person to make the horse laugh wins the money."

The man has another drink to think it over, then walks over and whispers in the stallion's ear. The horse laughs until it falls down, and the bartender congratulates the man, who takes his jar of $100s and leaves.

A few weeks later, the man returns to the bar and, once again, sees the stallion and a new jar of $100s. He orders a drink and asks, "So what's the contest this time?"

"First one to make the horse cry wins the money," says the bartender.

Again, the man ponders the situation. "May I take the horse into the back alley?"

The bartender, suspicious, says, "You can't hurt the horse."

"I won't touch him," the man replies. "I promise."

The dubious bartender agrees, and the man leads the horse out of the bar. Moments later, the stallion walks back in, head drooping and weeping fit to break his heart. The man walks back in, picks up the jar of money, and starts to walk out.

"Now wait a minute!" says the bartender. "I thought nobody could ever make that stallion laugh or cry, and you've done both! How?"

The man, a sly smile on his face, replies, "The first time, I told him my John Thomas was bigger than his. This time, I proved it."

#94 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 12:23 AM:

A six foot tall rabbit, a pink elephant, and a giant anaconda walk and slither into a bar and the bartender says, "You're early, guys, I only just served him his first drink of the evening."

#95 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 12:34 AM:

my favorite jokes that make no sense:

quick, ask me if i'm a tree!
(are you a tree?)
no.

two turtles are sitting in the bath. the first says to the second, "could you please pass me the soap?" the second gives the first a funny look and says, "what do i look like, a toaster?"

#96 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 12:39 AM:

Two bears are in a bathtub, washing. One asks the other for the soap. The other one replies "No soap; radio."

#97 ::: CindyW ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:00 AM:

A man walks into a bar with a piece of asphalt draped over his shoulder. "I'd like a beer, and one for the road."

#98 ::: Jordin ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:03 AM:

Steve C. @ 42:
So these three bars walk into a Gantt chart...

A. J. @ 63:
Q: What's C3H7 - O - {Sam, Jane, George, Mary...}?
A: A propyl people ether

Chaos @ 73:

A bear walks into a bar and says, "I'll have a shot and ......... a beer."

The bartender says, "Why the big pause?"

The bear looks down at his feet and says, "I ... dunno. My dad ... had 'em too."

(Stolen from Phil Frank's local San Francisco comic strip, "Farley")

#99 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:07 AM:

Bruce @ 94 - Have you read the Theodore Geisel story on that topic?

#100 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:17 AM:

Into the bar walks a man dressed all in green, who is only a foot high.

"Excuse my mentioning it," says the barman, "but you're only a foot high."

"To be sure," says the little man. "I'm a leprechaun."

"Oh, really?"

"No, O'Reilly."

#101 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:21 AM:

Duck walks into a bar. "Do you have any corn?"


Chicken walks into a library and says, "Book! Book!"

The librarian gives it a book. It walks out.

Ten minutes later, it's back. "Book! Book!"

The librarian gives it another book. Off it goes.

Ten minutes later, it's back. "Book! Book!"

The librarian gives it another book. This time, when the chicken leaves, the librarian follows it.

The chicken takes the book down to a pond, drops it on the ground, and says, "Book! Book!"

A frog crawls out of the reeds, glances at the book, and says, "Read it."

#102 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:27 AM:

A clown walks into a bar and orders a gin and tonic. The barman serves him.
A 2nd clown walks into the bar and orders a gin and tonic. The barman serves him.
A 3rd clown walks into the bar and orders a gin and tonic. The barman serves him.
A 4th clown walks into the bar and orders a gin and tonic. The barman serves him.
A 5th clown walks into the bar and orders a gin and tonic. The barman serves him.
...
A 19th clown walks into the bar and orders a gin and tonic. The barman serves him.
A 20th clown walks into the bar and the barman says, "Let me guess: Gin and tonic?"

"No," says the 20th clown. "Just a lemonade for me - I'm the designated driver."

#103 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:32 AM:

Andrew @ 99:

I don't think so, What's the title?

#104 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:41 AM:

Three humans walk into a vampire bar. After a couple of hours they come out again, and one of them complains to the others, "I'm never going back there with you; I got stuck for all the drinks!"

#105 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:45 AM:

Three humans walk into a vampire bar. After a couple of hours they come out again, and one of them complains to the others, "I'm never going back there with you; I got stuck for all the drinks!"

#106 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:52 AM:

Humph. I submitted that twice because I got an error the first time that said I had submitted too many comments in a short period. When did you install the Server Irony Error Module?

#107 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:19 AM:

John Galt walks into a bar, and the bartender says, "Who are you?"

#108 ::: Kaja ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:26 AM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 71: No I do not (or rather, haven't since I was 13 or so, and some things just plain shouldn't be revisited). As an English Literature grad student, though, I spend plenty of time reading and blithering about it at length.

How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Wombat.

#109 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:28 AM:

Question regarding the original joke: Pauli was excluded?

#110 ::: Vef ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:29 AM:

This video was shared on Boing Boing a while back: A virus walks into a bar...

#111 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:31 AM:

Bb, Db, and F walk into a bar. "Sorry", the bartender says, "we don't serve minors". So Db left, and Bb and F had an open fifth between them.

#112 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:33 AM:

A man walked into a bar, sat down at the bar in front of the bar tender and asked for a beer. However, he couldn't pay but instead would show the bar tender something amazing. "Show it then", said he.

So the man reached into his pockets and pulled out a little piano. Then he reached again and pulled out a little stool. Finally he reached again and out came a little man, no more than ten inches high. This little guy then started playing the piano beautifully.

"Wow", said the bar tender and poured the beer, "where did you get him".

"Well", said the man, I found this old lamp and rubbed it and out popped a genie who'd give me one wish".

"Do you still have the lamp", asked the bar tender.

"Sure, and you can use it if you want in return for another couple of beers, but I have to warn you. The genie is a little deaf"

"Öh?"

"Well, did you really think I asked for a ten inch pianist?"

#113 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:36 AM:

Kaja @ 108:
How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Two to hold the giraffe, and seven to fill the bathtub with brightly painted machine tools.

#114 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:38 AM:

And an old Dutch one:

A man walks into a bar in a hurry, doesn't take his coat off and goes up to the bar tender and says "Quick, quick. Pour me a beer before the trouble starts".

So the bar tender does, though slightly worried. The man downs his beer in one big gulp and once again says "quick, quick pour me another one before the trouble starts".

So the bar tender does so again, the man once again drains his beer and says "quick, quick, a third one before the trouble starts".

The bar tender, now thoroughly spooked says, "look buddy, what's this trouble you're expecting?"

Says he, draining his third beer: "the trouble is, Í can't pay you for these beers".

#115 ::: Maureen Kincaid Speller ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:08 AM:

My current favourite joke, which I heard on Radio 4 recently, and I wish I could remember who told it:

There was a little English cat called One Two Three and a little French cat called Un Deux Trois, who decided to swim the English Channel/La Manche/whatever.

The little English cat arrived safely on the other side, but there was no sign of the little French cat. Everyone was wondering what had happened, and eventually word came:

Un Deux Trois Quatre Cinq

#116 ::: Peter Darby ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:17 AM:

#111 That's why I get followed everywhere by a stork and cat that never pays for anything.

(waits...)

#117 ::: Peter Darby ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:31 AM:

And, while we're waiting, veteran comedy writer Barry Cryer's favourite gag:

A man walks into a bar, and his head is half an orange. "Pint of beer please". The barman serves him, but can't help staring.

"What?"
"I'm sorry, it's very rude of me..."
"*sigh*It's the half an orange head isn't it?"
"Well... yes. How come..."
"Well, a couple of years ago, I was clearing out the attic, and I found this old sea chest that belonged to my grandfather. Amazing bloke, travelled all over. Anyway, in this chest was this rusty old lamp.

"So, of course I polished it, the attic filled with smoke and a might Djinn materialised bellowing 'Free! Free at last! Oh benificent master, before I return to the dreaming spires of Irem, I will grant you three wishes!'

"Well, I thought for a little while and said 'I'd like me and my family and friends to have eternal life, youth and health'. The djinn clapped his hands, saying 'It is done, what is your second wish?'

"I thought a little more and said 'I'd like a wallet that always has ten thousand pounds in it, no matter how much I spend.' The djinn clapped his hands, 'It is done, what is your last wish, oh wise and benificent one?'

"Well, I thought and thought and thought, and finally said ...'Do you think you could turn my head into half an orange?'"

#118 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:51 AM:

My husband came up with this one as a sort of I-can't-operate-that's-my-son to ask at cons. A leprechaun, a neutron, and a quark walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, "Hi, boss." Who is he talking to?

#119 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:03 AM:

One beautiful tribute to Alex Chilton already up (by James and April Combs, formerly of Arson Garden).

#120 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:07 AM:

Jenny: Is the bartender's name "Rom"?

#121 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:40 AM:

Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) @106: The rule, I've learned, is that whatever the error message says, it probably went through. Close the tab, open ML again and it'll be there.

#122 ::: Vef ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:16 AM:

A man's sitting in a bar when he notices an attractive young woman at another table. He goes over to her and says: "Excuse me, can I buy you a drink?"
"NO, I WILL NOT SLEEP WITH YOU!" she yells. The whole bar falls quiet. Deeply embarassed, the man goes back to his table.

A few minutes later the woman comes over to him. "I'm dreadfully sorry," she whispers. "You see, I'm a psychology student and I'm doing this experiment on social behaviour."

The man replies:
"NO, I WILL NOT GIVE YOU FIFTY POUNDS!"

#123 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:06 AM:

Leonardo da Vinci walks into a bar. There he encounters Michelangelo. They begin to chat.

"So I hear you're an artist," says Leonardo.

"That's right."

"What kind of art do you do?"

"Some sculpture, some painting," says Michelangelo.

"Painting, huh? Where can I go see your painting?"

Michelangelo begins to sing.

"I... left... my... ARRRRT
In Sistine FRESCOES...."

#124 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:30 AM:

If there are three flies in the kitchen, how do you tell which one is a cowboy?

It's the one on the range.

#125 ::: Tony Cullen ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:41 AM:

A woman walked into a bar and asked the bartender for an innuendo.

So he gave her one.

#126 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:46 AM:

I thought innuendo was an Italian suppository?

#127 ::: SeanH ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:46 AM:

Shakespeare walks in to a pub, asks for a pint - landlord says "bugger off, you're Bard!"

---

Thales and Heraclitus walk into a pub and start drinking. Heraclitus takes a sip, and Thales downs a pint; Heraclitus takes a sip, and Thales downs a pint. They go back and forth like this eight times.

They walk out, and Heraclitus says "Shall I drive?"
Thales replies "Best not; you've had eight pints and I've been on the water all night."

#128 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:50 AM:

Here is a genuine German joke. Told to me by a genuine German. In Germany. (Apologies if the German {my German, that is} is duff. It was a long time ago.)

- Was machen die Hamburger wenn es regnet?
- Sie machen die Schirme auf.

#129 ::: iucounu ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:58 AM:

A tortoise walks into a bar and says to the bartender, "Have you seen my dad?" The bartender says, "I dunno, what does he look like?"

#130 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:07 AM:

Montreal band called Bowser and Blue used to do a set of lightbulb jokes...to the tune of "blowin' in the wind."
How many Harvard grads does it take to change a lightbulb?
How many Harvard grads does it take?
The answer is one, he holds up his hand,
And the world revolves around him...

#131 ::: SylvieG ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:42 AM:

A man is sitting in a restaurant, perusing the menu. When the waitress comes to take his order, he says, "I'd like a quickie." Affronted, she slaps him and stalks off. Soon the manager comes by, and asks what's going on. The man tells her, "I just asked for a quickie. I really want a quickie." She slaps him and goes to call the cops. The man at the next table leans over and says, "It's pronounced 'quiche'."

#132 ::: SeanH ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:51 AM:

A man walks into a restaurant and sits down; the waiter approaches and asks what Sir would like to drink. "Hock," the man responds.
"Hock?" asks the waiter.
"You know, man, hock! Wine! Hic, hoc, haec!"
"Very good, sir," replies the waiter, and leaves.

Some twenty minutes pass, and the man calls the waiter back. "Hey!" he says, "Where's my wine? I ordered it ages ago!"
"You did, sir," the waiter responds, "but then, you declined it."

#133 ::: Madeley ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:05 AM:

In Wales, the people of Cardiganshire are stereotyped as being tight with their cash. I suspect there are variations on this one for every group who are meant to be frugal, but this is the one that comedian Max Boyce tells:

Jones the Cardi and his son Berwyn sign up for a sight-seeing tour in a small aircraft. As always, Jones angles for the best deal possible.

‘Very well, Mr. Jones,’ says the pilot. ‘If you can go through the entire flight without screaming once, without yelling, without saying a single word, then you and Berwyn can have your tickets for free.’

So the plane takes off, and the pilot makes sure it’s a rough one. Launches almost straight up, and does a loop at the end. Jones says nothing.

The pilot throws the plane from side to side. Still not a peep from him. He uses every single bit of acrobatics in his repertoire, over and over again, and Jones stays tight-lipped. He even flies the thing upside down without the smallest reaction from the Welshman.

After they land, the pilot turns to Jones in utter disbelief.

‘Mr. Jones, that was incredible,’ he says. ‘I’ve been doing this for twenty years, and no-one’s ever been able to hold back from screaming. Tell me, was there ever a point in the flight, even for a second, where you wanted to say something?’

‘Aye,’ Jones replies. ‘When Berwyn fell out.’

#134 ::: SeanH ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:09 AM:

Steve @25:

How do you calculate the number of molecules in one gram-molecule of guacamole?

It's the Avocado constant.

#135 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:14 AM:

Hi Kaja! Welcome!

@62: (Given that I'm posting without having caught up on the thread, someone will almost certainly have gotten here first, but...) There are several jokes in that suite:

-Why is a mouse when it spins?

-The higher, the fewer.

-What's the difference between a telephone pole?

-A loaf of bread. Ice cream has no bones.

Are there Polish corollaries?

#136 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:18 AM:

Note to self: don't try to get a taxi on the evening of St. Patrick's day; three hours is too long to wait for one.

#137 ::: Madeley ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:28 AM:

Regarding German humour, I'm reminded of an article written by Stewart Lee in the Guardian a number of years ago.

Lee's on tour in the UK at the moment. He's one of the world's finest, smartest stand-ups. If you get a chance to see him, go.

#138 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:55 AM:

Department of Redundancy Department!

#139 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:59 AM:

Alex Cohen @ 11, my fiancé's college roommate liked to tell that one, except using the line "Got any grapes?" He did the duck voice and pronounced it "Got any gwapes?" "Got any gwapes?" has passed into in-joke status at our house.

#140 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:39 AM:

Did you hear the one about the blogger?

The lurkers supported him in e-mail.

A man in a diving suit walks into a bar. And the lobster climbed out from under the soft watch to serve him.

#141 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:39 AM:

#129:

Reminds me of the choral ones, eg,

Q: How many tenors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One. He hold the lightbulb and the universe revolves around him

Q: How many altos..?
A: None. It's Too High!

#142 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:42 AM:

A man leaves the airport and hops into a cab. The cabbie says, "Where to, bud?"

The man says, "I want to get scrod!"

The cabbie says, "I've been all over this city, and that's the first time I heard that request in the third person pluperfect plural!"

#143 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:45 AM:

Aside from the jokes (which I love), I wanted to make a note about how tasty the Starbucks instant coffee packets are, particularly the Colombian.

#144 ::: Tucker ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:45 AM:

Lin Daniel @36, the version I heard of the joke in the O.P. included the throwaway "The bartender is still polishing Descartes's glass."

In the spirit of abi @27: A man walks into a bar. He has a few drinks and chats with the bartender. Later that night, he goes home alone and reflects on the poor decisions he's made in life.

#145 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:48 AM:

Bruce @ 103 - It's called "The Waiting Room at Dang-Dang", printed in "The Tough Coughs As He Ploughs the Dough". Page 33, for what it's worth, since the TOC doesn't list the essays individually.

#146 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:58 AM:

Andrew @ 104, it looks like that answers the question "What if Theodore Geisel had written the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon stories?" That would be a heck of a mash-up. heh.

#147 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 12:01 PM:

Drat, should be @144, not @104.

#148 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 12:02 PM:

Nightsky@31: "A neutron walks into a bar and orders a beer. It arrives, and the neutron goes, 'Great! How much?' The bartender goes, 'For you--no charge.'"

So a drunk neutrino walks into a Mexican bar...

#149 ::: LDR ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 12:10 PM:

Your Obedient Serpent @83: Diana Wynne Jones uses that same joke in one of her short stories.

#150 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 12:15 PM:

Madeley @ 136:

Alas, that Stewart Lee article is largely nonsense, as was pointed out by this Language Log post not long after it appeared.

Despite what Lee claims, there certainly are stand-up comics in Germany, including a Berliner who sets world records for audience size and a sub-genre of Turkish-German comedians.

(But thanks for the recommendation on Lee as a comedian -- I've gone off and watched a couple of videos on YouTube, and he does seem pretty funny.)

#151 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 12:30 PM:

Thomas @#140:
Q: How many sopranos does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One to change the lightbulb, and one to hold the ladder and ask if that isn't a little high for you, dear?

Q: What's the difference between a bull and a symphony orchestra?
A: A bull has its horns at the front and its *sshole at the back.

#152 ::: Shan ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 12:56 PM:

@80, 27: When I was on exchange in college in Norway the German students mocked us Americans with-
"What's the difference between American beer and making love on a boat?"
"They're both f***ing close to water."

#153 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:02 PM:

Shan, #151: Tangential to that, my partner and I refer to the flavorless, light brown beverage served in some restaurants as "American-beer iced tea".

#154 ::: Ruth Temple ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:07 PM:

Being from Minne-snow-ta, we had the "un, deux, trois, cats, sank" punchline with a "Three French-canadian kittens playing on thin ice" lead-in.


How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Just the one, but the lightbulb really has to be ready to work at it.

ba-dum *tsching!*

#155 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:38 PM:

Q: How many bass players does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. The keyboardist does it with his left hand.

Q: How many folkies does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One to change the lightbulb and ten to complain about it going electric.

Q: How many saxophonists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Fuck the changes, just blow.

Q: What do you call a guy who hangs around with musicians all the time?
A: A drummer.

Q: What's the difference between a violin and a viola?
A: A viola burns longer.

Q: What's the difference between a trombonist and a roadkill armadillo?
A: The armadillo was on his way to a gig.

Q: How can you tell a singer is at the door?
A: He can't find the key, and doesn't know when to come in.

#156 ::: Peter Hentges ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:39 PM:

In a brief break from your light-bulb merriment, I come to pass on to you this learning: A study of Star Wars as Icelandic Saga.

(Apologies if it's found its way here previously.)

#157 ::: Kaja ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:41 PM:

Jacque @ 134: Not that I know of, but these seem to vary a lot by family/small community, so it wouldn't surprise me if there were.

Why do ducks have wide, flat feet?
To stamp out forest fires.

Why do elephants have wide, flat feet?
To put out the flaming ducks.

And in the vein of the choral/orchestra jokes above, here's one from the climbing community:

What's the difference between a mountain guide and God?

God doesn't think he's a mountain guide.

Thanks to everyone for the warm welcomes!

#158 ::: Kaja ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:44 PM:

Shan @ 151: That joke is quite popular up here in Canada as well, with "boat" often changed to "canoe".

#159 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 01:53 PM:

Library joke: How many catalogers does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, but they have to see how the LC does it first.

(Thanks folks, I'll be here all week. Check out my dramatic readings from the AACRII!)

#160 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:04 PM:

How many mathematicians does it take to change a light bulb?

Just one; he hands it to a cataloger, thus reducing it to a previously solved joke.

#161 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:04 PM:

Back at Jordin #98:

What is the correct way to respond when one has failed an exam on nomenclature priority?

"CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHNN!"


#162 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:05 PM:

Clifton Royston @112 said: How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Two to hold the giraffe, and seven to fill the bathtub with brightly painted machine tools.

While preparing for an insanely detailed college-level Art History final (of which 75 questions were to be photos of works we'd never seen before -- made anywhere from the Dawn of Time to 1950 -- that we had to give a short-answer response identifying artistic style or movement), some classmates and I pulled an all-night study session that got really silly.

I pulled out a variant of the joke above (only the two people were painting the giraffe blue, not just holding it), and someone topped me with, "Ok, how many Dadaists? Fish." Someone else said, "Ok, how many Baroque artists does it take to change a lightbulb? Just the one, but it takes five guys to get all those damn cherubs off the fixture first ..." and we were off and running.

I think we came up with a hundred highly-detailed art-style lightbulb jokes that night, and I know they helped me pass the exam. I wish I'd written them down. While some were just accurate enough to help study, some were really funny.

How many impressionists does it take to change a lightbulb? None, they go out in the plein air. And besides, you'd have to put something on the fixture to make it go all speckly.

How many go-to-hell avant-garde performance artists? It's so much edgier just to smash the blown one and leave it in.

#163 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:05 PM:

How many Canadians does it take to change a light bulb?

One.

How do you identify the bride at a Canadian wedding?

She's the one in the long white fancy dress.

How do you get a bunch of Canadians out of a swimming pool?

Yell "Hey, everybody, OUT OF THE POOL!"

#164 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:07 PM:

(delurks [1])

Caroline (way up there @8):

"Nope, I’m a frayed knot."

As well as this, I very much like the follow-ups, where the piece of string is replaced by something else, but the punchline retains an (increasingly tortuous) relationship to the original "I’m afraid not." My favourite is this:

James Doohan walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Hey! Didn’t you play Mr. Spock in Star Trek?" Doohan replies: "No, I portrayed Scott." (There’s also one about “a crayed dot”, but not being very techno-computery, I forget how that one works.)

This sort of thing also works with other well known phrases or sayings apart from "I’m afraid not" of course:

A troll walks into a bar wearing a long coat and an ink-blot mask. "Why on earth are dressed like that?" asks the bartender. And the man replies (all together!): "Because Rorschach is what I am doing."

(/gets coat and goes back to lurkland)

[1] At the mention of bar jokes, disappointingly enough; I’d rather hoped I’d delurk when I had an exceptional and brilliant insight into something, but there we are. [2]

[2] Sorry – I’ve not worked out this superscript thing yet.

#165 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:09 PM:

In David Dyer-Bennett's vein, here's one swiped from Robert Sawyer:

How does a blind man tell who's Canadian at a crowded cocktail party? They're the one who apologizes when you step on their toes.

#166 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:13 PM:

Kaja @156, if we're doing elephant jokes now:

How can you tell if there's an elephant in your refrigerator?

There are footprints in the butter.

How does an elephant get up a tree?

Sits on an acorn and waits.

How does an elephant get out of the tree?

Sits on a leaf and waits for fall.

#167 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:18 PM:

Argh. Had to be didn't it? Leave (at least one!) word out of your first post. "Why on earth are you dressed like that?" of course.[1]

Kaja @156 -- the mention of mountains reminds me of my favourite maths joke [2]:

Q: What do you get if you cross a lion and a giraffe?

A: Lion giraffe cos theta.

And the follow up:

Q: What do you get if you cross a giraffe with a mountain climber?

A: You can't because a mountain climber is a scaler.

[1] I noticed I've re-appeared almost instantly after saying I'd gone back to lurkdom. Bit like flounce-return, this, isn't it, although hopefully not as irritating...

[2] It's a very long time since I was a maths student. Apologies if my less than brilliant memory of how vector products work has ruined this and just produced tumbleweed and silence...

#168 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:21 PM:

Elliott Mason (164): That works to identify Southerners, too.

#169 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:21 PM:

What's purple and goes slam, slam, slam, slam?
- A four-door grape.


(I love this one for coming so close to actually making sense in joke-logic that it causes mental lock-up for not...quite...getting there.)

#170 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:25 PM:

If we're going to do elephant jokes ...
Q: Why did the elephant paint its toenails red?
A: To hide in the [cherry tree | strawberry patch].

Q: Does it work?
A: Have you ever seen an elephant in one?

Q: What do you call a hippopotamus who rides a train?
A: A passenger.

#171 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:29 PM:

A very similar psychologist light bulb joke:

How many non-directive therapists does it take to change a light bulb?


How many would you like there to be?

#172 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:30 PM:

Q: How can you tell there's an elephant in your refrigerator?

A: You can smell the peanuts on his breath.

#173 ::: Tucker ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:32 PM:

"I'm sorry, sir, but animal control regulations say that your 800-pound gorilla cannot, in fact, sit anywhere he wants to."

#174 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:32 PM:

Okay, let's forget all this stuff about lurking...

Elliott Mason @164:

This reminds me of the time I was on a train with a bunch of Canadian academics. [1]

We got to talking about respective national jokes (I'm English, although I now live in Wales -- the principality, not the cetaceans, which, to be fair, is a "joke" that doesn't work so well in written form, though I remain tremendously fond of it) and one of the Canadian boffins told me his favourite joke:

Q: "How do you get two dozen drunken Canadians out of your swimming pool at three in the morning after a wild party?"

A: You say to them: "Everyone out of the pool now, lads."


[1] This isn't a set up to a joke, it really happened. [2]

[2] and a) I have no idea if "bunch" is the correct term for a grouping of Canadian academics, and b) if I'm going to carry on in this vein, I really must learn how to properly signal footnotes.

#175 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:33 PM:

Mark W. @ 166: I heard it as:

Q: What do you get when cross a mosquito and a mountain climber?
A: Nothing. You can't cross a vector with a scaler.

#176 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:36 PM:

173
Your footnotes are fine. Don't worry about it.

#177 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:39 PM:

(This works better orally than in print.)

Q: How do you circumcise a whale?
A: Send down four skin-divers.

#178 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:49 PM:

Tim,

Indeed -- I can remember that I found this funny, but my memories of the specifics, and, in fact, how cross and dot products work, is very hazy indeed.


PJ,

Thank you -- I have it my head that numbers in square brackets mean page references, but as long as it's clear enough, I guess...

#179 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:50 PM:

What's purple and commutes?

An abelian grape.

#180 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:52 PM:

I like this Mark_W guy!1

1Unless he's a girl.2

2In which case I like him anyway.3

3Try typing: <sup>N</sup>

#181 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 02:58 PM:

Ah, for the age of ethnic jokes.

Q: Why did the [_____] dog have a bloody nose?
A: From chasing parked cars.

Q: Why does it take a [_____] two days to wash a basement window?
A: 'Cause it takes him a day and a half to dig the hole for the ladder.

#182 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:04 PM:

Jacque @179,

Well, heavens bless you for saying so.1

1 and for the advice on superscripts.2

2 Which, through the miracle of the preview button, I see has done the job splendidly.3

3 Hooray!


#183 ::: alex ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:06 PM:

Well, if we're off the bar jokes...

What's gray, has two big ears and a trunk?

A mouse going on holiday!


What's brown, has two big ears and a trunk?

A suntanned elephant!!

See how I fooled with your mind there....?

#184 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:06 PM:

Mark_W @ #166

Q: What do you get if you cross a lion and a giraffe?
A: Lion giraffe cos theta.
That would be the dot product. The cross product is "|lion| |giraffe| sin θ, in a mutually perpendicular direction as given by the right hand rule".

(People will say just "lion giraffe sin theta", but in this case I think precision is funnier than brevity. YMMV.)

#185 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:07 PM:

For the multilinguals, I offer this:

Q: Pourquoi Nicolas Sarkozy mange-t-il qu'un oeuf pour le petit dejeuner?

A: Parce que one egg, ca suffit.

And for abi at 27:

A man goes into a baker's, and says 'I'd like to roll around'. The reply comes: 'OK, provided it's not too dirty on the floor'

('Ich moechte gern r(h)umkruegelen.''Meinetwegen, wenn es nich zu schmuetzig am Fussboden ist')

#186 ::: Joseph M. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:09 PM:

So...

What's small and yellow and goes "ho ho ho"?

Santa Banana.

What's small and yellow and doesn't get wet when it rains?

A canary with an umbrella.

What's small and yellow and goes "put put put"?

An outboard lemon.

As a bonus: what's yellow and creamy and really dangerous?

Shark-infested custard.

#187 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:10 PM:

Tim #174:

*Snork*

Graydon #178:

The nice thing about Abelian grapes is that they taste just the same, no matter what order you eat them in.

#188 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:15 PM:

Mark_W: Are you any relation to abi? There's a certain...resemblance1.

1Not accusing abi of having a sock-puppet.2
2Though this is a very nice sock-puppet if s/he were.3
3I think you may have created a new Making Light tradition/running joke here.4
4Which I will now proceed to beat to death.5

And you can do subscriptsN with the same markup save use b instead of p.

5Well, except abi probably really started it, but that just supports my allegation above, n'est-ce pas?

#189 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:16 PM:

Tim @182,

Thank you, it's all starting to come back to me now...

In this case I think precision is funnier than brevity

I think you're right, I laughed out loud again reading you setting it out in full...

:-)

#190 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:31 PM:

Why did the dinosaur lose interest in sex?

Because he had a reptile dysfunction.

#191 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:33 PM:

Now that it's safe to leave the bar, my Favorite Riddle Ever, which is funniest when said aloud but you can't have everything, can you:

Q: Why does a chicken coop have two doors?
A: Because if it had four doors, it'd be a chicken sedan.

#192 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:38 PM:

Eric:

I guess he hadn't gotten all the email ads offering him diagra?

#193 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:40 PM:

In the aftermath of the coup against the Double Kings of New Sparta, the revolutionary council decided not, as was common practice, to strip the ex-kings of all wealth and valubles to pay for the revolution. Instead, they were allowed to keep all offshore accounts, allowed to take several suitcases of valuables each, and given the royal executive jet to fly them to the first destination in their exile, New Athens.

On arriving, their majesties hired a limo and had themselves driven to the nearest bar. They walked in, walked past the bartender, and began to eat from the Free Lunch Buffet. After completely cleaning out the buffet, they sat down at the bar and ordered beers to quench the thirst created by all that salty food.

As he served up the beer, the bartender asked, "What was with the food? I've never seen anyone eat so much from the buffet in such a short time."

One of the kings replied, "It's simple. What deposes Us and does not bill Us, makes Us hungry."

#194 ::: SBC ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 03:56 PM:

This seems to be the thread for temporary de-lurking1, so in response to Martin @111:

A man sits down at the bar and asks the pretty female bartender for a drink. While she pours a beer, he pulls out a tiny piano from his backpack, sets it on the table, and looks at it mournfully.

What's the story? the bartender asks.

Alas, says the guy, this piano is the finest of its kind, the last thing that the late, great, Pa Steinway himself crafted by hand. But I've never heard it played the way it's meant to be. I once found a bottle with a genie, and wished for a ten-inch pianist to play it, but the genie must have been hard of hearing after so many years in his bottle...

Say no more, says the barkeep, will you come home with me tonight?


1 I'm with Mark_W on this - de-lurking on a thread about bar jokes2, rather than with a brilliant flash of insight? Oh well...

2 And non-bar jokes, too3.

3 And running gags.

#195 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:02 PM:

lorax @ 165, Mark W @173 (bear with me down this set):

How many elephants can you get in a Mini?
Four, two in the front, two in the back

How do you get two whales in a Mini?
Down the M5 then turn west.*

How can you tell there's an elephant in your refrigerator?
Footprints in the butter.

How can you tell there are two elephants in your refrigerator?
Footprints in the butter.

How can you tell there are three elephants in your refrigerator?
The door won't shut.

How can you tell there are four elephants in your refrigerator?
There's a Mini parked outside.

(Okay, so it works better with several other jokes in between).

* Yeah, works better verbally.

#196 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:04 PM:

Q: Why do Marxists drink herbal tea?

A: Because property is theft.

#197 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:11 PM:

Graydon@178:

The abelian grape joke is by far the best mathematical pun ever (not that the competition is terribly strong.)

In the same vein, slightly more technical

Q: What's sour and equivalent to the Axiom of Choice?
A: Zorn's Lemon

Q: What's green and homeomorphic to the open unit interval?
A: The real lime.

#198 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:11 PM:

Myself @ 194 The third one should, of course, be:

How can you tell there are two elephants in your refrigerator?
Two sets of footprints in the butter.

#199 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:14 PM:

Jacque @187,

Are you any relation to abi?

Alas no; although heavens bless you1 for mentioning me in the same sentence as someone so brilliant and talented...

Well, except abi probably really started it.

Oh absolutely. Who was it2 who said, "If you going to copy something, copy from the best"?

1again!

2It was Francis Ford Coppola, I think3 when questioned about the increasing resemblance of the Godfather films to King Lear4

3 It was either him or somebody else, at any rate.

4 And it was either King Lear or some other Shakespeare5 play.

5 You're bard!6

6 Sorry, I've forgotten the comment number above where the Shakespeare/bard joke appeared...

#200 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:15 PM:

How many Marxists does it take to change a lightbulb?

None; each lightbulb contains the seeds of its own revolution.

(Welcome, lurkers, who are not me*†‡. Anyone write poetry?)

-----
* You can tell because I use glyph-based footnote markers.
† And, indeed, anyone who is me‡
‡ s/me/I/ if you're being grammatical§.
§ Another way to tell it's me‡ is footnotes that need to be footnoted**.
** Circularly if possible

#201 ::: lightning ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:17 PM:

Ah, the bad old jokes.

Q. What do you get if you cross an elephant and a rhinoceros?
A. Elephino.

Q. What do you get if you try to cross two roosters?
A. Two cross roosters.

(for the musicians)
Q. What is perfect pitch?
A. Throwing an accordion so that it lands on a banjo.

(and there's gotta be lightbulbs)
Q. How many nuclear engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. 50. One to change it and 49 to figure out what to do with the old one.

Q. How many NASA engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. Only one, but the ladder won't be ready for ten years, and new bulb costs $10,000,000 and has a left-hand thread.

#202 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:19 PM:

Wow. Elephant jokes. I haven't heard one of those in years....

Okay, how 'bout knock-knock jokes?1

A: Knock-knock.
B: Who's there?
A: Dwane.
B: Dwane who?
A: Dwane the bathtub, I'm dwouning.

... A: Viper.
... A: Veendow viper. Ju vant ju veendows viped?

1I discovered the hard way that knock knock jokes are really hard to tell to people who have only recently learned English.

#203 ::: Joseph M. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:31 PM:

In the spirit of dcb@194:

Q: How to you get an elephant in your refrigerator?
A: Open the door, put in the elephant, close the door.

Q: How to you get a giraffe in your refrigerator?
A: Open the door, take out the elephant, put in the giraffe, close the door.

Q: The lion, as king of the jungle, called a meeting of all the animals. Who didn't come?
A: The giraffe, since it was locked in the fridge.

Q: You need to cross an crocodile-infested river. How do you do it?
A: Swim. The crocodiles are at the lion's meeting.

#204 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:32 PM:

Thomas@196: Ah, I like "sour"; I've mostly heard it with "yellow", which is okay too, but getting slightly surprised is nice1.

Graydon@178: I think the Abelian grape is my favorite. My father was an algebraist, taught college math all his life. And he hadn't heard it before I told him. I was pleased!

Mark_w@166: I learned it as crossing an Elephant with a grape2, but it's all good. I don't generally bother with the absolute values for the joke, but they're correct.

1 Besides, I do like sour.

2 Probably because I got it next door to the Abelian grape.

#205 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:32 PM:

Oo! Oo! Oo! I can trot out my DEC joke:

Q: How do you know which person in the parking lot is DEC service rep?
A: He's the one swapping out the tires on the car to figure out which one is flat. And if that doesn't work, he makes the passengers get out and sit in different seats to see if it's operator error.

Yes, SBC, it's hard to go wrong with bad jokes.

Q: How many Boulderites/Californians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: [BC]*s don't screw in lightbulbs, they screw in hot tubs.

Q: How many [BC]*s does it take to water a plant?
A: Four. One to water the plant, one to talk to the plant, one to mist the plant's leaves with Perrier, and one to share the experience.

Q: How many Oregonians does it take to water a plant?
A: Five. One to water the plant, and four to fend off the Californians trying to horn in on the experience.

*Wildcard, not a footnote.

#206 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:40 PM:

Some time ago, I was visiting home and having a fun dinner with family, and the subject of zombie jokes came up. I told one, I think someone else chimed in, then I brought up the Scalzi Whatever thread about them... and my mother was mystified. It took her several minutes to figure them out. Not as weird a cognitive disconnect as trying to explain Apples to Apples to her, but it's close.

The best part about zombie jokes is that, at least in my family, none of us can remember more than three or so. Every time they break out, we have to come up with them more or less de novo. Happily, this is not difficult.

What's worse than finding a worm in your apple?
The Holocaust.

#207 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:46 PM:

Thomas:

Homeomorphic to the real lime? Doesn't that mean you have to dilute the lime a bunch of times?

#208 ::: Jason Aronowitz ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:47 PM:

OK, it’s been thirty years since I last told this joke; I’ll try to get it right.

A charter flight filled with Polish tourists was coming in for a landing at Kennedy airport. As it began its approach, the pilot announced that the Statue of Liberty would be visible on the right 1. As the tourists crowded to peer out the windows, the aircraft suddenly became unstable and crashed.

Later, the FAA determined the cause of the instability: All of the Poles were on the right-hand side of the plane. 2

1This was pre-TSA.
2Routh-Hurwitz stability criterion. Electrical engineering reference about the location of poles and zeroes in the complex plane and control system stability.

#209 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:50 PM:

A physicist, an engineer, and a computer programmer were in a car together, driving through the mountains. As they were descending a mountain, the brakes failed. The car sped up to some unreasonable speed, but somehow the guy driving it got it under control, slowed it down, and finally got them stopped in one piece at the bottom of a long, steep descent.

They got out of the car, opened the hood, and looked around to see what had happened. After a moment, the physicist said "I know why this happened." The engineer then said "I know how to fix it." And the computer programmer responded "I'm not sure there's really a problem, let's push it back up the mountain and see if it happens again."

#210 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:51 PM:

DD-B @203 --

The Abelian Grape is one of those things that feels like it actually makes some truly sensical value of sense at some times; it doesn't, but it feels like it almost ought to.

I prefer the sour version of Zorn's lemon, too.

Thomas @196 --

It's entirely possible I haven't heard the "real lime" one before; thank you! (I am fortunate in having few nearby cubicle neighbors to hear me groan.)

#211 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:51 PM:

Oh, well if we're into vehicle jokes, I can tell my favorite:

"I used to have a Heisenberg car, but I had to sell it."
"Why?"
"Every time I looked at the speedometer I got lost."

#212 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:55 PM:

<falls over!>

#213 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:57 PM:

Knock-knock!
Who's there?
Philip Glass. Knock-knock!
Who's there?
Philip Glass. Knock-knock!
Who's there?
Philip Glass. Knock-knock!
....

#214 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 04:59 PM:

At one time, Trader Joe's sold a variety of coffee labelled as 'Heisenberg's Blend' - it was coffee where the roasting company had lost track of the variety.

#215 ::: Dave MB ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:12 PM:

[Musical light bulbs...]

Q: How many choral conductors does it take to change a light bulb?

A: No one knows, no one was watching.

[Math puns]

Q: What is purple, commutes, and is worshiped by a limited number of people?

A: A finitely venerated abelian grape.

[Guy walks into a bar joke]

Guy walks into a bar with a cute little dog. Says to the bartender

G: "This is my talking dog!"

B: "Yeah, right."

G: "Here, I'll show you. Fido, what do you call the top of a house?"

F: Roof!

B: Oh, come on...

G: Fido, how would you describe sandpaper?

F: Rough!

B: Ok, now I'm annoyed. I'll tell you what -- I'll ask him a question, and if he answers in clear English, you can drink free all night. But otherwise I throw you out of here.

G: Ok, you've got a deal.

B: Who was the greatest baseball player of all time?

[A few minutes later, as Fido is licking Guy's face on the pavement outside]

F: You think maybe I should have said "DiMaggio"?

#216 ::: Madeley ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:14 PM:

Peter Erwin @ 159:

Hah, I had no idea Lee was talking out of his backside on that one.

Here's a YouTube of the Clement Freud gag that I remember seeing via a link here a while ago.

#217 ::: fansler ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:16 PM:

I love the elephant jokes! They're so ridiculous but they always make me laugh.

Here's a joke about Finns (who are known for not being very talkative).

Three Finns are sitting on a porch drinking when a rabbit hops past.

A day goes by.

The first Finn says "Huh, a white rabbit!"

Another day passes.

The second Finn says "It was a brown rabbit."

Another day passes.

The third Finn says "Are we going to drink or are we going to talk?"

(Hi! My name's fansler and I've been reading for a long time. I'm also a Finn, which might explain why it's taken me so long to say anything!)

#218 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:16 PM:

More musician jokes:

What's the difference between a violin and a viola?
The viola holds more beer.

What do you call a drummer who's broken up with his girlfriend?
Homeless.

A tuba player walks out of a bar.


And an engineer joke:

What's the difference between a mechanical engineer and a civil engineer?
Mechanical engineers make weapons. Civil engineers make targets.

#219 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:18 PM:

Abi @1991

(Welcome, lurkers, who are not me. Anyone write poetry?)2

You can tell because I use glyph-based footnote markers11.

1 Good score for a cricketer that (199, I mean). Excellent average-boosting century, although a fine for jug-avoidance may soon ensue...

2 Heavens bless you3 for asking the question. (I’ve been lurking a while). My answer is “no”4

3 I don’t get paid each time I say this, honestly!

4 At least for certain values of “no”.5

5 Now I seem to be copying at least one of our brilliant hosts as well!6

6 What I mean is, I love poetry, and have read S. Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled: It is,7, virtually impossible for anyone for whom these two situations obtain, to have not at least tried the various exercises in said tome8.

7 I’d aver...

8 What I mean is, I yield to no-one in my admiration of (in particular) Keats, but I don’t9 think my Fry-induced efforts10 amount to “writing poetry.”

9 Yet, at any rate...

10 Which, essentially, amount to finishing something that is, technically if not artistically, a villanelle.

11 Quite right. Even if I knew how to do the glyph-based markers, I’d have left them to the originating genius...

:-)

#220 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:21 PM:

And of course, I forgot the elephant joke.

How do you get down off an elephant?
You don't get down off an elephant, you get down off a duck!

#221 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:23 PM:

Abi @ 210 -

I love that so much I'm filing off the serial numbers and stealing it!

#222 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:25 PM:

I have just found my copy of Price/Stern/Sloan's Elephants, Grapes and Pickles.

I knew it's wasn't in the refrigerator or the giraffe would have pointed it out...

What's green and has sideburns and plays guitar?
Elvis Parsley.

What's purple and wants to conquer the world?
Alexander the Grape.

What do you get when you cross peanut butter with an elephant?
Either (1) peanut butter with a very long memory or (2) an elephant that sticks to the roof of your mouth.

What's purple and lights up?
An electric grape.

How did Tarzan hurt his foot?
Trying to make wine from electric grapes.

What's green and squishy and spends a lot of time under water?
An avocado with an aqualung.

And finally (for the moment), what's yellow, wears a mask, and never smokes or drinks?
The Lone Banana.

Why did he become the Lone Banana?
He got tired of being one of the bunch.

#223 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:26 PM:

A physicist, a statistician and a mathematics professor were all having lunch together on the patio of a café across the street from a vacant building. Whilst they're ordering, two people go into the vacant building. Over the course of the meal, three people leave it.

"Ah," says the physicist. "Our initial assumptions were incorrect."

"Ah," says the statistician. "We have made a sampling error."

"Ah," nods the maths prof sagely. "If one more person goes into the building, it will be empty again."

#224 ::: Madeley ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:27 PM:

Can't believe the classic drummer joke hasn't shown up yet:

What's got three legs and an arsehole?

A drum stool.

#225 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:29 PM:

true story, from the priest in question:

An episcopal priest is teaching at Tulane in New Orleans. He has two sisters from St. Benedict's in MN come down to do a guest lecture about monastic life. They happily teach, wearing the distinctive veils and habits of their order. When the sisters were done, they had an extra afternoon to be tourists.

"Where do you want to go?" asks the good father, assuming some of the museums or other cultural sights of his city.

"How about Bourbon Street?"

So they walk around Bourbon Street for a while, looking in all sorts of interesting retail establishments. It got to be dinner time and he mentioned some of the fine, longstanding culinary institutions for which NOLA is justly famous.

No, said the sisters. "How far is it to the Hard Rock Cafe?"

In shock, but always the gracious host, he leads them onward and holds the door open as they walk in...and realizes:

Two nuns and a priest walk into the Hard Rock Cafe...

He's been trying to figure out the punchline ever since.

#226 ::: Renatus ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:29 PM:

Jacque @ 201: Knock-knock jokes?

A: Knock-knock!
B: Who's there?
A: Cthul!
B: Cthul who?
*both A and B are devoured*

#227 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:35 PM:

Have the musicians here heard the one about the tenor who was so stupid, the other tenors noticed?

...

Jacque, 204:

How can you tell the guy on the highway with the flat tire is a hardware engineer?

He's swapping out the tires to see which one has the flat.

How can you tell the guy on the highway with the empty gas tank is a software engineer?

He's swapping out the tires to see which one has the flat.

...


A favorite bilingual joke of mine:

The chief rabbi of Great Britain was receiving a knighthood, so the Lord Chamberlain spent a day walking him through the ceremony, including rehearsing the Latin phrase he needed to recite when the queen did whatever it is she does at these things.

Well, when the time came, the rabbi was so nervous, he completely forgot the Latin phrase he was supposed to say. So instead, thinking quick, he said the first foreign phrase he could bring to mind: "Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol halailot."

The queen was puzzled by this, turned to the Lord Chamberlain, and asked him, "Why is this knight different from all the other knights?"

#228 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:39 PM:

Mark_W @ 218: Anyone who can use "aver" correctly is probably going to fit right in here.

Okay, 'plane landing jokes. It's about three months late for this one really, but hey...

As the El Al plane came in for a landing at Ben Gurion airport, the voice of the captain came on:

"Please remain seated with your seat belts fastened until this plane has come to a complete stop and the seat belt signs have been turned off.

"We also wish to remind you that cell phones may not be used until the exit doors have been opened.

"To those who are still seated, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and hope that you enjoy your visit to Israel.

"To those of you standing in the aisles and talking on your cell phones, we wish you a Happy Chanukah, and welcome back home."

(Thank you Siobhan for sending me that one)

#229 ::: Madeley ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:40 PM:

And to cover the rest of the band:

How do you slow lead guitarists down?

Put sheet music in front of them.

How many bassists does is take to change a lightbulb?

One, but a guitarist has to show them how to first.

#230 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:41 PM:

Q: What does a stripper do with her asshole before going to work?
A: Drop him off at band practice.

Q: How do you address a drummer in a three-piece suit?
A: "Will the defendant please rise?"

#231 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:43 PM:

What do you do with a drummer who has lost his sense of rhythm?

Take away one of his sticks and put him in front of the orchestra.

#232 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:44 PM:

Q: Why do the natives climb trees at 5pm?
A: To get out of the way of returning elephants.

Q: What's the red stuff between the elephants' toes?
A: Slow natives.

#233 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:46 PM:

Jacque @201: Oooh, I have one.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Impatient cow. Mooooooo.

#234 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:47 PM:

Steve C @220:
The Lord Mayor of Glasgow told it at one of the two Glasgow Worldcons; I can't recall which one. So you'll have to make your own decision about stealing it. Those Glaswegians can be a 'ard lot, you know.

-----

A chemist is in his lab late at night and a fire breaks out. He grabs the biggest container he can find, fills it with water, and dumps it over the conflagration. The fire goes out, but his lab notes are ruined. Huge mess.

A physicist is in his lab late at night and a fire breaks out. He takes a few measurements, then gets a 5ml flask and pours a small quantity of water on a couple of spots. The fire goes out with minimal damage.

A mathematician is in his lab late at night and a fire breaks out. He rushes to the bathroom, gets a match, lights it, and dunks it in a cup of water. "Aha!" he declares. "There exists a solution!"

-----

Two actuaries are deer hunting. They both see the same deer at the same moment, and both fire their guns. One shoots 10 feet in front of the poor bewildered beast, while the other's shot goes 10 feet behind it.

The actuaries turn to each other in perfect delight. "We hit it!"

#235 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:48 PM:

226 ::: Chris Quinones @ 226:

The knighted rabbi joke really cracked me up. That's goinng to get repeated at this year's Seder.

#236 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:49 PM:

Did you hear about the time the bassist accidentally locked the drummer in his car?

He had to break a window to get him out.

#237 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:53 PM:

Jacque @201,

A: Dwane the bathtub, I'm dwouning.

This reminds me of, to lurch desperately towards something involving books and stuff, of a time (a long time ago, back when I used to actually know the difference between cross and dot products1) when it was a habit of mine to read Wilbur Smith books.

One of them2, halted the narrative, rather screechingly, during a plane hijack3, to tell (more or less, this isn’t an exact quote, I no longer have the book) the following joke:

“The mighty god Thor once descended from his place of wherever he lived4 and had his wicked way with a peasant maiden. Afterwards, Thor thought it would well behoove him to, at the very least, introduce himself. “I’m Thor!” he declaimed. “Tho am I,” replied the maiden, “But it wath a loth of fun.”

I mention this not because I thought it actually funny or anything, but simply that I was rather staggered that someone like Wilbur Smith would switch his readers off for a page while he, basically (it seemed), told one of his favourite jokes (and one which was actually a good deal less funny than pretty much all of those mentioned here...)

Heigh ho.

1 See above.

2 It was either Wild Justice, or one of the others.

3 I think (and hope!)

4 I have a sad lack of knowledge when it comes to Norse mythology, which is a shame; particularly when it comes to the headgear the deities may or may not have worn: to hark back to #163, I’d like to say something about “Because Thor’s hat is what I am doing”, but I have no idea if this makes any sort of sense.

PS: Keep forgetting to mention how much I like the Abelian grapes.

#238 ::: Madeley ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:55 PM:

In the middle of band practice, a fight breaks out between the bassist and the guitarist.

'What the hell are you doing?' Says the drummer.

'He just detuned one of my strings,' says the bassist.

'Why'd you take a swing at him for that?'

'Because he won't tell me which one.'

#239 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 05:59 PM:

#221 ::: Syd
[...]

What's purple and wants to conquer the world?
Alexander the Grape.

But that's only the start!

Where is Alexander the Grape buried?
In Alexander the Grape's tomb.

Who's in Alexander the Grape's tomb?
(and when everyone has guessed Alexander the Grape)

Alexander the Raisin.

#240 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:02 PM:

Man, there goes another childhood icon:

Fess Parker

#241 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:07 PM:

Speaking of Norse deities....

It had been a wild night in Vahalla. After a night of drinking and wenching, the God of Thunder rises and seeks a fresh conquest. He spies a likely looking Valkyrie lying in the main hall.

He walks up to her and proclaims, "I'm Thor!"

She looks up, blinks, and says, "You're thor? I'm tho thor I can hardly pith!"

#242 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:10 PM:

Shoot, that'll teach me to just pass over the posts. I just retold Mark W's joke, albeit differently.

#243 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:16 PM:

Hi, fansler! (My goodness. Just look at all the lurkers we're luring out of the woodwork!1) (I also notice Singing Wren posting oh, so casually up there! ;-> )3

Mark_W @218: Good score for a cricketer

And not bad for a bowler.

But srsly, tho' Your posts have a definitely poetical rhythm to them. (Or maybe it's just the Burma-Shave–like rhythm.)

Renatus @225: That's a good one!

(I have a feeling this will be one of those reference threads people will be pointing to for ages to come.)

(Also, has anyone noticed, we've burned through almost a quarter of the thread and are still on jokes? Gotta be the most stable topic of all time.)

1There's a poem in there, I can tell. I just can't dig it out.2
2I have to poetry what to music is a tin ear.
3Is there formal syntax for posting a smiley inside of parens?

#244 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:17 PM:

A letterpress walks into a bar, carrying a chair.

"I don't care if you brought your own furniture, you'll still have to leave," the bartender says. "We don't serve your quoin here."

#245 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:43 PM:

Chris Quinones @226: I always feel so smart when I deduce2 the answer syntactically.1

Bumper sticker: "Coprolites happened." Took a sec to parse, since I'd never heard the word. Then I 'bout fell off my bike.

abi @233: I first heard that one from Jon Singer, but he adds a first step: The engineer kicks over the trash can and stomps the flames out.

Mark_W @236: Thor's the short, nekkid, gray one.

Abelian grapes. I keep misreading this as "Aldeberan grapes."

1The handy-dandy translator I have translates your Hebrew as "Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol halailot." Ahem.
2It's even better when I'm right!3
3I'm still liking this joke way too much.
4Okay, I'm starting to answer every post. It's definitely time to go home.
6There is no Rule 6.
5Just so I don't confuse anyone.

#246 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:44 PM:

A single woman walks into a cocktail bar and asks the bartender for a double entendre.

So he gives her one.

#247 ::: Madeley ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:44 PM:

Grishnákh walks into a pub, plants his butt on the bar and demands a drink.

'You'll have to leave,' the bartender says. 'We don't serve orc hind here.'

#248 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:47 PM:

A Texas-themed version of an old favorite:

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To prove to the armadillo that it could be done.

Why did the armadillo cross the road?
To prove that the chicken was wrong.

Why did the Aggie cross the road?
"Dad-blasted chicken got out again!"

***

Why do mice have small balls?
Because most of them don't know how to dance.

***

A chemical engineer, an electrical engineer, and a computer engineer got into a car. The car wouldn't start. The chemical engineer said, "I'll bet there's an impurity in the gas." The electrical engineer said, "I think it must be the starter." The computer engineer said, "Let's all get out and lock the doors, then get back in and try again."

***

Mark, #236: A slightly different version of that one:

The thunder god went for a ride
Upon his favorite filly.
"I'm Thor!" he cried. The horse replied,
"You forgot your thaddle, thilly!"

***

Those of you who have played in an orchestra may be aware that there isn't much of a part for the string basses in the last movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony until the very last section. One night, the bass players in a particular orchestra decided to take advantage of this by sneaking out to the bar for a while, until it was time for them to start playing. They weren't terribly worried about missing their cue, because they'd wrapped some string around the last few pages of the conductor's music, with a little note asking him please not to start that section until they returned.

You can just imagine the conductor's feelings when they came waltzing back in and he realized that... it was the bottom of the Ninth, the basses were loaded, and the score was tied.

#249 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:49 PM:

Ruth Temple @ 153: The version I learned was:

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Only one, but the light bulb really has to want to change.

#250 ::: Alan Braggins ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:54 PM:

How do you get four giraffes into a Mini?
You can't, it's already full of elephants.

Why is an elephant large, grey and wrinkled?
Because if it was small, white, and smooth, it would be an aspirin.

Why are there no aspirins in the jungle?
Because the parrots-eat-em-all.
(Note: paracetemol is English for acetaminophen)

Why do elephants paint the soles of their feet yellow?
So they can float upside down in bowls of custard without being noticed.

Why do elephants paint their balls red?
So they can hide in cherry trees without being noticed.

What's the loudest noise in the jungle?
A giraffe eating cherries.

How do you tell if elephants are gatecrashing your party?
By the Mini parked outside.

How do you get them to leave?
Tell them there are four giraffes outside stealing their Mini.

And, changing the subject slightly, a book review about insufficient dinosaurs and sodomy: http://patriotboy.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-amazon-review-of-christian-romance.html.

#251 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:56 PM:

Abi@233:

The Lord Mayor of Glasgow told it at one of the two Glasgow Worldcons

Nitpick: Lord Provost.

#252 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 06:58 PM:

What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?
Time to get a new fence.

#253 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:08 PM:

How many lightbulbs does it take to change Soviet Russia?

#254 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:11 PM:

Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey @122

"I... left... my... ARRRRT
In Sistine FRESCOES...."

This reminds me of my favourite Da Vinci joke1.

This is by the late, great, Bob Shaw in his 1978 Skycon talk “Up the Conjunction: An Investigation Into Astrology” (collected in Beccon Publication’s 1995 “A Load of Old BoSh”):

Leonardo da Vinci, for example, was way ahead of his time in many ways [...] but not many people know of his connection with early diagnostic medicine...

It came about because he liked working in tempera, which is a type of paint that has egg as one of its constituents. He also like working alfresco – he had some funny habits, old Leonardo – and one, when he was living on a hill outside Florence he covered the entire outside of his house with a magnificent painting which all the townsfolk used to admire. Unfortunately, the land around his house was infested with a kind of insect which was attracted to the egg in the plant and kept climbing up the wall and eating Leonardo’s painting away from the bottom upwards.

He used to counteract this by going out and repainting the picture day by day, but on the days when he wasn’t feeling too good he couldn’t do that, and the picture used to slowly disappear from the bottom. The townsfolk would look up at his house, shake their heads and say, “Leonardo mustn’t be well today – his tempera chewer is rising.”

I still think this is almost certainly the funniest joke in the world, ever...

1 Rather than my favourite mistelling. There’s a joke that goes as follows:

“Vincent Van Gogh goes into a bar. The bartender says, “Would you like a pint Vincent?” And van Gogh says, “No thank you, I’ve got one ‘ere.”

I once told this joke (at the end of a particularly good night) as follows:

“Leonardo da Vinci goes into a bar. The bartender says, “Would you like a pint, Leonardo?” And Da Vinci says, “No thank you, I’ve already got one...”

Cue tumbleweed and embarrassment (and rightly so, as I’d got the name of the joke’s subject and the punchline wrong).

#255 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:12 PM:

Clifton 112: How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Two to hold the giraffe, and seven to fill the bathtub with brightly painted machine tools.

Hmm. I tell that one as "Three: one to hold the giraffe, and one to fill the bathtub with brightly-colored machine parts."

The folk process in action, no doubt.

Q: How many minimalists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One and one and one and one and one and one and one and...

(Witch jokes:)

Q: How many Gardnerians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Can't tell you, that's a 3rd Degree mystery.

Q: How many Alexandrians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: How do the Gardnerians do it?

Q: How many Mycotans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. We just sit in the dark and scream. (If you get this one, you're probably not more than two degrees of separation from me.)

(ObSF:)

Q: How many cyberpunk writers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: All of them. Bill Gibson to do it, and the rest to write manifestos about it.

#256 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:19 PM:

Want to hear my all time favourite knock-knock joke?

OK, you start...

#257 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:25 PM:

Renatus @225,

Yes, that's marvellous1

1 And no footnotes!2

2 Damn!

#258 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:26 PM:

This seems like a good occasion to lobby for a performance of Teresa's publishing-industry lightbulb jokes.

A couple of them appeared on an earlier thread(comment #2), having escaped captivity and ended up in the Prairie Home Companion joke book, but it sounded as though there were more.

#259 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:27 PM:

Dave MB at 214, a friend of mine taught her dog to do that. The usual questions were sandpaper, top of a house, and the best baseball player, but she got to the point where anything interrogative got a soft woof. Wonderful dog to have around.

How do you make a French horn sound like a trombone?
Take your hand out of the bell and miss all the notes.

What's [this]? (hand held loosely upside-down)
A dead one of [these]. (hand held more spryly, right side up)

There was a story in Asimov's within the last couple years about a high school band abducted by aliens until they played a perfect concert. Part of it included band jokes. I really liked the story and shared it with my mother the band director.

#260 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:29 PM:

Alan Braggins @ 249: I don't know if you heard, but a couple WorldCons back a dealer let it be known that they would be selling limited-edition commemorative figurines of some of the better-known Best Fan Writer winners, all designed by Best Fan Artist winners. A friend of mine, terribly fannish, heard about this and (being a bit of a figurine obsessive) seized immediately upon the idea of buying the whole bunch. After arriving in the city, he rushed up to his hotel room to put down his luggage, determined to get to the dealer's room the instant it opened. But as he turned to leave he tripped and knocked his head against the TV stand, out cold. When he awoke, he took one look at the clock--the dealer's room had already opened! He rushed downstairs, clutching his pounding head.

When he got to the table, he slammed his hand on the counter (the other still pressed against his skull), and all but shouted: "Please tell me you have a set of mini-fen!"

#261 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:33 PM:

a boeing 747 is crossing the states when it heads into a dense cloudbank in wyoming. then its navigation instruments all blank out, and for four hours the pilots fly through impenetrable haze.

suddenly they see a high-rise loom out of the fog, and they circle, seeing an office-worker looking out a window.

the pilot calls to the office-worker: "where are we?"

the office worker looks at his computer-screen intently, looks back out the window, and says, "you're in a plane!"

the pilot immediately begins his descent, and within four minutes has landed the plane safely at sea-tac airport.

"that's incredible!" says the co-pilot, "how did you know where we were?"

"well," says the pilot, "the guy gave me an answer that was vacuously true, and entirely useless. so i figured it had to be the microsoft technical help center."

#262 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:36 PM:

@261--
...which is probably now in amritsar, but it's an old joke.

#263 ::: Jenna Moran ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:38 PM:

So Skinner, Dvorak, a grape, and a mathematical constant walk into a Greek restaurant.

And Skinner's all radical behaviorist and stuff, but the constant's doing him one better, ranting and drinking, I mean, it's practically ouzo with bitterness at that end of the table, and the drunker it gets the more it's rambling on about how fallen humanity is, how worthless people are, how the stain on the soul from the apples of Eden is practically irredeemable; and for a while Skinner seems like maybe he could hold his own, but in the end, he just slams back a drink of his own, exhales hard, and says, "Hoo e, you're a negative one."

"I can't help it," e says defensively. "It's the way I was raised."

There's a pretty long silence. I figure that they are all probably thinkin' about whether there needed to be some kind of complex bakery reference first or something or if it's fine like that; and maybe starting to wonder what exactly's gonna happen with the Czech.

"I had understood," the grape says, stiffly, "that there would be a raisin for me to be in this joke."

And leaves.

#264 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:43 PM:

Wow. A joke about e getting pie-eyed.

#265 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:51 PM:

How do you know your stage is level? The drummer is drooling out BOTH sides of his mouth.

A young priest went on retreat to a monastery. The monks would go through the morning mass, and after the close, the presider would chant, "Good morning." The monks would chant in reply, "Good morning."

Well, this priest was a bit of a troublemaker, and though he'd join in with the morning chants, he thought about how to be subtly disruptive. And one morning, after the presider chanted, "Good morning," he joined in the reply with "Good evening!"

Then the presider sang, "Someone chanted evening!"

On running gags— I worked at a summer camp for four years. One of the things that we did was have a nightly serial skit, based on some popular culture movie of the time. (Such as "Men in Hot Pink and Green.") We also had a Sunday night campfire and a Friday night campfire.

You can see the possibilities. The year we did Men In Hot Pink and Green was also the year we dug up the Monty Python sketch about the Man With the Pointed Stick. (Or maybe it's called How To Attack With Fruit— very popular, especially when we used watermelon.) Anyway, the man with the pointed stick actually had a very small stick, just to make it more surreal when the drill sergeant-instructor ran away in fear.

So around about Thursday, they'd be deep in the serial, and the instructor character would literally run past, screaming, right in the middle of an important scene. The MWaPS would follow and laugh maniacally. Then we'd have disco*.

And on Friday night, the same thing would happen again, except this time, the MWaPS would stop in the middle of his maniacal laugh and run off at the sight of the guy carrying a watermelon.

Many of the attendees had never encountered a running gag before. It's always fun when you can up the ante each time.

*When it comes to summer camp, the thing to remember is that the more ludicrous you make it, the more the campers will get into it. If you try to take yourself at all seriously, teenagers will latch onto it immediately and remember that they're supposed to be Cool™.

#266 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 07:52 PM:

These weblog threads are my favorite time waster.

Darn you all! It's like Rip Van Winkle playing ninepins with the elves. When I come back to the real world, time has elapsed.

#267 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:02 PM:

Okay, it's called Self-Defense Against Fresh Fruit. And apparently, no Man With a Pointed Stick actually features in the skit. But hey, we were working from imperfect memory, not Internet— and ours was suitably appropriate.

(We also did a version of the old men sitting around complaining how things were so much tougher in their day— but altered into Boy Scouts cues. My personal favorite? "And what's with this new motto— 'Be Pre-Pared.' Huh. Got nothing on the old one..." (All together) "Watch Your Back!" We'd actually change song lyrics when we'd done that skit...)

#268 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:16 PM:

eric #39: An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a beer. The second orders half a beer. The third, a quarter of a beer. The bartender says 'You can't be serious', and pours two beers.

I've been thinking about that one, and there has to be a discrete and indivisible cluster of molecules that make beer what it is. A beeron. So, the infinite number of mathematicians in the joke would end up ordering an infinite amount of beer, but most of them wouldn't be very satisfied at all.

#269 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:36 PM:

The rabbi is feeling rather lonely around the house, since his wife passed away, so he decides that maybe it'd be nice to have a dog for company. So he goes down to his local pet store, Sam's Discount Pre-Owned Pet Mart, and explains his situation to the owner.

"Rabbi," says Sam, "You're in luck. I have just the dog for you. He's quiet, smart — so smart that he can read and talk — and best of all, he's a good Jew."

The rabbi blinks. "You're putting me on."

"Not at all," says Sam. "Let me show you." And he calls out, "Hey, Irving!"

There's a soft padding sound from the back of the store, and a basset hound slouches out. He has a brown spot on the top of his head that looks kind of like a yarmulke, long floppy ears that look a bit like a prayer shawl, sad droopy eyes — in fact, all in all, he looks remarkably like the rabbi.

The rabbi stares at him. "Is this some kind of joke?"

"Not at all," says Sam. "Hey, Irving, how about you do a little reading for the rabbi?"

Irving sighs, and wanders over to a low bookshelf nearby. He carefully paws out a book, picks it up gently with his mouth, and brings it over to the two men. He places it on the floor, opens it with his paw — it's a copy of the Torah. He starts to read — Book of Job. His Hebrew is... passable. Bit of an accent.

"That's incredible," says the rabbi. "Does he also do the normal kinds of doggy things?"

"I don't know," says Sam, flipping his cigar to the other side of his mouth. "I never asked. We can try him and find out." He points to a rubber bone lying on the floor across the room and says, "Irving — fetch!"

Irving looks up at him, and sits down. "All day long, it's 'Irving' this and 'Irving' that. Never a moment's peace. No time for a nice long walk, not that there's any good trees in the neighbourhood. That blanket he gave me to sleep on hasn't been washed in weeks, and it stinks. And as for the glop he gives me to eat —"

"Hold it," says the rabbi. "What is all this? The man told you to fetch the bone."

"Oh, I'm so sorry," says Irving. "I thought he said 'kvetch'."

#270 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:39 PM:

I have a preference for telling political jokes. Unfortunately, once they're elected you can't tell them anything.


#271 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:39 PM:

At any rate, the rabbi buys Irving and takes him home. And, of course, shows him off to all his neighbours, who are very impressed. In particular, his next-door neighbour, the Baptist minister, has a bad case of "keeping up with the Cohens", so he decides that he, too, should get a dog. And so he goes down to Sam's Discount Pre-Owned Pet Mart, and talks with the owner.

"Reverend," says Sam, "You're in luck. I have just the dog for you. He's alert, smart — so smart that he can read and talk — and best of all, he's a good Baptist."

The minister blinks. "You're putting me on."

"Not at all," says Sam. "Let me show you." And he calls out, "Hey, Billy!"

There's a scrabbling sound from the back of the store, and a small grey terrier bounces out. He has a bit of a pot belly, a tuft of hair over his eyes that looks kind of like a bad toupee, and he kind of vibrates when he's standing still — in fact, all in all, he looks remarkably like the minister.

The minister stares at him. "Is this some kind of joke?"

"Not at all," says Sam. "Hey, Billy, how about you do a little reading for the rabbi?"

The dog gives a bit of a yip, and dashes to the bookshelf. He grabs a book from it in his mouth, slaps it down in front of the men, paws it open — it's a Bible. He then commences a hellfire-and-brimstone sermon about the dangers of allowing cats into society (www.godhatescats.com, check it out).

The minister is very impressed (and he'd always kind of suspected about the cats). He immediately buys Billy, takes him home, and shows him off to his neighbour, the rabbi.

"Well, that's very impressive," says the rabbi. "But does he also do the, you know, usual doggy things?"

"I don't know," says the minister. "I didn't ask. I guess we can try him and find out. Hey, Billy! HEEL!"

The terrier leaps up, shoves him in the chest, and knocks him to the ground. Then the terrier stands on his chest, put his paw on the minister's forehead, looks heavenward, and starts praying loudly.

"Good Lord," says the minister. "He's not Baptist, he's Pentecostal!"

[The Moveable Type system wouldn't let me enter the entire joke in one entry; moderators, there are probably errors logged. But there's a perfect place to split it in two parts.]

#272 ::: Jenna Moran ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:48 PM:

Q: What is the alcohol content of an arbitrarily small alcoholic beverage?

A: It's epsilon-delta proof.

#273 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:51 PM:

WRT 259 and the 'dead one of this':
My college physics teacher told that one as
Q: If this is a centimeter [hand held with fingers down and wiggling], what's this [hand held with fingers up, wiggling sporadically]?
A: A dyin' centimeter.

#274 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 08:59 PM:

And a different version of the Polish airliner story.

The Polish airlines were having problems. The pilots would report instability, increasing until the planes went out of control and crashed.
They grounded all the planes for a thorough inspection, and after a couple of weeks were getting nowhere with finding the cause.
A young engineer showed up at the investigation offices, and refused to leave until they listened to him: he was sure he could solve it.
They said 'You're an electrical engineer, you've just graduated from university, and this is clearly an airframe problem!'
But he persisted, and they finally agreed to one flight.
The plane was full, and as it taxied out to the runway, he took over the PA and announced 'All Poles will please move to the left side of the airplane immediately.' Much grumbling, but they all moved.
Perfect takeoff, smooth flight, perfect landing.
The officials rush up to him as he gets off the plane and ask him what he did.
'Simple - everyone knows that Poles in the right half-plane cause instability!'

#275 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:02 PM:

A duck walks into a drug store, and says, "I'd like to buy a jar of Vaseline."

The clerk says, "will that be cash or charge?"

The duck says, "put it on my bill."

#276 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:05 PM:

gotta say, both of jenna moran's contributions (263, 272) have been awesomely good.

#277 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:10 PM:

A duck walks into a Western Union office. He can't fill out the forms himself, so he dictates to the agent, and says that the message is "Quack quack quack quack."

The agent says "You know that it costs the same amount for ten words as for four, right? You could send ten quacks for the same price."

"What," says the duck, you mean send "Quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack?"

"Yes," says the agent.

The duck replies "But that would be stupid!"

#278 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:11 PM:

Re: #237 and #241, a tamer limerick version memorized from a childhood jokebook:

The Thunder God went for a ride
Upon his favorite filly.
"I'm Thor!" he cried.
The horse replied,
"You forgot your thaddle, thilly."

#279 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:14 PM:

Argh. I messed up some quotes up there. I'm sure you can figure out what I meant to do.

#280 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:18 PM:

@279--

i understand, xopher. you were under a lot of pressure, and you quacked.

#281 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:18 PM:

Caroline @ #139:
"Got any gwapes?" has passed into in-joke status at our house.

Oddly enough, it has at our house too.

#282 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:21 PM:

"doctor, i'm so anxious! sometimes i feel like a huge circus big-top! other times i feel like a tiny a-frame flapping in an alpine wind-storm!"

"relax! you're just two tents!"

#283 ::: Daniel Klein ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:27 PM:

Here's one I used to know, for one reason or another, in Danish once:

What's the difference between a cravat and a volcano?

They both have a driver's license.


I promise it's much funnier in Danish.

#284 ::: Jenna Moran ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:40 PM:

Did you hear about that DRM scheme with a 20-letter cryptographic key?

Yeah, the duck got arrested for quacking it.

#285 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:43 PM:

Q: Why can't programmers tell Christmas from Halloween?
A: Because 25 Dec = 31 Oct.

#286 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:45 PM:

This one wrote itself.

Q: Why did the troll cross the road?

A: Because for that is what I am doing.

#287 ::: Sharon M ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:49 PM:

(beloved by my nephew when he was 5)

What's orange and sounds like a parrot?
A carrot!

(bonus light bulb joke)
How many thought police does it take to change a light bulb?
There was never any light bulb.

(bonus aggie joke)
Did you hear about the Aggie who was so proud of his Olympic gold medal he had it bronzed?

#288 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:51 PM:

Lee, 248: The Beethoven 9 joke is a definite keeper. Brava!

heresiarch, 253: Uhhh, in Soviet Russia, lightbulb change you?

Xopher, 277: I never use LOL, but it's literally true for once.

#289 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 09:54 PM:

"Doctor, I can't get Tom Jones' songs out of my head! Is this normal?"

"It's not unusual..."


(Yeah, I've been lurking for a while. I've got some longer jokes, if I can remember how they start... And can someone fill me in on how to handle smileys in parentheses too?)

#290 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:09 PM:

"i tell you, freya, i'm so sick of dieting. why did fat even have to be created?"

"because, thor, fat is wotan's doing."

#291 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:13 PM:

What's the difference between an elephant and an egg?

If you don't know, I'd better not send you out to buy eggs.

#292 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:16 PM:

B Durbin at 265, appropriately enough, one of the traditions at Alpha is that, when critting, 'ditto' becomes 'kumquat'. Some Alphans have trouble adjusting back for other crit groups. I can't think of any other workshop traditions that are anything like a skit or fruit-related, though.

Speaking of Alpha and running gags (of a sort), the 2009 group made a very short zombie book and are using it as a scholarship fundraiser. Ned and Jane is what they've done with it.

Two muffins were sitting in the oven. "Boy, it sure is hot in here," one muffin said. The second muffin turned and said, "OH MY GOD A TALKING MUFFIN!"

My sister once went on for half an hour asking, "You wanna hear a joke?" and telling a variation on that. I'm amazed that anyone said yes after the first few.

#293 ::: Jenavira ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:21 PM:

*ahem* (Imagine an extremely Minnesota/Northern Wisconsin accent. I can't do it very well, being originally from Iowa, but I'm learning.)

So it's winter where Olie and Lena live, and the alternate-side parking rules are on. (You all know these, right? Park on one side of the street one night and the other side the next night so the snow plow can go by.) And every night Lena says to Olie, "Don't forget to go move the car," and Olie says, "Yes, dear," and goes out to move the car to the other side of the street.

This goes on for a couple of months -- "Don't forget to move the car," "Yes, dear," every day, back and forth, until one night Olie looks up and says, "You know, Lena, why don't we just park it in the garage?"

#294 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:28 PM:

Chris, #288: I can't take credit for it; I'm pretty sure I found it in a little collection called Musical Gems from the Reader's Digest. *goes to check* No, I'm wrong, it's not in there -- which means it was probably in one of their joke sections during the period when I was a subscriber.

#295 ::: Neil in Chicago ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:34 PM:

@5 DonBoy
Why did Douglas Hofstadter cross the road?
To make this joke possible.


@95 shadowsong
(First, ask me who's the world's greatest Polish comedian, then ask me to what I attribute my success.)
OK, who's the world's greatest Polish comedian?
Why, I am.
And to what do you attr--
Timing!


I still remember the elephant jokes.
I have musician jokes for just about the entire orchestra . . .

How many clarinetists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Just one, but he needs a whole case of bulbs to find one that's just right.

Why don't cellists get hemorrhoids?
Because all the assholes are in the violin section.

What's a tuba for?
Actually, it's more like one and a half by three and a half unless you specify full cut.


And since no one's gotten there yet:
How can you tell if you've had Deadheads visiting your place?
They're still there.

What did the Deadhead say when he ran out of drugs?
This band sucks!


@177 Mary Aileen
How do you make orca sushi?
Tie a sack of rice on your back and swim out in Puget Sound.


As for the ethnic jokes, IRL I've felt the Irish jokes were different since I found out the Irish tell them about the other counties.
There was this Irishman who'd done very well for himself in life. In his will, he left his estate for the provision of the mentally less able. So they built a home in Kerry, and they built a home in Cork, and they put a roof over Dublin.

(The I.R.A. jokes translate well into P.L.O. jokes, too.)


@196 Cadbury Moose
Marxists anarchists


@236 abi
And they were really in a bind for time, because it looked like rain and they wanted to get the top up.


@248 Lee
How much do four elephant balls weigh?
I don't know, but it takes two elephants to carry them.


@270 Fragano
"I don't make up political jokes. I just vote for them like everybody else." —- Will Rogers

#296 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:34 PM:

After the magi visited the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child, St. Thomas Aquinus (the Dominican), St. Anthony of Padua (the Franciscan), and St. Ignatius of Loyola (the Jesuit) pay a visit to the Holy Family.

St. Thomas presents the Virgin with a copy of his Summa Theologica. St. Anthony then presents the Virgin with a copy of St. Francis's Canticle of the Sun.

While St. Thomas and St. Anthony are making their presentations, St. Ignatius approaches St. Joseph and asks, "So, have you thought about where you're going to send Him to school?"

#297 ::: Neil in Chicago ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:39 PM:

An American, a Pole, an Israeli and a Russian were waiting at a bus stop.
A pollster happened by, and he asked them, "Do you think there can be too much butter?"
The Russian said, What's “butter”?
The American said, What's “too much”?
The Pole said, What's “think”?
The Israeli said, What's “excuse me”?

#298 ::: Shan ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 10:59 PM:

My boyfriend submits:
Why did Cauchy get mad at his dog whenever they went for a walk?
Because it left a residue at every pole.

#299 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:11 PM:

What does a mathematician do when he gets constipation?

He works it out with a pencil.

#300 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:11 PM:

I heard this one a long time ago:

Radi was a circus lion
Radi was a woman-hater
Radi had a lady trainer--
Radiator

#301 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:19 PM:

jenevira @ 293

If they'd adopt such a scheme here, you'd get iced into your driveway.... They seldom plow my road because it's a 1-block spur off of one major street into our neighborhood, but when they do, my hubby has to dig out the end of the drive so the two of us who DO park in there can get out. And then he digs out his car because it's on the street and has a mound beside it.

We have a one-car-ass driveway between the porch and the neighbor's privacy fence. It can be annoying in winter.

#302 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:32 PM:

ERik @ #299, eeuw

#303 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:46 PM:

A guy walks into a bar with a doberman and a tuba. He says "This is my buddy Ian. He's on a special diet. Could you make him up a big bowl of lard, olive oil, butter, and bacon drippings?" The barkeep says "Ew, gross -- why?" The man says "Because Four Fat is what Ian's doing."

#304 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:52 PM:

But Janet? What about the doberman?

#305 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2010, 11:55 PM:

Re the impatient cow knock-knock joke referenced twice already - when that was going around once, I came up with a good variant that only worked contextually:

A: Knock knock!
B: Who's th-
A: Moo!

Cracked everybody up - once. My kids love it, though.

Here's a German joke I was told, in German, by a real German (after choir practice with the Stuttgarter Oratorienchor, we'd go out for late supper/drinks/extended joke runs, with additional dialect coaching for the only non-Swabian in the group, which would be me):

A Daimler driver (in Stuttgart, all car jokes are about Daimler and/or BMW (stands for Bau Mal Wieder))...

So a Daimler driver is pulled up at the red light, when a Fiat Mini pulls up next to him. Being a Daimler driver, he calls over to the Mini driver, "Hey, nice car, man, you get that in a box of Cracker Jacks?" The Mini driver shrugs, and says, "Sure, but your car probably doesn't even have a bed in it." [Translator's note: the original didn't mention Cracker Jacks.]

The Daimler man says, "Pfft, that's crazy, you can't get a bed into a Fiat Mini!" The Mini driver shrugs again, and pushes a button on his dashboard, and the seats fold down into a bed, and the Daimler driver just boggles.

So the next day, he goes to the Daimler dealership, and pays an arm and a leg to have a bed put into his Daimler, and soon after that, as he's driving along, he sees the Fiat Mini off on the side of the road, with all the windows steamed up.

Well, he can't wait to show off, so he gets out of his car and goes and knocks on the window, and knocks, and knocks again, and finally the Fiat driver rolls down the window and says, "What?"

The Daimler driver says, "Ha! Now I have a bed in my car, too!"

And the Mini driver just shrugs and says, "You got me out of the shower to tell me that?"

I'm embarrassed to say that the twenty-odd years of intervening time meant that I had to Google the punchline to reconstruct this joke. But it does go to show you that the stereotype of the humorless German is based on ... damn if I know. I laughed a lot there.

#306 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:05 AM:

I like interrupting cow jokes.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting sloth.
Interrupting sloth who?
[very slow reaching out and shoving gently]

There's another one in the set, but I don't remember it.

I am not brave enough to do this one:
Knock knock.
Who's there?
John the Baptist [throw contents of water glass in face]

#307 ::: Susie Lorand ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:11 AM:

[delurk]

Why is 6 afraid of 7?
Because 7 8 9.

What did the zero say to the 8?
"Nice belt!"

And while I'm telling jokes I either learned in elementary school, or should have:

What's grey, has a trunk, and is full of cement?

.

.

.

.

An elephant. I put the cement in to make it harder.

#308 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:18 AM:

Diatryma @ 306 - Wow! I'm going to tell that to my son tomorrow - he'll love it!

#309 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:33 AM:

This isn't a joke, but it should be.

Father S. was rather infamous at our college. He ran the Honors program at the time my brother was admitted* and completely fulfilled the stereotype of the hard-line Jesuit who could get you in a verbal knot very quickly. Interviews for the Honors program usually started somewhere around "Are you familiar with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?" and usually involved, at some point, a statement such as "So you're saying you're racist."

These interviews were, of necessity, done over the phone. My brother came out shaking from his. Evil Rob can still describe his interview to this day, over a decade later.

So anyway, my campus occasionally got those you're-all-going-to-Hell-you-sinful-college-students types, unless it was you're-all-going-to-Hell-you-Catholic-follwers-of-the-whore-of-Babylon. And one of them decided to harangue Father S. as he walked to his office, in full priest collar and all. "God says this." "God says that."

Father S. patiently bore this until he got to the porch of the Honors house. Then he went down on his knees and prayed for a minute, looked up calmly, and said, "God says you're wrong."

#310 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:36 AM:

*I thankfully did not have to deal with the formidable Father S. Instead, I had Father K., whose office hours were a suggestion and who was really into mystical stuff.

Oh, and who has seen Dogma? Evil Rob and I were in hysterics over the scene where the protagonist dips the golf club in the sink full of water to make holy water, because the priest was the sort to bless his golf clubs. That's Father K.

#311 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:41 AM:

How do you tell the difference between a universalist and a computer scientist?

Because, when you tell them "Go to hell", the computer scientist is offended by the "go to".1

-----

Two Dominican friars are out begging for their monastery. They ask a miser if he'll give them money to buy food.

"What if I don't give you anything?" he asks.

The older friar says, "We'll call it a fast day."

"Well, how do I know that if I give you money you won't just spend it on books?"

The younger friar says, "Oh, but we've already got book money!"

-----

1 - Also, the computer scientist uses logical quotes when telling this joke in writing.2

2 - But someone who uses logical quotes in written jokes isn't necessarily a computer scientist.

#312 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:55 AM:

I sent a friend a link to this thread, and he sent me a link to this jokes thread at Math Overflow. A lot of them are over my head, but the ones I get are hilarious.

#313 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:57 AM:

why is the url of this thread out of order? it looks like someone set it up before even the previous open thread - this is 012199.html, open thread 136 is 012210. could teresa not get the joke out of her head until she wrote it down?

#314 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 01:10 AM:

For mathematicians, musicians and fabric folk


d seamstress/d contralto ?

A seamstress tucks up frills.

#315 ::: RJ Grady ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 01:16 AM:

Why do Unitarian Universalists come in late when they sing hymns?
A: Making sure they agree with the lyrics before they say them.

How do you stop a Baptist from drinking all your beer on a fishing trip?
A: Invite two Baptists.

What has four wheels, flies, and is full of rocks?
A: A four-wheeled, flying rock box.

A wizard walks into a bar and sits down. After a moment, the bartender notices a cloud of smoke coming out of the wizard's satchel. Bartender says, "Sir, this is a non-smoking establishment." Wizard says, "I'm not smoking. He is." And the wizard opens the satchel, and the bartender sees a halfling in there, smoking on a pipe. Wizard says, "Can you give the bloke a break? We've been fleeing from orcs for days." Bartender says, "Sir, this is a non-smoking establishment. I'm going to have to ask you to take your filthy little hobbit outside."

#316 ::: LT ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 01:31 AM:

(semi-lurker)

My favorite collection of math and mathematician jokes is disguised as a folklore paper.

#317 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 01:47 AM:

Via Gino Robair:

A drummer goes for an audition. The band leader says, "Can you play a samba pattern with your bass drum?" The drummer obliges.

The leader then asks "can you add a Mozambique cowbell pattern along with that with your right hand?" The drummer thinks "I can do that, no problem" and does so, giving it his best Steve Gadd imitation.

He is then told: "now add a 2-3 clavé with your left foot on hi-hat." The drummer's struggling a little, but gets it happening.

Next he hears: "now add a cascara pattern on the snare with your left hand." Years of studying Gary Chester and listening to world music finally come to fruition, and the relieved drummer finds he can play the whole pattern with no problem.

Pleased with himself, he asks the band leader: "So, do I get the job?

"No," says the band leader. "That's why we fired the last guy!"

#318 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 02:05 AM:

PJ Evans @273 -- that would be an erg. (a dyne-centimeter)

Neil in Chicago -- I've been waiting to hear someone tell my orca sushi joke other than myself! Now I know someone thought it was funny enough to repeat.

#319 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:27 AM:

A tortoise walks into a bar and says to the bartender, "Have you seen my dad?"


A cat walks into a saloon in the Old West. He's a tough-looking hombre, grizzled, scarred, and walks with a noticeable limp. Silence falls as he limps up the the bar - no sound anywhere in the saloon except for the jingle of his gunbelt.

He turns to survey the drinkers, twitches his whiskers, and says,

"Ah'm lookin' fer the varmint who shot mah Paw."

#320 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:30 AM:

B. Durbin @ #265:

Knock, knock.
- Who's there?
Sam and Janet.
- Sam and Janet who?
(sings) Sam and Janet Evening.

----

A man enters a monastery where the rule is that novices are under a vow of silence for their first five years, except once a year when each novice is allowed to speak one sentence to the abbot.

At the end of the first year, the man goes to the abbot and says, "Father Abbot, my roommate snores like a rusty chainsaw, and I've had no sleep all year."

The abbot promises to look into the room assignments.

At the end of the second year, the man goes to the abbot and says, "Father Abbot, the room you moved me to has an enormous crack in the ceiling, where the wind gets in all winter and the floor is covered in water when it rains."

The abbot promises to have it repaired.

At the end of the third year, the man goes to the abbot and says, "Father Abbot, I'm leaving the monastery. It just isn't working out for me."

The abbot says, "It's probably for the best. You've done nothing but complain the entire time you've been here."

#321 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:33 AM:

Most of the elephant jokes I know have been told already, but there's still these:


Q: What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephants walking past?
A: "Hello, elephants!"


Q: What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephants walking past, wearing dark glasses?
A: Nothing. He didn't recognise them.


Q: Why were the elephants wearing dark glasses?
A: Would you want to be recognised if people told so many daft jokes about you?

#322 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:41 AM:

[German, and other, national stereotypes]

----

A tour group in the south of England takes a somewhat relaxed attitude to the official timetable, frequently stopping a bit longer anywhere the tourists particularly like. All the tourists are suitably grateful, except the German, who becomes increasingly irritated as the morning wears on and the tour slips further and further behind schedule.

By lunchtime, they're over an hour behind, and the German tourist is about ready to pop.

"And this is Runnymeade," the guide says, "where the Magna Carta was signed."

"When did that happen?" one of the tourists asks.

"1215."

"Bah!" says the German. "If you ran your tour more efficiently, we would not have missed it!"


----


An Englishman on holiday in Ireland is seduced by the beautiful countryside and friendly people, and decides to emigrate. It's explained to him that if he does, he is required to have a third of his brain surgically removed, so that he will fit in, but after some soul-searching he decides to proceed.

The man wakes after the operation to find a group of people gathered around his bed, looking nervous.

"We're really very sorry," one says, "but the surgeon's hand slipped during the operation, and instead of removing a third of your brain, he removed two thirds."

"No worries," says the man. "She'll be right."

#323 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:35 AM:

A German couple have a son - their first - and they're delighted, of course, but they grow increasingly worried when he doesn't seem to start talking. Not even baby talk. The doctors say there's nothing physically wrong with him - they're baffled. By the age of five, his parents have given up, when one evening at dinner he suddenly says "Not enough salt!"

"Heinrich, you can talk!" they cry, delighted. "Why didn't you say anything before?"

"Up until now," the boy replies, "everything has been satisfactory."


#324 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:38 AM:

Q: How many roadies does it take to change a light bulb?

A: One. One two... one two... one one one.

#325 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:44 AM:

My favorite multilingual/accent joke:

A gentleman from Aberdeen is travelling in France with his family of seven when the entire party is caught in a sudden, violent rainstorm. They are thoroughly soaked by the time they duck into a nearby restaurant.

The maître d' approaches them and says, "Huit?"

"Aye," replies the Scotsman, "but we'll dry."

#326 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 06:20 AM:

#248 - A chemical engineer, an electrical engineer, and a computer engineer got into a car. The car wouldn't start. The chemical engineer said, "I'll bet there's an impurity in the gas." The electrical engineer said, "I think it must be the starter." The computer engineer said, "Let's all get out and lock the doors, then get back in and try again."

I heard this one with a Micros+ft employee instead of the computer engineer. The MS person suggests closing all the windows to see if the car will start again.

#327 ::: alex ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 06:39 AM:

Y'know, when I started this thread, I wasn't sure if I was taking it in the right direction, but I'm really glad I took the risk and put myself out there.

[That can be a delicately-crafted satire on anyone you care to think about that's a big-headed asshole, if you want to stay on topic...]

#328 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 07:23 AM:

French joke about Belgians which I read in the Irish Times (make of that what you will):

A Belgian family plan a motoring holiday in Britain, but their youngest is inclined to be seasick, so instead of sailing from Zeebrugge - this is before they build the channel tunnel - they decide to use the shortest crossing from Calais. So they all pile into the car, and they drive and they drive and they drive, until eventually they see a big road sign saying, 'Pas de Calais'.

So they shrug their shoulders and go home.

#329 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 07:47 AM:

B. Durbin @267: [running gags at camp]1 Sounds like entirely too much fun.

no Man With a Pointed Stick actually features in the skit

I'll wager that there is to comedy skits that which is as riffing is to jazz. I wonder if it has a name?

Allan Beatty @286: FTW!!

Q: Why did the punk-rocker cross the road?
A: 'Cause he was stapled to a chicken.

Q: Why did the Christian cross himself?
A: To get to the other side.

Janet Croft @303: Wow. I'm...impressed. (I wonder if poor John Clarke had any clue what he was getting himself into....)

Pendrift2 @233: Oh my goodness. Interrupting cow jokes. A whole sub-genre of knock knock jokes of which I was entirely unaware...

LT, hi hi!!

alex @327: It's fortunate you didn't start with the other end of the horse.

1Not to be confused with running dogs of capitalism.
2Oh, so that's what you look like! Who's the human?

#330 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 07:50 AM:

Tome at 318
'Erg' is the reaction on that one, so to speak. (I was hoping someone would pick that one up.)

#331 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 07:52 AM:

Jamaican jokes tend to be about a picaresque character called "Big Boy."

One day Big Boy arrived at school late. The teacher asked him "Big Boy, why are you tardy?" "Mi mumma, sick, teacha," he replied. "Oh, dear, what's wrong with her?" the teacher asked. "Well, mi nu rightly know," said Big Boy, "but las' night, when mi unda bed, mi hear mi puppa seh dat is long time she nuh get she medicine."

#332 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 08:01 AM:

322: Old man in pub: "I haven't had a drink since 1955! ...of course, it's only 2130 now."

#333 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 08:43 AM:

Janet Croft's #303: omigod, Making Light meta-humor. dies

So anyway, a Jesuit and a Franciscan are walking through a garden, silently praying, when the Jesuit pulls out and lights up a big cigar.

The Franciscan murmurs, "My spiritual director says one should not smoke while one prays."

The Jesuit answers, "Mine said it's all right if I pray while I smoke."

#334 ::: salixulon ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 08:45 AM:

What's purple and commutes underwater?

An Abelian subgrape.

[Another lurker crawls back into the shadows.]

#335 ::: Madeley ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 08:46 AM:

Jacque @ 329 "I'll wager that there is to comedy skits that which is as riffing is to jazz. I wonder if it has a name?"

Squiffing?

#336 ::: JanetM ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 09:34 AM:

Reminded by Jenna at 272 --

How can you pick out all the mathematicians at a mixed faculty party?

Wait for a lull in the conversation, say, "Let epsilon be less than zero," and look to see who flinches.

#337 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 09:36 AM:

Madeley #335, Jacque #329: That would be "improv".

Enjoying this thread, though I'm pretty busy with the Book Festival.

#338 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:00 AM:

I was waiting for someone to say "But what's the tuba for?" so I could refer them back to Neil @295...but Xopher's response was funnier.

I once met a man with a wooden leg named Sam.
What was the name of his other leg?

#339 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:01 AM:

You need to imagine hearing this one in a pronounced Texas twang (somewhere in the Lady Bird Johnson range, if anyone here still remembers her):

"How is a lemon pie like the third finger of my left hand?"

"Because it has meringue on it."

#340 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:03 AM:

@303--

very nice, janet! my 290 was an attempt at the same thing, but didn't work.
(it's all trial and error, joke-writing.)

#341 ::: Evan ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:08 AM:

A physicist, a biologist, and an engineer go duck hunting. A duck takes flight and the first two take aim...

The physicist quickly calculates distance, velocity of the duck, velocity of the bullet, air resistance... BLAM! Off two feet to the left.

The biologist quickly makes a prediction about the duck's flight path based on the duck's size, the time of day, the season, the direction of the wind -- BLAM! Off two feet to the right.

The engineer starts jumping up and down excitedly. "We got him, we got him!"

-------------------

Well, finally our Great Hunters manage to bag themselves a duck. They bring it back to camp, triumphant. "We got a duck!" they shout.

Their friend who stayed behind at the camp, a philosopher, raises an eyebrow. "How do you know it's a duck?"

The physicist is taken aback and doesn't quite know what to say. "Well, it's got feathers, a bill, webbed feet... I dunno, it's a duck!"

The biologist is also pretty rattled. "Well, I guess we could get a sample of its DNA and compare it to other ducks..."

The engineer shrugs and says, "We went hunting for duck. Therefore, it's a duck."

#342 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:08 AM:

Open-Thready footnote request:

The Great Ghod Ghugle ( * ) hath failed me. I can find no references to abelian grapes (I know there's a pun involved, but even my former-math-major husband can't get it specific) or "Because for that is what we are doing" that don't trace back to ML.

What's the grape really meant to be, and what is the origin of that phrase? I mean, I can appreciate it now on the level of ML-in-joke, but it's [voice funny="Pirate in a bar"]It's drivin' me noots![/voice] not knowing its origins ...


* Holy symbol, not footnote glyph

#343 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:11 AM:

My favorite multilingual/accent joke: A gentleman from Aberdeen is travelling in France


A gentleman from Scotland is travelling in Canada, and catches sight of an enormous brown animal moving through the trees. He turns to his travelling companion and asks what it is.

"That's a moose."

"A moose? Jings! What must the cats be like?!"

#344 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:13 AM:

Actually, though, my favourite multilingual joke is the one about the Yiddish word for disappointment.

I'm not going to attempt it here; it's marvellous when told properly, but I've seen it completely screwed up more often than I've seen it told competently, and as a goy who speaks no Yiddish beyond the interjections one picks up from television I'm not confident I'll contribute to the better side of the ratio.

If you don't know the joke, I commend to you Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor, which has a good rendition. Come to think of it, I recommend Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor in any case.

#345 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:17 AM:

Debra Doyle @ #339:

A man walks into a costume party with a woman on his back. The host looks him over, fails to draw any conclusions from his apparent lack of costume, and asks what he's come as.

"I'm a snail."

"A... snail? With a woman on your back?"

"That's Michelle."

#347 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:20 AM:

@342--

look for abelian *groups*--abel was a famous pioneer of group theory.

the catch-phrase was coined by an australian troll, "john clarke", on the "rowling sued for plagiarism" thread:

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/012205.html#401763

#348 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:21 AM:

Elliott : Apollogys fro teh mispelling off you're naem.

#349 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:23 AM:

I can find no references to... "Because for that is what we are doing" that don't trace back to ML.

That's because the phrase is original to ML, specifically the memorably odd comment here:
http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/012205.html#401763.

#350 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:33 AM:

Q: What's small, green and eats stones?
A: The little green stone eater.

Q: What do you call a bull, working in a bovine medical research facility?
A: A cow-laborator

Q: If you dig a hole straight through the whole Earth and throw a small stone down the hole, how long before it pops out on the other end?
A: It won't. It'll fall three meters, then the little green stone eater eats it.

The last and first should, ideally, be told with a couple of hours of waiting between them.

Then, of course, there are the nonsense jokes.

Two moose were sitting up a pine, having a wee chat. Suddenly, a submarine comes flying and lands in the birch next to them. The mooses stop talking for a few seconds, until one of them says "He probably lives there".

#351 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:43 AM:

After getting all of the Pope's luggage loaded into the limo (lots of trunks and very large hatboxes), the limo driver notices that Benedict is still standing on the curb.

"Excuse me, Your Eminence," says the driver, "but would you please take your seat so we may leave?" "Well, to tell you the truth," says the Pope, "ever since I became Pope, they never let me drive, and I'd really like to do the driving today."

"I can't let you do that!" says the driver. "I'd lose my job! What if something should happen?" "Well, says Benedict, "there might be something extra in it for you."

Reluctantly, the driver gets in the back. Benedict climbs in behind the wheel and floors the acceleration, quickly reaching 105 mph. "Please slow down, Your Holiness!" cries the driver, but the Pope keeps the pedal to the metal until they hear sirens. "Oh, dear God, I'm gonna lose my license," the limo driver moans.

The Pope pulls over and rolls down the window. The cop takes one look at him, goes back to his motorcycle, and gets on his radio.

"I need to talk to the Chief," he says to the dispatcher. The Chief gets on the radio and the cop tells him that he's stopped a limo going a hundred and five. "So bust him!" says the Chief.

"I don't think we want to do that; he's really important," says the cop. "All the more reason!" replies the Chief.

"No, I mean really important." says the cop.

The Chief then asks, "Who ya got there, the Mayor?"

Cop: "Bigger."

Chief: "Governor?"

Cop: "Bigger."

"Well," says the Chief, "then who is it?"

Cop: "I think it's God."

Chief: "Now what makes you think that?"

Cop: "Well, he's got the Pope for a limo driver."

#352 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:49 AM:

The last and first should, ideally, be told with a couple of hours of waiting between them.

If you have a partner, you can tell one of my favorite jokes ever.

First, one of you tells a joke. The content is completely immaterial except that it be extremely lame and the "punchline" involve someone throwing a brick into the air and it not coming down.

Wait a few hours (or at least a few intervening jokes from others) for the pain to fade.

Then, the other partner tells a joke about two people on an airplane. One's a little old lady with a yappy dog, and the other is a large man with an obnoxious cigar. They get into a quarrel about their respective sources of annoyance, and the lady grabs the man's cigar and pitches it out the airplane window*. The man, in retaliation, throws the dog out after, but the lady was canny and kept hold of Fido's leash. She reels the dog back in, and what does it have in its mouth?

The brick.

The great part is that the person who told the original lame joke gets all sorts of adulation once the true punchline is revealed.

* We are obviously ignoring aerodynamics, the actual construction of airplanes, and regulations regarding smoking and pets.

#353 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:49 AM:

#338
I was wondering what the Doberman was doing there.
[ducks and runs]

#354 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:53 AM:

A Franciscan, a Dominican, and a Jesuit were out playing golf one day. They were moving from hole to hole at a good clip until they got stuck behind a group of golfers who were taking their time and not letting anyone else play through. Feeling irritated, the three priests went to the club manager to complain.

"Oh, that party," said the manager. "They're blind. It takes them more time. Please be patient."

The Franciscan was mortified. He got down on his knees and begged God’s forgiveness for his anger.

The Dominican was also chagrined. He repented of his impatience, and vowed to do more to help the poor and infirm.

The Jesuit was less impressed. He said, "Why don’t you just make them play at night?"

#355 ::: David ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:56 AM:

There was an old woman from Crewe
This limerick ends at line two.

#356 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:59 AM:

So a guy goes to a Franciscan and asks him to say a novena so that he can win a Lexus in a lottery.

"What’s a Lexus?"

"It’s a luxury car."

"Oh dear, St. Francis would never approve of violating poverty, so I couldn't possibly pray for a thing like that."

So the guy goes to a Dominican. "Would you please say a novena so that I can win a Lexus?"

"What’s a Lexus?"

"You know, the luxury car."

"Oh dear, St. Thomas Aquinas sternly warns against love of worldly goods. I couldn’t possibly pray for that."

Finally in desperation he asks a Jesuit. "Please, Father, would you say a novena so that I can win a Lexus?"

"What’s a novena?"

#357 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:00 AM:

David @355:

There once was a man from Verdun.

#358 ::: David ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:02 AM:

There was a young man from Verdun.

#359 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:04 AM:

Sorry, David.

#360 ::: David ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:05 AM:

There was a calf.

Abi, you got me!

#361 ::: David ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:06 AM:

Not at all - I should have had the confidence to leave a gap. Demonstrably, the secret of

#362 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:07 AM:

David @360:

Yeah, but I never heard that last one. That's gold.

#363 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:10 AM:

Q. Why can't Anglicans play chess?

A. Because they can't tell a bishop from a queen.

#364 ::: David ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:10 AM:

TIMING!

#365 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:10 AM:

There once was a man from Verdun.

A part of me is always surprised to encounter Verdun in history and geography. Don't they know it's a made-up place for limericks? Or at least that one?

A priest called in sick one beautiful Sunday morning and went golfing by himself. Saint Peter, understandably a bit miffed, called God over to see.
God pointed at the priest, who made a hole in one.
Saint Peter looked concerned.
God pointed again, and another hole in one.
"Um, sir?"
The priest made a really lousy shot, but God flicked his fingers at it and a gust of wind came up and lo, a third hole in one.
"What are you doing? I expected a little light smiting, and you're giving him the best game of his life?"
God smiled. "Yeah, but who's he gonna tell about it?"

#366 ::: David ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:12 AM:

#362 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:07 AM:

David @360:

Yeah, but I never heard that last one. That's gold.

Ought'ta

#367 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:13 AM:

Well, drat.

Clearly, God decided a little light smiting was in order for my pride in typing up the joke.

#368 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:13 AM:

I can't believe no one's brought this one out yet:

A priest, a minister and a rabbi are going fishing, with a cooler of beers in the boat and more back in the car. Partway through the afternoon, the cooler runs out, and the rabbi offers to row the boat back to shore to get some more.

"No," says the priest, "That's OK. I'll just walk over." And he stands up, steps out of the boat, and walks back to shore. The rabbi is still staring when he comes back with another round of beers.

A little later, the beers run out again. Again, the rabbi offers to row back and get them. "No, don't worry about it," says the minister. "I can walk it." And he gets up and walks back to the shore, gets the beers, and comes back across the water.

Toward the end of the day, the beers are done again. "Hey, I'll row us back to get more," says the minister.

"Oh, no," says the rabbi. "If you can do it, I can do it. I'm walking." He stands up, steps out of the boat, and sinks like a stone.

The priest turns to the minister and says, "Do you think we should have told him where the rocks are?"

#369 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:17 AM:

Jacque@205: seating error! (As in, board not seated correctly in connector).

And how long it takes him to fix it depends on how many flat spares he's brought with him.

#370 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:19 AM:

There was a yound man of Verdun
Whose tale always ended--line one.
But no-one could tell
How the verse-form would gel,
Or just how the last line should run.

#371 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:22 AM:

Okay, if we're really hauling out the ancient chestnuts...

A priest and a rabbi are sitting next to each other on an plane. After a while the priest turns to the rabbi and asks, "Check me on something. Is it still a requirement of your faith that you not eat pork?"

"Yes, that's still one of our beliefs," the rabbi says.

The priest then asks, "Have you ever eaten pork?"

"Yes," says the rabbi. "On one occasion I succumbed to temptation and tasted a ham sandwich."

The priest nodded understandingly and went on with his reading. A while later, the rabbi asked the priest, "Father, is it still a requirement of your church that you remain celibate?"

The priest replied, "Yes, that is still very much a part of our faith."

"So, Father," said the rabbi, "have you ever fallen to the temptations of the flesh?"

The priest sighed. "Yes, rabbi," he said. "On one occasion I was weak, and I slept with a woman."

The rabbi nodded understandingly. He was silent for about five minutes. Then he said:

"Beats the hell out of a ham sandwich, doesn't it?"

#372 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:23 AM:

My favorite dialect joke, in a broad Scots accent:

Aye, d'ye ken the difference between Bing Crosby and Walt Disney?

Bing sings, and Walt disnae.

#373 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:24 AM:

#372, Tom Whitmore: Richard Thompson tells that one!

#374 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:27 AM:

Mine @ 128 got tangled up in the interwebs. Here is the joke again.
- Was machen die Hamburger wenn es regnet?
- Sie machen die Schirme auf.
(- What do they do in Hamburg when it rains?
- They put their umbrellas up.)

There might be a pun on machen = to do and aufmachen = to put up, but then the joke would be better as
- Was machen die Hamburger wenn es regnet?
- Die Schirme auf.
Otherwise it's on a par with
- Where was Noah when the lights went out?
- In the dark,
where there is a hint of a pun on dark and Ark. Or maybe there isn't.

#375 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:29 AM:

368
Oh, ghu, I'd forgotten that one.
(I heard it many years ago, from a Methodist minister. He was the one who introduced us to 'Ladle Rat Rotten Hut', also.)

#376 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:42 AM:

Q: It's red and green and eats grass
A: A red-green grass eater
Q: it's black and white and eats grass
A: A cow

It's red and lives in trees? A nest of fire engines.

One of the partners at a big law firm in Alaska had friend from Praque to go moose hunting. Unfortunately, they ran into a bear family and papa bear killed and ate his friend. Running away in a panic the lawyer comes across two forest rangers, one of which shoots the female bear.

Why? Never trust a lawyer when he says the Czech's in the male.


#377 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:43 AM:

Patrick @373 -- I wonder if we both got it from Heather?

#378 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:43 AM:

1. Elliot Mason@342:

Abelian group: group theory is the simplest branch of abstract algebra, and one of the basic divisions is between Abelian groups (named for Abel), where the order of operations doesn't matter (they 'commute'), and non-Abelian groups, where order does matter. My problem when I first heard the joke was different: I don't think of grapes as purple.


2. Abi@325:
The best real-life version I've heard of was a report in some English newspaper quoting a Scottish peer as saying "The problem with devolution is in Ayrshire." This seemed a very uncharacteristic way for the gentleman in question to apportion responsibility. It turned out on further investigation that he was actually blaming the general tendency for stationary things to remain stationary.

3. Meta-limerick, funny only if you know limericks (I got this one from a Daniel Dennett book)

There was a young lady named Tuck
Who had the most terrible luck
She went out in a punt
And fell over the front
And was bit in the leg by a duck

#379 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:44 AM:

In comment #349 ajay writes:

(About the catchphrase "Because for that is what we are doing")

That's because the phrase is original to ML, specifically the memorably odd comment here

Rereading that linked comment by John Clarke
I seem to hear him channeling the Bard:

You knew 'twas me, Renatus, for you've been
Digging out people's IP addresses.
You naughty middle-aged confused servant
Of the Ruthless Rowling, you. I hope
Your masters pay you well, and I, of course
Had no idea that you had mental health
Issues, as you so honestly expound
At length on this, another comment thread.

Or I would not have so remarked upon
All that EVIL stuff. Brr! Terribly
Old fashioned word that, now as out of place
as grammar in Finnegan's Wake by Joyce,
Or Honesty inside the soul of Chris
Topher Little or any of the hacks
Who work for him, including Ms. Rowling.

As for the others who may have had the
Misfortune to visit this site and be
tempted to comment... you are but a lamb,
dear reader, ... in a lake of sharks. All those
strange phrases, idiot arguments,
pseudo-analyses that can turn an
elephant's leg into a tree trunk at
will and all repeated elsewhere on the net
with diffrent names appended.

Leave, leave now! Never to return!
Because for that is what I'm doing.

#380 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:46 AM:

A guy goes into a bar and sits down next to an Evangelical. On the television, the news shows a distraught man standing on a building ledge.

Guy: "See that man on the ledge?"

Evangelical: "Yes."

Guy: "He's going to jump."

Evangelical: "No, he's not. Pray with me."

Guy: "Okay, but let's bet on it, just to keep things interesting. Here's a twenty."

Evangelical: "You're on. Jesus will save him. Now let's pray."

They pray.

The guy on the ledge jumps.

Evangelical: "Well, that's that." (Pushes the two twenties down the bar.)

Guy: "Aw, I can't take your money. Truth is, I saw that footage during their last broadcast."

Evangelical: "That's okay, I saw it too. I just thought we could save him this time."

#381 ::: Nona ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:46 AM:

I can now report the the elephants in a Mini/elephants in the fridge sequence of jokes is a big hit with third-graders, but the first-graders didn't get it; however, the first-graders really like the interrupting sloth.

In other news, have a Vulcan knock-knock joke:

Knock knock!
Enter.

#382 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:51 AM:

Parrot jokes:

A man has a parrot that swears up a blue streak, and he's getting tired of it. He's tried everything from cayenne pepper to pleas to shouting, but the bird simply will not stop with the foul* language.

So he gets so angry he seizes it and pops it in the freezer. He quickly repents and opens it again.

"I would like to sincerely apologize for my previous behavior," says the parrot in a moderate tone of voice. "It was ill-mannered of me to use such intemperate language, and I sincerely regret having done so. Furthermore, I should have ceased to do so when you requested it of me, rather than forcing you to such extreme measures to extract from me that degree of obedience that a human naturally expects from a pet whom he feeds and cares for with such care. I would like to assure you that the problem will never recur."

"Right," says the man, a little dazed. "That's OK, then."

"If I might be permitted to ask a question," ventures the parrot after a brief pause, "what did the chicken do?"

AND...

There once was a Baptist minister whose parrot had the unfortunate habit of shouting FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! all the time. Particularly when there were visitors in the house. It really was most vexing.

He heard at length of another minister whose parrot said nothing but, "Let's pray. Let's pray. Let's pray."

In the hopes that his bird could learn some manners, the minister brought his foul*-mouthed† pet over. They put the two birds on a perch together.

"FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!" declaimed the first parrot.

"You're just what I've been praying for," responded the second.

-----
* this is the glyph of causing you to stop and listen for the pun I didn't make
† beaked?

#383 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:58 AM:

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Interrupting Kanye.

Interrupting Kany-

"Now, that's a good joke, and Imma let you finish, but Interrupting Cow is the greatest knock-knock joke of all time. OF ALL TIME!"

#384 ::: Madeley ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:59 AM:

Man walks into a bar, accompanied by a giraffe. He orders a beer, gets the giraffe to drink it. He does this over and over again, until the giraffe's so half-cut it can't stand, so it keels over. Man shrugs, and turns to leave.

'Hey!' Says the bartender. 'You can't leave that lyin' there!'

The man rolls his eyes and says:

'It's not a lion, it's a giraffe.'

#385 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:01 PM:

Carrie@352: The yellow brick! Hooray!

#386 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:07 PM:

ajay #349: "I can find no references to... 'Because for that is what we are doing' that don't trace back to ML." That's because the phrase is original to ML, specifically the memorably odd comment here.

Hmmm, I thought it was just some kind of willfully obscure Torah reference.

#387 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:17 PM:

Rikibeth at 383 -
(Interrupting Kanye)

Ow. I am ded with teh funny.

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Hastur?
Hastur Who?
Hastur be three times that name's, been... said... in...
(Numerous Byakhee come and eat the joke)
(last line spoken starting "funny joke punchline", but falling into mounting trepidatious horror as the speaker realizes that Aldebaran is over the horizon, of course...).

#388 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:19 PM:

A co-worker from New Orleans sent me this one:

Peyton Manning, after living a full life, died and went to heaven. When he got to heaven, God was showing him around. They came to a modest little house with a faded Colts flag in the window.
"This house is yours for eternity, Peyton," said God. "This is very special; not everyone gets a house up here."
Peyton felt very special, indeed, and walked up to his house. On his way up to the porch, he noticed another house just around the corner. It was a 3-story mansion with a black and gold sidewalk, a 50 foot tall flag pole with an enormous Saints logo flag, and in every window a New Orleans Saints towel.
Peyton looked at God and said "God, I'm not trying to be ungrateful, but I have a question. I was an all-pro QB, I hold many NFL records, and I even went to the Hall of Fame."
God said "So what's your point, Peyton?"
"Well, why does Drew Brees get a better house than me?
God chuckled and said "Peyton, that's not Drew's house, it's mine."

#389 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:21 PM:

@383--

my favorite so far. absolutely brilliant.

#390 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:24 PM:

John Clarke walked into a bar, who picked him up, studied him closely, and said, "You're really not here for the hunting, are you?"

#391 ::: Erelin ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:27 PM:

Nietzsche walks into a bar and sees Hume, Aristotle, Berkeley, and Kant all incredibly drunk. He is a little annoyed at the racket they are making, and asks, "Are you guys always like this?"

"Essentially," says Aristotle.
"Force of habit," replies Hume.
"It appears so," says Berkeley.
"Necessarily so!" quips Kant.

Nietzsche scoffs and says, "Show a little willpower!" and storms off.

#392 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:27 PM:

Scott Taylor, kid bitzer, thank you! I can't take credit for coming up with it -- I heard it from a friend of mine, who heard it from her teenage daughter, who came home with it from school. But I do love it.

#393 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:34 PM:

"Well, to tell you the truth," says the Pope, "ever since I became Pope, they never let me drive, and I'd really like to do the driving today."


In later life, Albert Einstein spent a lot of time being invited to dinners, eating rubbery chicken, and giving the same old after-dinner speech about relativity. On the way to one such dinner, he started grousing to his driver about the rut his life had fallen into, and how he wished something would happen to change things up a bit.

"Tell you what, boss," said his driver. "I've driven you to all these dinners, and I've sat at the back and listened to you give that speech so many times that I bet I could do it just as smoothly as you could. And we look kind of similar. How about we stop somewhere and switch clothes, and today I'll be the famous Albert Einstein, and you can be Charlie the chauffeur?"

Einstein agreed to this, and the switch was made.

Things went well at the dinner: Charlie kept his end of the conversation up at dinner, and he did indeed give a creditable rendition of the speech. After the speech was a question-and-answer session, but most of the questions were the same as always got asked, and Charlie had heard the answers nearly as often as he'd heard the speech.

Then one of the dinner guests asked a new question, an extremely subtle and intelligent question drawing on abstruse details of higher physics.

Einstein thought the game might be up, but Charlie didn't miss a beat: fixing the questioner with a stern look, he said, "What a question! Why, even my chauffeur knows the answer to that one!"

#394 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:36 PM:

David @ #355:

There once was a chap from Japan
Whose limericks never did scan.
When told this was so,
He replied, "Yes, I know.
But I always prefer to have as many syllables in the last line as I possibly can."


Also, speaking (as some of us have been) of religious men and their animal companions:

There was a young curate of Kew
Who found a stray cat in a pew.
He taught it to speak
Alphabetical Greek,
But it never got further than "μ".

#395 ::: Joseph M. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 12:53 PM:

So, this burglar breaks into a bar one night. He's looking around the for the cash when he hears a voice say "GOD IS WATCHING YOU!"

Well, he shines his flashlight around but doesn't see anyone, and goes back to looking for money. But the voice calls out again "GOD IS WATCHING YOU!"

He looks around again, still doesn't see anything. Keeps looking for something to steal when the voice booms "GOD IS WATCHING YOU!"

This time, he spots something: there's a parrot in a cage in the corner of the bar.

"Hey," he asks, "are you the one yelling at me?"

"Yes," says the parrot.

"Well, what's your name, parrot?" asks the burglar.

"John the Baptist," replies the parrot.

"That's a stupid name," says the burglar. "Who named you that?"

"The bartender--the same one who named the Rottweiler* God."

*: doberman, perhaps?

#396 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 01:05 PM:

Must be hard for German music theorists, being eaten by Old ONes all the time.

You know, just looking at the scores and going "Hast Dur. Hast Dur. Hast..."

#397 ::: Kaja ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 01:13 PM:

SBC @ 194: You might enjoy this XKCD strip.

A friend once told me a variation on the brick joke involving a purple sheep instead of said brick, but I can't for the life of me remember the sequence.

#398 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 01:31 PM:

Chuck Norris wrote this joke. Laugh, or you die.

#399 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 01:55 PM:

There was a young man
from Peru, Whose lim'ricks all
looked like haiku. He

said with a laugh, I
cut them in half, The pay is
much better for two.

#400 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 02:12 PM:

Peter Watts was convicted.

Bail held over pending sentence.

It looks as if they are going consider probation.

The only charge returned guilty was, "failure to comply"

#401 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 02:19 PM:

If we're doing religious order jokes:

Two Benedictines, two Dominicans, two Franciscans, and two Jesuits were sitting together saying their office [yes, that's quite improbable in itself really, isn't it?] when the lights went out.

The two Benedictines went on saying their office.

The two Dominicans entered into a theological disputation on the nature of light.

The two Franciscans fell down on their knees and called out to the Lord to send them some light.

The two Jesuits went out and mended the fuse.

#402 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 02:26 PM:

Andrew@401: Is "mended the fuse" idiomatically correct where you're from? Fuses aren't repaired, they're replaced, so it sounds weird to me. (Doesn't really matter to the joke, I understood what was going on.)

It's interesting that this version uses pairs of each; or at least mentions them, it doesn't do anything depending on there being two of any of the orders.

#403 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 02:27 PM:

More foul-beaked parrot jokes:

A young bachelor buys a talking parrot thinking it would be just the thing to give his apartment some class. Unfortunately he soon finds it's picked up some bad habits: every time he gets a girl home with him, the parrot starts letting out wolf-whistles and repeating "Somebody's going to get fucked!"

After several dates come to an abrupt end this way, he consults a vet to see whether there's anything he could do about this, and the vet advises that perhaps the parrot is lonely, and he should get another bird to keep it company. He is unable to find another parrot at the pet store, but they do have a female owl, so he brings home the owl and puts it in the cage with the parrot.

When the next date comes up, he invites his girl in, they're sitting on the couch, and the parrot again cuts loose with "Woo-hoo! Somebody's going to get fucked!" The owl cries "Hoo! Hoo!" and the parrot answers, "Not you, you flat-faced bitch!"

#404 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 02:37 PM:

Abi @ 368: All of these summer camp memories! We were set on a power-generation lake, so the level dropped throughout the summer. When the water was at a particular level*, we'd be holding initiation ceremonies for the Not Really Secret Society (you mostly don't tell details so that it's fun for the initiates, who start out blindfolded.) At that particular location there was a submerged rock we called Jesus Rock, because it was about twenty or thirty feet from shore, but you could stick someone on there with a torch and in the sunset light, it was very impressive. (He'd get picked up in a canoe shortly after all the newbies were impressed.)

*Pretty low, so we were at a different location for most of the time.

#405 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 02:42 PM:

For the proper middle-school technique, say the "Knock, knock" of the next joke in the same breath as the answer to the previous.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Ether.
Ether who?
The Ether Bunny.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Snother.
Snother who?
Snother Ether Bunny.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Cargo.
Cargo who?
Cargo and run over the Ether Bunny.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Boo.
Boo hoo?
Don't cry, Ether Bunny be back again next year.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Orange.
Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn't say Ether Bunny again?

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Consumption.
Consumption who?
Consumption be done about all these [insert appropriate expletive] Ether Bunnies?

#406 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:01 PM:

Back before Skoda was bought by Volkswagon (for some reason I can't quite fathom), they were not known for making the most reliable cars.

What do you call a Skoda with a sunroof?
A skip (dumpster).
Why do Skodas have rear window defrosters?
Hand warmers.

They're much better cars now.

A parrot joke.

There was a magician on a cruise liner. He was really quite good, but he was constantly harassed by the ship's parrot, which would regularly squawk out the secrets to his tricks. "It's done with mirrors!", "It's up his sleeve!", or "It's in his pocket!" were some of the bird's many common cries.

One night, the magician was getting ready to finish his show when the ship struck an iceberg and sank. The magician survived by clinging to a bit of floating debris, and the parrot with him. After a while of ruffled consternation, the parrot sidled up to the magician and said, "All right, I give up. What did you do with the ship?"

#407 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:12 PM:

#400. I don't get it. That's not funny!

#408 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:17 PM:

Paul @393

I heard that when I was a kid, in Yiddish, but instead of Einstein, it was he the famous Galiztianer (spelling probably wrong) Rebbe and the driver drove his *horses*.

Still funny.

#409 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:26 PM:

I see Terry beat me to it, but Peter Watts has posted about his conviction of failure to comply.

Apparently it is a felony not to drop to the ground immediately when told to, even if you're stunned and confused by repeated illegal blows to the face. Land of the Free, my ass.

#410 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:27 PM:

There's a really cheap, really small European car. I thought it's name started with an M, but I can't find it. In any case,

How do you double the value of [this small cheap car...]?
Fill the gas tank.

#411 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:44 PM:

Andrew M at 401, how many Jesuits does it take to change a fuse?

#412 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:49 PM:

Nona @ 381: So now I know approximately how old I was when I first heard those.

Paul A. @ 393: I recently heard that one with an unspecified-but famous rabbi, rather than Einstein. It's interesting to find out the variations on the theme.

#413 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:50 PM:

Possibly the Polski Fiat 126p, which had the nickname "Maluch" in Poland, built from 1973 to 2000

Wikipedia on the Fiat 126 range

#414 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:54 PM:

David Dyer-Bennet@402

Is "mended the fuse" idiomatically correct where you're from? Fuses aren't repaired, they're replaced, so it sounds weird to me. (Doesn't really matter to the joke, I understood what was going on.)

Um, you've confused me now. It sounded right when I wrote it, though I agree it isn't accurate.

It's interesting that this version uses pairs of each; or at least mentions them, it doesn't do anything depending on there being two of any of the orders.

The disputation at least would involve two people. And while one person can certainly say the office by themselves, the traditional way of doing it in religious orders is responsive, so needs at least two.

#415 ::: K.C. Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 03:55 PM:

I haven't finished reading all the jokes, but I have to add one. Hopefully no one else has posted this one yet--although since I made it up years ago, and it's not very good unless you're a goatherd or shepherd, I'm probably okay.

Q. Why didn't the doe goat get pregnant?
A. She was under the wether.

You can tell it as "Why didn't the ewe get pregnant?" to make it less obscure, but I figure if the listener doesn't know that a female goat is properly called a doe, not a nanny, they're not going to know what a wether[1] is.

Now back to reading and trying not to snort ginger ale out my nose.

[1] A castrated male goat or sheep.

#416 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:00 PM:

Andrew@414: apologies for the confusion. I generally support carrying forward the wording of a joke accurately, unless one is really clear that it's better when revised.

Okay, two of each might have avoided problems with people thinking about the mechanics of saying the office. Makes sense.

#417 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:06 PM:

Michael Roberts @ 409:

Thanks for the link. That's just really stupid. And yes, I do think the jury should have had the sense to return a "Not Guilty" verdict.

This is -NOT- going to encourage people to visit the USA.

#418 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:11 PM:

kid bitzer @290 and Janet Croft @303,

Yes! Much better than mine...

The mention of fat in 290 has reminded me of my favourite ever palindrome:

"Doc, note, I dissent: a fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod."

And 263 (Jenna Moran) is genius, too...

#419 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:15 PM:

Paul 322: "No worries," says the man. "She'll be right."

Perhaps it's just that I'm a dumb (ethnic) Irishman, but I do not get this. Probably because I don't know the stereotype involved. Who is it who says "She'll be right"?

abi 382: Two things about your first parrot joke:

1. Are you quoting from an apology after a disemvoweling? It sounds familiar!

2. I was expecting the joke to end differently. "Good grief, why did the parrot stop swearing?" "He just chilled out." (I like your ending better though.)

#420 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:22 PM:

Economist joke (culp. David D Friedman):

Two economists walked past a Porsche showroom. One of them pointed at a shiny car in the window and said, "I want that." "Obviously not," the other replied.

*

Barly a joke:

Carrie Nation walks into a bar. "Men," she cries, "don't you want to be saved from a drunkard's fate?" And without further ado, she proceeds to smash up the joint with her hatchet, until the Sheriff arrives with no shortage of deputies.

"Ma'am," the Sheriff hollers, "you're under arrest!"

"What for?" she demands, offended. "I was only axin'!"

*

Ethnic joke:

An Essex girl, a Southall girl, and a Luton girl all get twenty years' jail for tax evasion. Because it's their first offence, they're each allowed one comfort to sustain them over the long stretch ahead. The prison governor asks them each to make their choice.

The Essex girl asks for a Premier League footballer, and comes out twenty years later with her own budding football team.

The Southall girl asks for a mobile phone, and comes out twenty years later with a billion pounds and a controlling interest in Microsoft.

The Luton girl asks for all the cigarettes they can stack in her cell. She comes out twenty years later and says, "Anybody got a light?"

#421 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:24 PM:

Paul 322: "No worries," says the man. "She'll be right."

Perhaps it's just that I'm a dumb (ethnic) Irishman, but I do not get this. Probably because I don't know the stereotype involved. Who is it who says "She'll be right"?

abi 382: Two things about your first parrot joke:

1. Are you quoting from an apology after a disemvoweling? It sounds familiar!

2. I was expecting the joke to end differently. "Good grief, why did the parrot stop swearing?" "He just chilled out." (I like your ending better though.)

#422 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:26 PM:

Arg. Error message, clicked Post after it, but it had already posted. Dratz.

#423 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:26 PM:

praisegod barebones, 185:

Q: Pourquoi Nicolas Sarkozy mange-t-il qu'un oeuf pour le petit dejeuner?

A: Parce que one egg, ca suffit.

I don't know enough French to get this, so I asked my boss, who is fluent in French, to explain.

He informs me that the wording isn't quite right. The way the answer should go is:

A: Parce que un oeuf, ça suffit.

This is because "un oeuf" sounds like "enough." So in French, it says "Because one egg is enough." You still need to know English to really get it.

It took him time to figure out something was wrong, and so don't feel bad!

#424 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:34 PM:

Patrick @#354: Hee! I'm sending that to my Dad, who is both a punster and a third-order Benedictine.

Speaking of Novenas:

O'Toole worked in the lumber yard for twenty years and all that time he'd been stealing the wood and selling it. At last his conscience began to bother him and he went to confession to repent.

"Father, it's 15 years since my last confession, and I've been stealing wood from the lumber yard all those years," he told the priest.

"I understand my son," says the priest. "Can you make a Novena?"

O'Toole said, "Father, if you have the plans, I've got the wood."

#425 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:43 PM:

DD-B and Andy, I gather fuses are properly 'mended' in the UK, or at least were in 1967. Paul McCartney could be handy mending a fuse three years ago (id est, when he was 64).

He may have just thought 'mending' sounded better than 'changing' though.

#426 ::: John ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:45 PM:

So, a rabbi walks into a bar. He has a frog on his head. The bartender looks up and says "Hey, where did you get one of those?"

The frog said, "Brooklyn, there's thousands of them there."

#427 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:45 PM:

The integral of dcabin/cabin + the speed of light = houseboat

#428 ::: giltay ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 04:54 PM:

Q: How many dadaists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: To get to the other side.

#429 ::: Andrew M (who is not generally known as Andy) ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:04 PM:

Mark@425: thank you, that's helpful. I wasn't just mistaken, then.

#430 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:10 PM:

Chris @423 - thanks! Although now the whole thing sounds like an inverted back-translation from an originally English joke, to wit:

Q: Why does Nicolas Sarkozy only have one egg for breakfast?

A: Because one egg is un oeuf.

So perhaps praisegod barebones' original intent was to double the joke for very bilingual people.

#431 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:12 PM:

Carrie@151: I heard it as three sopranos- one to go up the ladder, one to kick the ladder out from under her and one to say "I knew she couldn't reach it.

How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
None. That's a hardware problem.

#432 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:16 PM:

Mark@425:

I would say 'mending' a fuse for the old-style fuses where you have to put a new piece of fuse wire in between the contacts. On the other hand I might say 'changing' a fuse would be slotting in a pre-built replacement fuse (which applies more to electronics than power systems).

#433 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:16 PM:

... and I originally showed up to note that Google had[1] no direct hit for the phrase "All that and a bag of hammers", so it may be original to me.

[1] What is the correct tense for something that was true when I wrote it, but will not be when you read it?

#434 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:24 PM:

Xopher @419:
Are you quoting from an apology after a disemvoweling? It sounds familiar!

No, but it's one of my characteristic prose styles (middling-florid and over-comma'd, typical Friday), and you've clearly read my internet prose for long enough to be attuned.

#435 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:26 PM:

Q: How many customer engineers does it take to make an IBM System3 do a logical left shift?

A: Sixteen: one to hold the bits and fifteen to move the machine!

#436 ::: SylvieG ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:31 PM:

Two legionnaires are wandering lost in the desert. Finally, they come to an oasis where some merchants have set up tents. Desperate for water, they go to the first tent, but the merchant there only sells sponge cake. They go to the second tent, where they only sell jelly. The third tent, only custard.

The first legionnaire turns to his friend and says, "This is the strangest market I've ever seen." The second one replies, "It *is* a trifle bazaar."

#437 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:34 PM:

abi: In case it wasn't clear, I meant an apology by the disemvowelee.

#438 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:40 PM:

Xopher @437:

It was clear. Don't worry.

#439 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:45 PM:

So a kid from Ohio comes to Harvard for a campus interview, stops a Harvard student on the street and asks, "Where's the admissions office at?"

The student replies, "Here at Harvard we know enough not to end a sentence with a preposition."

"Okay," says the Ohio kid, "Where's the admissions office at, asshole?"

---------------------------
Bling guy walks into Walmart, picks up his seeing eye dog and starts swinging him around in the air.

Naturally a crowd gathers and the manager rushes over.

"Can we help you with anything, Sir?"

"No thanks. I'm just looking around."
------------------------------------------

Carrot gets hit by a truck.
His parents rush to the hospital and wait by his side until the doctor delivers the horrible news.
"He'll never be more than a vegetable."

------------------------------------------
Ruthie and Johnny side by side
Went out for an auto ride.
John hit a bump.
Ruth hit a tree.
John kept going ruthlessly.


#440 ::: Foible ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:46 PM:

Harvey walked into a bar and all the regulars greeting him, shouts of "Hi Harvey" reverberated around the room. The bartenders, waitresses, even the owner joined in; only one man sitting at the bar was silent.

Harvey walked up to the gentleman and said "hi."

The gentleman politely inquired "Do I know you?"

Harvey was shocked, "everybody knows me, I'm Harvey!"

The gentleman was apologetic but insisted that he didn't know Harvey, what's more, he doubted the claim that everyone knew him. "Surely in this whole world, there's got to be someone else who doesn't know you."

Harvey stuck to his guns, insisting that everybody knew him and to prove it he would bet the man that no matter who he named that person would recognize Harvey.

“I bet you don't know Arnold Schwarzenegger” said the man.

Harvey laughed and expounded on how he and Arnold were old friends. To prove it, he took the gentleman outside, caught a cab and they both rode to the Governor’s mansion. Half an hour after that they were laughing it up with Harvey's old friend the Governator.

Ok, said the man. Let's try someone even bigger, How about Barak Obama. There's no way you can know him too.

One redeye flight to the east coast later, the gentleman found himself sitting in Barak's private quarters of the White House as Barak and Harvey reminisced.

Ok, the man thought, a lot of politicians know each other, maybe I made a mistake picking two guys from the same profession. Let's try someone really different and from a foreign country too. "I bet you don't know the Pope" said the man as they were leaving the Whitehouse.

Harvey interrupted his conversation with his friend the gate guard. "Sure, I know his Holiness and I'll be happy to prove it to you." Another plane flight later they were both in Vatican City. Their timing was perfect, they entered Saint Peter's Square amid throngs of worshipers, and the pope was just stepping out on the balcony.

Harvey pushed forward, leaving the man behind. A few minutes later he emerged on the balcony and was warmly greeted by the Pope. Harvey glanced down at the throngs of people and saw the gentleman passed out in the square, a circle of concerned citizens around him.

He rushed back down to the gentleman's side just as the man was regaining consciousness. "What happened?” said Harvey. “Surely you couldn’t have been that surprised that the pope and I know each other?

It's not that the man replied, While you were up there the guy next to me nudged my arm and asked "Who's the Kraut up there with Harvey?"

#441 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:48 PM:

Xopher @ 421, my interpretation was that after 2/3 of the brains were removed, what you had left was an Australian.

#442 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 05:59 PM:

Janet, thanks. The fact that the English apparently think the Irish and Australians are stupid is...well, it'd be funny if it weren't so annoying.

I'm tempted to post very anti-English jokes, but I can't think of anything funnier than England itself!

#443 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 06:09 PM:

Thomas@432: put a new piece of fuse wire in between the contacts -- now that's one of the most terrifying sentences I've ever read. Old fuse systems here might be plug fuses, or screw-in, but nothing where you can ever get at the actual fusible element.

#444 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 06:09 PM:

Two guys in Manhattan are standing at the bus stop. One turns to the other, and says, "Hey, buddy, I left my wallet at home. Can you spare a couple of bucks for bus fare?"

The other guy turns to him and says imperiously, "'Neither a borrower nor a lender be'. William Shakespeare."

The first guy looks back at him and says, "Oh, yeah? FUCK YOU! David Mamet."

#445 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 06:20 PM:

In reference to Lin Daniel's mention @410 of European small-car jokes (I heard that particular one in reference to the Yugo) there was a whole series of jokes in Hungary (and presumably elsewhere) about the Trabant, an East German car of Volkswagen descent, featuring a two-cycle motor and mostly plastic body.

The only one I can remember, though (I'll bet the fill-the-gas-tank crack would work) is this:

Q: Why don't you want to wear your seatbelt when driving a Trabant?

A: People will think you're wearing a backpack.

Hahaha! I wish I knew other ones. My mother-in-law used to have a Trabant until she upgraded to the Polski Fiat. They didn't even have a gas gauge, just a dipstick in the tank, which was under the hood in front. And just like a lawnmower, you had to mix oil with the gasoline for lubrication. Hungarian filling stations used to have oil/gas mix in the pumps for Trabant drivers.

Oddly, although they were made by the East German remnant of Volkswagen, I believe their motor was in front.

#446 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 06:42 PM:

445
The VWs that came into the US in the early 60s had no gas gauges, either. (It made driving them possibly more interesting than it needed to be.)

#447 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 06:47 PM:

David Dyer-Bennet @ 443: You take the fuse out before you replace the fuse wire in it. At least, you're supposed to.

A mother and father hedgehog are teaching their son how to cross the road safely.

"If you see a car coming, all you do is make sure you're in the middle of the lane and curl up, and the car will pass right over you," the father said. The father started to make his way across the road, when a car came along. He curled up in the middle of the lane and the car passed over him. He uncurled and finished crossing the road, then called across, "See, Stanley? It's easy."

His mother said, "Now watch me cross the road too." She, too, started across the road, and, as before, another car came along. She curled up in the middle of the lane, like the father had, and the car passed harmlessly over her. After she uncurled and made her way over to the other side with the father she called out, "It's really easy. Come on, Stanley, you can do it."

With parental encouragement and coaxing, Stanley nervously made his way out into the road, and, sure enough, along came a car. Fighting fear, but trusting his parents, he curled up in the middle of the lane and SPLAT!

"Bloody Reliant Robins."

#448 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 06:50 PM:

This small car with no name breaks down in front of a Mercedes mechanic. For reasons lost somewhere in my memory, the car owner requests assistance from the Mercedes mechanic. The Mercedes mechanic assures the car owner he can fix the car. He tells the owner, and his family, to go wander the town and come back in an hour.

The car owner and his family come back, retrieve their tin cannameless small car from the Mercedes mechanic. It drives wonderfully. The owner is amazed at the power the car has, how smoothly it runs, how well it accelerates.

About 15 minutes later, the car just stops. The car owner struggles to get it started again. The car goes on for another 15 minutes, and stops again. After struggling again to get the car started, the owner heads back to the Mercedes mechanic. After several more such stop-and-start intervals, the owner arrives at the mechanic's. He goes in, tells the mechanic what the problem is.

The mechanic goes out, fiddles around with the engine, and tells the owner the problem is solved. The owner asks for assurance on this. The mechanic looks a bit sheepish, and tells the owner he replaced the engine with a windshield wiper motor, and it was left on intermittent.

#449 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 07:18 PM:

David Dyer-Bennet @ 443: many houses in the UK still use fuse wire. Our house did when we moved in six years ago. We have modern circuit breakers now, but only becase the fuse box needed replacing for other reasons.

#450 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 07:34 PM:

Guy arrives at the 10 items or less checkout of a supermarket in Cambridge, MA with 16 items. The checkout clerk asks him: "So, are you from MIT and can't read, or from Harvard and can't count?"

(Full disclosure: I attended MIT for a year and my brother is a Harvard graduate.)

#451 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 07:52 PM:

Lin Daniel:

The copy of the I Hate to Cook Book I ordered arrived today. I'm only on page nine, and already I've seen two or three recipes that look good, and laughed a great many times. Thank you!

#452 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 07:56 PM:

Foible@440: when I began reading your joke I assumed it was about an invisible rabbit.

#453 ::: Anatidaeling ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 08:28 PM:

One morning, Papa mole woke up, popped his head above ground and said, "Ah! I smell honey."

Mama mole poked her head up beside him and said, "Mmm. I smell maple syrup."

Behind them, baby mole didn't have any room to pop his head up above ground, and he said, "All I smell is molasses!"

#454 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 08:31 PM:

B. Durbin@265: What's that watermelon doing here?

Foibel@440, last time I heard that joke the punchline was "Who's the guy in the funny hat talking to Jon Singer?"

#455 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 08:35 PM:

In England they also have the electric water heater in a box on the shower pipe. Feels unsafe, somehow, in the same way that using a hair dryer in the shower would be.

#456 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 08:41 PM:

Erik @ 455: I'm told that sound engineers who tour Europe refer to Britain as "Monkey Island," due to the... idiosyncrasies... of its venue infrastructure and practices.

#457 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 08:47 PM:

Andrew 452: Foible@440: when I began reading your joke I assumed it was about an invisible rabbit.

Me too. It quickly turned into a familiar joke, but I still want to know what happens when the 6 foot rabbit walks into a bar and everyone says hi.

#458 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 08:50 PM:

A man walks into a pet store, and there's cage containing a bird with a huge bill.
He asks the person behind the counter what kind of bird it is, because he's never seen it before.
The store employee says 'It's a crunchbird, and it understands English. Want to see what it does?' and opens the cage.
The bird comes out of the cage and stands on the floor, looking around.
The store employee says 'Crunchbird, box.' And the bird walks over to a box and crunches it in its bill.
The man is astonished, and buys it on the spot.
He takes it to work to show it off, where the other employees have some fun having small objects crunched. His boss comes in, looks at it, and asks what it is.
They tell him 'It's a crunchbird.'
He replies 'Crunchbird, my *ss!'

#459 ::: Nightsky ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 09:44 PM:

Eric NElson@275:
The same duck returns to the pharmacy and asks for some condoms.
"Let me guess," says the pharmacist, "shall I put them on your bill?"
"No!" cries the duck. "What kind of pervert do you think I am?"

#460 ::: Nightsky ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 09:48 PM:

English joke (the only one I know):
An English couple is making love when suddenly the gentleman says,
"Is anything wrong?"
"No, why?" replies the lady.
"You moved."

Elementary school joke I am extremely fond of despite being over 30:
Q: Why did the rocket leave its job?
A: It got fired!

#461 ::: Dr. Psycho ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 09:49 PM:

When I was six years old, I was sitting on the curb and the neighbor girl came and sat next to me and said, "What's green, hangs on the wall and sings?"
"I don't know," I replied.
"A herring."
"But a herring isn't green."
"Well, you could paint it green."
"And a herring doesn't hang on the wall."
"Well, you could hang it on the wall."
"And a herring doesn't sing."
"Well," she replied shyly, "I just put it in to make it hard."
Ten years later, I was sitting on that same curb and the same neighbor girl came and sat next to me and said, "What's green, hangs on the wall and licks slowly up and down your inner thigh?"
"I don't know," I replied.
"A herring."
"But a herring isn't green."
"Well, you could paint it green."
"And a herring doesn't hang on the wall."
"Well, you could hang it on the wall."
"And a herring doesn't," I said uncomfortably, "um, lick slowly up and down my inner thigh."
"Well," she replied, "I just put it in to make it hard."
"Yeah, well, it worked."

#462 ::: Jenna Moran ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 09:49 PM:

Xopher #457:

> I still want to know what happens when the 6 foot > rabbit walks into a bar and everyone says hi.

The thing is, every time he came in BEFORE he was only a *four* foot rabbit.

#463 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 09:53 PM:

Johnny had a motorbike.
It was painted red.
Everywhere that Johnny went,
The cops swept up the dead.

"Picked up" would flow better, but the image of "swept up" is irresistible.

#464 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:10 PM:

Xopher, Janet is correct: It's an Australian joke.

I should add, to avoid tarnishing the English reputation inappropriately, that everybody I've ever heard tell this joke (including me) is an Australian. The traditional time to tell it is as penance at the end of a round of dumb-Irishmen jokes.

(On a similar note, do you know why dumb-blonde jokes traditionally take the form of a short question and answer? It's so that men can understand them.)

#465 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:10 PM:

Then there's the budding scientist Little Willie:

Willie saw some dynamite
Couldn't understand it, quite
Curiosity doesn't pay
It rained Willie half the day

This one courtesy of the sub- and superscript instructions, where Willie explores Chemistry:

Willie drank some water
Now Willie is no more
For what he thought was H20
Was H2SO4

#466 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:16 PM:

Auntie Mel fed baby Nell
What she thought was calomel.
But - alas! - what baby ate
Was corrosive sublimate!

Not much difference, I confess:
One atom and one baby less.

#467 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:20 PM:

So this penguin's car breaks down and he takes it to the mechanic. The mechanic says it's going to be a while before he can diagnose the problem, and the penguin goes off for a little walk around town, does a little shopping, buys an ice cream, you know the kind of thing.

Goes back to the mechanic a while later. The mechanic comes out of the back of the shop, looks at him and says, "You blew a seal."

"Oh no" says the penguin, "That's just ice cream."

#468 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:20 PM:

Paul A @464
On a similar note, do you know why dumb-blonde jokes traditionally take the form of a short question and answer? It's so that men can understand them.

YES!

#469 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:22 PM:

Paul A. 344: Come to think of it, I recommend Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor in any case.

The source of this elephant joke, current 1963 or 4:

What did the Dallas Chief of Police say when the elephant walked into the police station?

Nothing. He didn't notice.

#470 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:23 PM:

Bill Stewart @ #454: What's that watermelon doing here?

I'll tell you later.

#471 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:30 PM:

Little Willie from the mirror
drank the mercury all off,
thinking, in his childish error,
it would cure the whooping cough.
At the fun'ral Willie's mother,
weeping, said to Auntie Nell,
"'Twas a chilly day for Willie
when the mercury went down."

#472 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:31 PM:

Little Willie from the mirror
Licked the mercury quite off,
Thinking in his childish error
It would cure the whooping cough.

At the funeral his mother
Sadly said to Mrs. Brown
'Twas a chilly day for Willie
When the mercury went down.

#473 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:33 PM:

OK, now there's quite a coincidence of timing!
I thought for a moment I'd double-posted.

#474 ::: Nightsky ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:44 PM:

The Seven Dwarfs go to visit the Pope. After receiving the papal blessing, Dopey approaches the Pope and asks if, as there are dwarf Catholics, there are any dwarf nuns.
The pope replies that there are not.
At this, the other dwarfs start laughing, and chanting, "Dopey f*cked a penguin! Dopey f*cked a penguin!"

#475 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 10:55 PM:

What happens when you play a country and Western song backwards?
--His wife comes back, his job comes back, his truck comes back, and his dog comes back.


And from my late and much-missed Uncle Ray:

Why does beer go through you so fast?
--It doesn't need to change color on the way.

#476 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:07 PM:

473:
Yeah, but I blew the rhyme in the second half, and you got it right. (Memory failure on the name.)

#477 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:40 PM:

A man goes into a junkyard and asks, "Do you have a gas cap for a Trabant"?

"Yes," replies the clerk, "that's a fair trade."


How many theater lighting people does it take to change a light bulb?

It's a LAMP, dammit!

#478 ::: nekosensei ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:50 PM:

How do you say "Four people sinking in quicksand in Spanish?"

-Cuatro Sinko.

#479 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:50 PM:

I thought it was a Fresnel.

#480 ::: Susie Lorand ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2010, 11:58 PM:

Sandy B. @431:

How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
None. That's a hardware problem.

How many hardware engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Programmers broke it, programmers can fix it.

#481 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 12:16 AM:

Repeating one I heard:

What goes, "Pieces of seven! Pieces of seven!"?
A parroty error.


Jacque #243, Singing Wren #289:
Re: smileys and parentheses.
OB-xkcd, and potential solution.

#482 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 12:39 AM:

Chris Quinones, my high school chemistry teacher (an MIT grad) told that one too, and he always specified the Stop & Shop on Memorial Drive. Which isn't even there any more. I think it might be a Whole Foods now.

#483 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 12:40 AM:

It was only when the original 50 dwarves were reduced to 8 that the others began to suspect Hungry.

#484 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 12:58 AM:

DDB@443:

Wikipedia has a nice picture of rewireable fuses.

You take the ceramic plug thingy out of the circuit before rewiring it, and the plug thingy is made of ceramic so that the house doesn't burn down when it fuses.

#485 ::: Dr. Psycho ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:04 AM:

How many carpenters does it take to change a light bulb?

None, that's an electrician job.

#486 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:10 AM:

On strange automobiles that should be in jokes: the Citroen Mehari.

It's a plastic bodied 2CV whose body is soluble in gasoline. It has no seat belts. Doors are optional. The hood is held on with two leather belts and two rubber bands. My mother used to drive one regularly on the freeways in California in the 1970s.

#487 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:13 AM:

No fair bringing up Citroens in the joke thread.

#488 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:19 AM:

Q: How many Teamsters does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Fourteen. You got a problem with that?

#489 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:26 AM:

Re emoticons in parenthetical statements: making the last parenthesis do double duty is vastly more common than any of the other alternatives (so descriptivists should prefer it) and no weirder, really, than the period doing double duty at the end of

I remember the day I earned my Ph.D.

(so prescriptivists should be able to tolerate it, if they can tolerate emoticons at all :).

#490 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:56 AM:

Steven Brust had a whole series of "how many ... to sharpen a sword?" jokes running through one of the Vlad books; the one I always liked was "How many Yendi does it take to sharpen a sword?" "Two. One to sharpen the sword, and one to confuse the issue.".

Also: this is just to say

I have added
the footnotes1
which you were
probably saving2
Forgive me3

1that were in
the icebox

2for breakfast

3they were delicious4

4so sweet5

5and so bold

#491 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 02:21 AM:

And an oldie from The Last Goon Show of All:

"I say, I say, I say. How do you start a pudding race?"

"I don't know. How DO you start a pudding race?"

"Sago"

#492 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 03:34 AM:

David DeLaney@490: That's "three", not "two".

#493 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 03:35 AM:

David DeLaney@490: That's "three", not "two".

#494 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 03:38 AM:

There: one post to make the correction, and one to confuse the issue.

(Sigh.)

#495 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 05:50 AM:

Chris, 423; Michael 430

Michael more or less nailed it except that the intention was to 'translate' a joke with the punchline ' Because un oeuf is enough'.

It was intended specifically to amuse multilinguals - Serge and Fragano especially - rather than for pure francophones, though. Originally devised for my francophone daughter, who, while perfectly fluent in English, will never use the language with me. (and spent several years either trying to conceal her knowledge of it or genuinely unaware that she could do so)

Others from the same family: 'Qu'est-ce que c'est qui est orange et fait un bruit comme un perroquet' 'Une carrotte'; 'Qu'est-ce que c'est qui est marron et collant' 'Un baton'

The German one turned on the fact that (at least for some values of in Germany, 'rhumkruegeln' means 'rum babas'.

Here's one for Turkish speakers (if there are any here):

'What's in the middle of the sea.'
'Yes, that's right'.

#496 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 06:16 AM:

Tom Whitmore :@ #486
"On strange automobiles that should be in jokes: the Citroen Mehari."

Not to mention the Fiat Multipla[1], which demonstrated what happens when the designers of the top half are working in Imperial units, and the rest of the team is using Metric.

Ugliest car in living memory.

Cadbury.
[1] Possibly a contraction of "Multiple Aaargh!"?

#497 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 07:04 AM:

Xopher @442: That particular joke was in fact quite popular with the Northern Irish people[*] I knew in Australia. We mostly told it after hearing one too many "thick Irish" jokes from an Australian.

[* actual ex-pats, not people who had an ancestor on the boat several generations back.]

#498 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 08:35 AM:

emoticons in parenthetical statements: I prefer the "logical form", but also make sure to put a space between the emoticon and the enclosing parenthesis.

(Like this ;-) )

Dubious about continuing with the Book Festival today... on the one hand, I'm starting to lose it in terms of long-term fatigue; on the other, today is "Pub Day" (many items about publishing) -- I'd kind of like to speak up for Author Beware and against the various scams.

But the "Self-Publishing" talk is at 10AM, it's 8:20 now, and I doubt I've got the stamina left to get down there by then and also make my point coherently. (Sponsored by Quartet Books, dosted by Sara Sgarlat, moderated by Dan Doernberg.)

I'll certainly be missing Kim Harrison's booksigning, but then I don't have any of her books, and I can't start spending money on another long series just now..... (A tidbit from her at yesterday's talk: she'll be ending her Hollows series at 12 volumes, because she "wants to start writing something else." I don't blame her a bit....)

Besides Harrison, the other SF authors who have or will do talks at this year's Festival include Katherine Kurtz (last night, with Harrison), Steve White & Edward Lerner (I went to a talk with them last year, and they've got another tomorrow), and David Louis Edelman (at both last night's talk, and tomorrow's.) I believe all of these are Virginians, though KK only moved here 3 years ago.

#499 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 10:39 AM:

Maybe when you put emoticons in parentheses you need to escape the parenthesis, (like this ;-\) )

Or maybe (-: left handed emoticons need to match right handed emoticons :-)

#500 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 10:47 AM:

(Or maybe enclose the emoticon within square brackets within your parentheses. [ ;-) ] )

But that does not cover the special case of smileys that contain square brackets.

#501 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 10:50 AM:

Another Little Willie rhyme:

Little Willie, full of glee,
Put radium in Grandma's tea.
Now he thinks it's such a lark
To see her glowing in the dark.

#502 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 10:56 AM:

Signing off for the time being because I have to pack my computers. So I take note of the fact that it's hard to do because I have become attached to them.

#503 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 11:39 AM:

What, Erik? You're a cyborg?!

And scribbling a note to housemates, I realized Willie should have had "H20" and "H2S04".

#504 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 11:42 AM:

My Bonnie leaned over a gas tank
The height of its contents to see;
I lighted a match to assist her.
Oh bring back my Bonnie to me.

#505 ::: rgh ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 11:46 AM:

Heisenberg walks into a bar."Ouch! I could see the bar but didn't know which way it was going."

#506 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 12:14 PM:

(Sorry Andrew, you momentarily got muddled up with an Andy I was writing to elsewhere. :-S)

So a fellow walks into a pub where there's a seisiun going, carrying a case. He sets it down and goes to the bar, has a few quiet words for the publican, and starts to walk out again. As he's passing, the bozouki player (who, thanks be to ghod, was sitting this tune out) turns and says, "What's that in your case?"

The fellow pauses, leans in and murmurs, "It's a bomb. I just told the bartender, you got five minutes to clear out."

The musician says, "Thanks be to Jaysus. I thought it was bagpipes."

#507 ::: dennisS ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 12:26 PM:

The Pope is struggling with a crossword puzzle. Finally he leans over and quietly asks the Cardinal sitting next to him, "What's a 4-letter word for woman and it ends in U-N-T?" The Cardinal thinks for a moment and answers "Aunt."

The Pope says, "Oh!

... got an eraser?"

#508 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:11 PM:

Peter Erwin #501: Another Little Willie rhyme:

Little Willie loved his sister.
He took her to the zoo.
She was gone before they missed her.
The lions loved her too.

#509 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:38 PM:

Alright, I give in.

A duck walked into a bar. Bartender says, "Hey buddy, your pants are down."

#510 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:46 PM:

In re the H2SO4 rhyme, I've always heard (and my children often recite) a different variant:

Johnny had a stomachache
But he hasn't any more
For what he thought was H2O
Was H2SO4.

Kids are bloodthirsty little creatures. I love'em.

#511 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:48 PM:

Bonsai are tiny trees that live for 10,000 years.

#512 ::: Neil in Chicago ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:48 PM:

@442 Xopher

It happened that the Queen and the Pope found themselves on the dais together at a very large event. While they were chatting, the Queen said, "You know, with just a wave of the hand, I can make the heart of every Englishman in the audience swell with pride."
The Pope said, "Alright, I'd like to see that." So the Queen did the little wave-two-three queenly wave, and the English in the audience all went mad.
Well, the Pope certainly couldn't allow himself to be outdone by someone in a worse frock than his, so he said, "You know, with just a wave of my hand, I can make the heart of every Irishman in the crowd swell with joy, and not just a transitory pleasure, but something they'll tell their children and grandchildren about."
The Queen said, "Alright, I'd like to see that." So he slapped her.

#513 ::: Neil in Chicago ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:51 PM:

@445 Michael Roberts
It's not clear if Trabi jokes are jokes. It really did have a fiberglass body, half Russian cotton.
I was told, in all seriousness, that if a Trabant was abandoned by the side of the road, it would stay there. (i.e., no one would bother to steal parts or scrounge.)

#514 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 01:54 PM:

Mark@506 - Our weekly Irish session was started by a couple of bagpipers, so it's been scary since the beginning, and the mandolin player recently got a bouzouki :-)

How many aikido masters does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one, but the light bulb has to attack first.

#515 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 02:12 PM:

One of my favs from my own bloodthirsty childhood:

Mary had a little lamb
A hunter shot it dead
And now it goes to school with her
Between two hunks of bread

#516 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 03:34 PM:

Neil - while the jokes were clearly jokes, many Trabi stories that sound like jokes are not jokes, you're right.

Their bodies were sadly susceptible to shattering when cold, for example, say in the mountains of Slovakia.

But there are bunches of them still on the road, puttering gamely away twenty years after production stopped. Say what you want about East German communism, but they built cheap, solid stuff for the masses.

#517 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 03:38 PM:

I've seen multiple variants of the H2SO4 rhyme, with different names attached. It's the same with the following:

May his rest be long and placid.
He added water to the acid.
The other boy did what he oughter
He added acid to the water.

Male or female, named or not, always good advice.

B. Durbin @ 504:

Your version seems much crueler (not that I'm complaining!). The one I heard said "She lit a small match to assist her".

#518 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 03:59 PM:

Tom Whitmore #486: My French teacher drove one.

#519 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 04:23 PM:

Not a joke, but this exchange between me and my 8-year-old nephew truly happened this week.

HIM: "What is the TV series 'Dexter'?"
ME: "It's about a serial killer who only kills serial killers."
HIM: "How come he doesn't kill himself then?"

#520 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 04:26 PM:

Not a joke either, but my 11-year-old nephew really said the following this week.

"I hate my school's principal! She's a... a... a bureaucrat!"

#521 ::: m.k. ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 04:49 PM:

One from a Prairie Home Companion joke episode that works better spoken with a flat Midwestern accent:

Why does the perfect pot of chili contain two hundred thirty-nine beans?

Because one more would be two forty.

@495 praisegod barebones, I left the "un oeuf" joke on my sisters voicemail and she texted me back admitting she didn't get it. It worked better when I texted it to her. It may have worked even better had I reminded her that Nicolas Sarkozy is Carla Bruni's husband.

(I'd rail on about "kids these days" but she'd get most of the math/chemistry jokes in this thread that have been going over my head)


#522 ::: Renatus ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 05:00 PM:

This thread continues to bring me much glee. The elephant jokes have had me giggling like a loon; I'm going to have to memorize those!

Jacque@243, Mark_W@257: Glad you liked it! The last bit was originally just 'Cthulhu Fthagn', but I thought the devouring more appropriate. *g*

Niall McAuley@379: *sputter!!*

I realize I'm still confused over John Clarke throwing 'middle aged' around as an insult. He has to be a teenager for him to consider that to be cutting snark.


Another silly little joke, this one courtesy of my husband:

Where does a king keep his armies?
In his sleevies!

#523 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 05:03 PM:

A friend of mine reports that most of the Trabis are gone from German roads - they'd still be running, more or less, if you could get parts, but pollution laws mean you're no longer allowed to drive something with that crude and dirty an engine.

#524 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 05:03 PM:

DD-B @369: Aaawwwwrrr!!! See also: ow. :)

#525 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 05:08 PM:

When you tell a [member of Group A] a joke, he laughs three times: first when he hears it, second when you explain it to him, and third when he understands it, for [members of Group A] love to laugh.

When you tell a joke to a [member of Group B], he laughs twice: once when you tell it, and a second time when you explain it to him. For he never really understands it.

When you tell a joke to a [member of Group C], he only laughs once: when you tell it to him. He won't let you explain it and, needless to say, never understands it.

But when you tell a joke to a Jew, he doesn't even laugh once. You don't even finish telling the joke. First, he's heard it already. Second, why are you telling it wrong? And then he tells you your joke -- but in a much better version than yours.
___
Common variants include:
A = Frenchman, B = Englishman, C = German
A = peasant, B = landowner, C = army officer
However, a Jew is always the know-it-all.

[Dedicated to my husband, who has criticized the delivery of almost every joke in this thread, including my drafts of this one.]

#526 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 05:25 PM:

Lis Riba @ 525:

You may not be aware of it, but there is a Theory of Humor (and some of the jokes in that page are funny).

And it's interesting that the proponents of two of the major theories are Sigmund Freud and Marvin Minsky, both Jews who are trying to tell us what's funny.

#527 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 05:51 PM:

I'm not sure I'd be comfortable knowing just what Sigmund Freud thinks of as funny....

#528 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 05:57 PM:

"A theology question... What's the first thing that Eve said to Adam?"
"I don't know. That's a hard one."
"Correct!"

(My many thanks to the Vicar of Dibley.)

#529 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 06:07 PM:

praisegod, 495: That's too hip for the room. Or maybe just for my boss.

I had a roommate at MIT who was from Izmir. I can still say "yes" and "no" and count to ten in Turkish, but that's all I ever learned.

...

My HS chemistry teacher insisted he had a great joke about the ideal gas law, but he never got around to telling it. He may have been messing with us, or it was in his native language (I think he was Polish or Ukrainian), but he wasn't that good a teacher in any case. And I never have seen any jokes about the ideal gas law.

...

I think it was Larry Miller who talked about the progressive effect of drinking martinis: One martini is not enough. Two martinis is too many. Three martinis is ... not enough.

...

We're kind of creating the source material for the joke teller's convention joke here, aren't we?

#530 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 06:12 PM:

One I just heard today.

What do you call a contortionist from the Philippines?

A Manila folder.

#531 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 06:33 PM:

Bruce #526: What that article is missing is the social-bonding functions of humor (largely covered by Eric Berne).

For example, all those ethnic (and celebrity) jokes play on common stereotypes and prejudices -- the particulars get replaced locally, to suit the local memepool. Every ingroup has its own set of those stereotypes, reflecting its relations with other groups -- and the public sharing of those stereotypes represents a reaffirmation of the group identity. "So-and-so goes to Heaven/Hell" jokes give various reprobates their "just deserts" according to what the group thinks of them, and so on.

Similarly, as the folklorist Brunvand noted, most "chain" jokes represent common fears for a group:

  • "Knock-knock" jokes play on "who might come to the door" -- that is, the fear of unknown strangers.
  • "Elephant" jokes came out of racial relations and fears (notice how often the elephant is trying either to hide (often in "your house"), or to pass unnoticed, always implausibly).
  • The "dead baby" jokes of my own youth, were linked to the developing issues of abortion and birth control.
  • "Computer" jokes (consulting "the computer", omniscient or all-too-fallible) draw on the scary changes that came with rapidly changing technology.
  • "Lawyer" jokes reflect the point that any of us might find our freedom or property dependent on their skill or goodwill.
  • "Blonde" jokes project our own fear of saying or doing something really stupid and mock-worthy.
  • ...and so on.

All of these do have enough of the "surprise" element that they can outlive their root fears (those fears which aren't universal), but then they start to look increasingly "stupid" and less funny. (I find myself wondering what jokes were associated with the onset of the automobile!)

#532 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 06:37 PM:

A man dressed in a paper suit walks into a western town's saloon.
"I don't think I've seen in these here parts before," the saloon owner says.
"Actually I'm from here, but I was away. Spent time in jail."
"What for?"
"Rustling."

(Phil Foglio saod it much better.)

#533 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 07:03 PM:

Bah, got a comment stuck in moderation... there were only two links, both to Wikipedia. Did I use a Word of Power or something?

#534 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 07:06 PM:

Little Willie fell down the elevator shaft,
Didn't get found for a week and a half.
Then all the neighbors sniffed "Gee whiz,
What a spoiled child Willie is!"
A German, backing out of driveway, says to spouse, "Is anyone coming?" Spouse says "There's a Trabi coming on the left, and the right is clear too."
In an airport in Alaska in the '70's, when the main clock had broken: "The time is 1600 if you're in the Army, 8 bells if you're in the Navy, and if you're a civilian, the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand on the 4...and if you are flying on Reeve Aleutian, it's Saturday."

#535 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 07:12 PM:

David Harmon @533:

Broken href structure. Check your links at preview.

#536 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 07:20 PM:

A penguin walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Hey, you look like you're wearing a tuxedo!"

And the penguin says, "How do you know I'm not?"

#537 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 07:29 PM:

Abi #535: Oops, and thanks.

#538 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 07:36 PM:

How many menopausal women does it take to change a light bulb?


Two. IT JUST IS, OK?!?!?

#539 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 07:48 PM:

Ginger @ 538 ...

"... and who turned up the heat, dammit!"

#540 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 08:04 PM:

David Harmon #531: I find myself wondering what jokes were associated with the onset of the automobile!

Vroom screech? I figure that one's been around for a long time.

#541 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 08:26 PM:

How many Cardassians does it take to change a light bulb?
- Jst one. However they first have to determine how many light bulbs they see.

#542 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 08:29 PM:

How many KLINGONS does it take to change a light bulb?
- None. Klingons aren't afraid of the dark.

What do they do with the old bulb?
- Execute it for failure.

What do they do to the Klingon who replaces the bulb?
- Execute him for cowardice.

#543 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 08:48 PM:

Q: How many Pierson's Puppeteers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One, if you can find one crazy enough to climb the ladder.

Q: How many Outsiders does it take to change a light bulb?
A: That information will cost you one trillion credits.

Q: How many Kdatlyno does it take to change a light bulb?
A: What's a light bulb?

#544 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 09:09 PM:

How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a light bulb?

None. That's ok, dear; I'll just sit here in the dark.

N.B. This became a running gag in my family, with "I'll just sit here in the dark" appended to anything that could be used to invoke guilt.

#545 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 09:25 PM:

Ginger, that's the one my Mycotan answer is a takeoff on.

I remember a joke session at a WorldCon one year, where we were all telling our favorite lightbulb jokes, sometimes inventing new ones. There was a young man there, a pretty blond who was apparently the boytoy of one of the older women.

He would say "How many [something off the wall] does it take to change a light bulb?" then when we'd ask "How many?" would start trying to think up the answer. He hadn't quite grasped the concept of joke telling. I think he was half-expecting us to have answers for any possible question of the form.

He was awfully pretty, though. Awfully pretty.

#546 ::: Eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 10:09 PM:

I haven't completely caught up on this thread, so apologies if any of these are repeats.

Abi @211: The variation I've heard of that one (still one of my favorite dorky physics jokes) has Heisenberg getting pulled over for speeding. The officer asks, "Do you know how fast you were going?" Heiseberg replies, "No, but I know exactly where I am."

One of my other favorite dorky physics jokes:
There was a caveman from the town of Newton1, who carpooled to work with a friend from nearby Hamilton2. They were friendly, and had many interesting conversations on their way to work, but as time went on, the Newtonian noticed that his friend seemed to be getting much smarter, and rather leaving him behind, which became rather depressing. Eventually, it got bad enough that he sought counseling. He explained to the counselor that his friend seemed to have been getting very smart, learning to use newer, more complex tools, even standing more straight, while he did not feel that he had really changed at all. After listening to his client's complaints, the counselor said, "I have seen this before, and the solution is simple. You must stop carpooling with this friend."
"But why?" asked the caveman. "How will that help?"
"Simple," replied the counselor. "If you commute with a Hamiltonian, you'll never evolve!"

On a related note:
An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician each wake up in the middle of the night to a fire alarm, and walk out of their rooms to find their respective kitchens on fire. The engineer fetches a bunch of water and dumps it on the fire till it goes out. The physicist does a quick calculation to figure out how much water she'll need, fetches that much, and puts out the fire. The mathematician looks at the fire for a few minutes, thinks "I know how to take care of that," and goes back to bed.

1Or whatever, the name of his town is unimportant.
2One oughtn't think to critically about the setup of this particular joke.3
3Extensive footnotes are a requirement for delurking in this thread, yes?

#547 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2010, 11:27 PM:

Chris, #529: Aha! People keep beating me to all my favorites, but I don't think anyone has hauled out Dorothy Parker yet:

"I like to drink martinis,
Two at the very most.
Three and I'm under the table --
Four and I'm under my host!"

David, #531: This reminds me of my personal metric for telling whether or not an ethnic joke is suitable for use in public. If it can be successfully recast as an ESU* football player joke, then it's okay. If not, think twice.

* Enormous State University, from the Tank McNamara comic strip. Or use your school's primary rival's team.

#549 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 01:25 AM:

Bruce @538: all good setups for "Look at that S-car go!"

There's also Jock Carroll's book "The Shy Photographer" which has whole chapters which just consist of the punch lines to various (frequently off-color) jokes, tossed back and forth between two characters. An amusing book.

#550 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 01:40 AM:

A Klingon and a Romulan fall off a tall building at the same time.
Which one hit the ground first?
- The Romulan. The Klingon had to stop and ask for directions.

#551 ::: Eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 02:18 AM:

Lin Daniel @ 427: I was confused for a bit (not having heard that joke in a while) parsing the order of operations. I was reading it as "integral of (dcabin/cabin + speed of light)" instead of "(integral of dcabin/cabin) + speed of light". I think when I heard it originally, the speed of light was left off, since the indefinite integral gets an arbitrary additive constant anyway, often represented by a "+ c".

#552 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 02:34 AM:

B. Durbin @ #479:

A Fresnel lamp is any lamp with a Fresnel lens slotted in front; the bulb is not the referent.

----

A guy setting up a lighting rig in an old theatre fails to observe proper safety precautions, and falls. When he hits the boards, they're so worm-eaten that they break and he keeps going down into the basement.

One stagehand turns to another and says, "Do you think he needs any help?"

The other says, "He'll be fine. It's just a stage he's going through."

#553 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 02:40 AM:

Mark @ #506:

A man stops to doing some shopping on the way home from a pipe band rehearsal, leaving his bagpipes on the back seat. As he's entering the grocery store, he suddenly realises that he's left the car unlocked. He rushes back, but it's Too Late!

...somebody has already put another set of bagpipes in the car.

#554 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 03:05 AM:

If I ever write a lavishly illustrated coffee-table book, it'll be "101 Best Jokes Ruined". The challenge would be to see how far you could get through the book before flinging it against the nearest wall. heh.

#555 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 03:10 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II #548: Bikini model puts a 305 small-block engine into her Trabant

Blocked by a paywall.

#556 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 03:26 AM:

Earl @ 555 - I was able to read it well enough. There was a popup asking me to sign in/pay or something, but that was over the left hand page, which appeared to be something else. The car/woman was on the right hand side and not obstructed in Safari 4.0.5 on OS X 10.6.2

To provide a joke in this post, I will scavenge something that my uncle taught my cousin when he was perhaps 6 (and so got told several times a day):

Q: "Why are lobsters so popular at Christmas?"
A: "Because they have Sandy Claws."

#557 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 03:52 AM:

"Never run through a screen door."

"Why not?"

"You might strain yourself."

Enjoy the veal, yada yada yada.

#558 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 04:54 AM:

#546 eric
You blew the punch line. The mathematician wakes up, sees the fire, wanders into the kitchen, turns the water on, says "Aha, there is solution!" and goes back to bed.

=================

#559 ::: Jenna Moran ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 05:54 AM:

A philosopher, an artist, and a physicist are walking through an abandoned museum late at night---

Having fought their way into its arcane depths by defeating the metallic laser dogs, the barbarian brains-in-vats, and the other pulpy eccentricities and peculiaria characteristic to the resonantly devastated world of the joke they inhabit---

When they encounter, graffitied on the wall, the antignomonic question WHAT IS ART?

The philosopher, after some thought, says, "It is truth."

The artist shakes her head. "My professional judgment differs: ART," she says, "is what I wrench from this ruined world by use of my good two fists."

"No, no, no," says the physicist. "You're both all wrong! It's A pV/n!"

". . . That's the ideal gas law," the philosopher exclaims, and immediately recognizes they are the subject of a joke.

#560 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 07:24 AM:

By the way, Happy birthday, Teresa!

#561 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 07:33 AM:

Eric @ 546:

That engineer/physicist/mathematician joke is close to the version I know, except that it's the engineer who calculates everything carefully; the physicist just heaves a bucket full of water in the general direction of the fire.

(Paula Liberman is right about the punch line, though.)

Comparing this to the chemist/physicist/mathematician version that abi related (@ 234) indicates that's there's some interesting disagreement about which professions are the most obsessed with precise technical solutions. On the other hand, everyone agrees about mathematicians....

#562 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 07:43 AM:

Joyeux Anniversaire, Teresa!

#563 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 08:31 AM:

On getting jokes a bit wrong, from too far up for me to scroll on an idle Sunday. Shortly after the Chernobyl disaster, a friend called for silence in the pub and told this.
- Why shouldn't you buy Russia underpants?
- Your knob'll drop out.

#564 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 08:33 AM:

Russian. Buggrit.

#565 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 08:54 AM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa! Your anniversary of birth heralds (well, a little late) the coming of spring, as Kore returning from the Land of the Dead!

#566 ::: MIchael I ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 09:01 AM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#567 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 09:54 AM:

Ginger @ 544, and what do I need light for anyway? You never visit, you never call...

#568 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:09 AM:

Two drums and a cymbal fall off a cliff.
Badoom tish!

#569 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:10 AM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#570 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:12 AM:

happy birthday, Teresa!

#571 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:17 AM:

So a guy staggers into an emergency room, swaddled only in Saran WrapTM. He starts to tell the receptionist his reason for coming in, and she interrupts that's she's already scheduled him to see the shrink.

Startled, he asks why.

"I can see you're nuts."

So how do you go up or down point sizes for superscripts?

#572 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:19 AM:

Hippo Birdy, Teresa!

(and Friday was my sister's, and tomorrow is my brother's - it's Birthday Season!)

#573 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:25 AM:

Felicitous natal anniversary, Teresa.

#574 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:27 AM:

And 563 reminds me of this one:

Q: What glows in the dark and flies?
A: Chicken Kiev!

#575 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:37 AM:

Why did the Microsoft chicken cross the road?
- It's already on both sides of the road. And it just bought the road.

#576 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:03 AM:

Tom Whitmore:

There's also Jock Carroll's book "The Shy Photographer" which has whole chapters which just consist of the punch lines to various (frequently off-color) jokes, tossed back and forth between two characters.

When Spike Milligan was writing The Goon Show the BBC censors used "The Green Book" and kept trying to make him write to fit it. At first he retaliated with character names--for example, one was a mutated version of rhyming slang for the penis--but when they finally caught on to that he started to insert the punchlines of dirty jokes without the joke just to prove how thick-headed the censors were. (The longest example is where they basically stop the show dead so Bloodnok can sing a song which repeats the phrase "I don't know who you are Sir, or where you come from but you've done me a power of good" several times.)

Earl Cooley III:

Blocked by a paywall.

In Firefox, you'll get a subscription solicitation over the left-hand page with an "X" in the upper right corner of the solicitation box. Click the "X" to close the box and you can page through four articles in that issue of Make magazine (which includes the one I linked to) without paying a dime. Clearly your browser is not showing the "X" on the solicitation box, or is not letting you to that solicitation box, which indicates you may need to drop a line to the developer of the browser you use and let them know they're doing wrong by their users.

#577 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:05 AM:

And Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#578 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:13 AM:

i hope this is a very happy birthday for you, teresa.

thanks for facilitating illumination and enlightenment.

#579 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:24 AM:

Jenna, 559: I suppose I should thank you for that. I have no idea if it was what Mr. Szkolar had in mind, but there it is.

Happy birthday, Teresa. My mother's is tomorrow, which she shares with Stephen Sondheim (who turns 80, believe it or not).

#580 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:24 AM:

# 561

Proof that all odd numbers are prime:

Mathematician:
"One is prime, three is prime, five is prime, by induction all odd numbers are prime."

Physicist:
"One is prime, three is prime, five is prime--hypothesis, all odd number are prime--seven is prime, nine is an experimental error, eleven is prime--by induction, all odd numbers are prime."

Engineer:
"One is prime, three is prime, five is prime, seven is prime, nine is prime.... "

#581 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:29 AM:

Boldog születésnapot, TNH! (No joke!)

#582 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:46 AM:

Paul A@553

Bob1 goes to visit his uncle in a rural New England town (perhaps not unlike the one Jim inhabits) in late summer. His uncle has always told him about the community spirit and traditional values of these towns, and how people often don't even both to lock their houses.

They drive off to the see the local sights, admire the gardens and vegetable patches, and then get out of the car, and head off to have some lunch. The uncle suddenly says, with a look of alarm, "You locked the car, right?". "No".
"Quick, we have to get back right away".Bob is puzzled. "But you keep going on about how safe it is here".

"At this time of year? The back seat could be full of zucchini in minutes".


--
1. As you know,

#583 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:59 AM:

FWIW eric (me) and Eric(someone else) are two different people.

#584 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 12:00 PM:

FWIW eric (me) and Eric (someone else) are two different people.

#585 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 12:17 PM:

Also born today... Gary Oldman, Timothy Dalton, James Coco and Russ Meyer. And Joseph Fourier. Maybe there's a joke in there.

#586 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 12:30 PM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#587 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 12:36 PM:

Happy birthday, Teresa. Hope your next trip around the Sun is a good one.

#588 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 12:53 PM:

Have an enlightened birthday!

#589 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 01:49 PM:

With it being Fourier's birthday, we'd have to bring in the Transformers. Most felicitous of days, T.

#590 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 01:56 PM:

Hmm, my last message seems to have disappeared...

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

Paula #580: I heard that one with a computer programmer instead of the engineer.

#591 ::: Dave MB ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 02:02 PM:

Paula @580:

This needs a couple of edits -- first, 1 is not prime so you need to start with 3. Second, it's normally a chemist who is willing to generalize from three examples, since in her field there are just so many chemicals that you have to make quick and dirty hypotheses about their properties to get anywhere.

(Yes, I'm a mathematician.)

#592 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 02:08 PM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa.

Carol Kimball @ 571: General question for the Americans: Why is it always "Saran Wrap (TM)"? Americans generally appear to avoid using trade names for generalities, but I never hear "cling film" (generic name used in the UK) or any other generic name for this type of product from an American, only the trade name "Saran Wrap".

#593 ::: Jenna Moran ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 02:22 PM:

Happy birthday, Teresa! Thanks from a mostly-lurker for another year of light.

#594 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 02:26 PM:

dcb -- We use lots of trade names for generalities. kleenex, xerox, rollerblade come immediately to mind.

We are also known to say "plastic wrap," though.

#595 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 02:29 PM:

And "aspirin" used to be a trade name as well....

#596 ::: Jenna Moran ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 02:58 PM:

How do you tell the difference between 1, which is not prime, and a freaky mirror-universe 1 which is?

The goatee.

How do you tell the difference between one duck and and one duck?

One isn't prime, but and one is. (It's divisible by itself, and one!)

Why is ^ XOR?
It forgot the xaddle, xilly!

#597 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 02:58 PM:

Debbie @ 594, Tom Whitmore @ 595: Okay I stand* corrected. Maybe it's just a trans-Atlantic mismatch in which items are and are not commonly refered to by a trade name.

*Or rather, sit, since my lap has been cat-napped.

#598 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 03:10 PM:

dcb #597: In fact, the companies in question hate that sort of thing (and have been known to sue authors who did it in print) because if it becomes too commonplace, they can lose the trademark, or at least enforcement rights. That is in fact what happened to Aspirin and a number of other former trade names. (Niven had a wisecrack about this in one of his stories.)

#599 ::: Older ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 03:22 PM:

My favorite dorky physics joke: One day I saw a bumper sticker that read "Heisenberg May Have Slept Here". I was happy all day! It was a very good day for bumper stickers -- I also saw "Honey Lovers Stick Together".

Did I see a joke above (way above) of the form "In **** they ****"? Is this then the time for this one?

A sailor and a Marine enter the restroom, one after the other. Shortly afterward, they exit the restroom, one after the other. Then the Marine comes up behind the sailor and says "You know, in the Marines, they teach us to wash our hands after we pee." The sailor replies "Oh, is that so? Well, in the Navy, they teach us not to pee on our hands."

#600 ::: Dr. Psycho ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 03:23 PM:

Chris Quinones @529: Google delivered to me this quite unworthy ideal gas law "joke" : PV=FaRT

Ba-dump CHING!

#601 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 03:58 PM:

Carol 571: So how do you go up or down point sizes for superscripts?

I'm not sure there's a way to do that here. However, the code &trade; gives ™, which should solve the issue at least for the case you present here. So SaranWrap™. Here's a handy table of characters. Many have "friendly" codes like that one.

Q: How many teddy bears does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Just one teddy bear, but a whole lotta light bulbs.

#602 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 04:32 PM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa! May your yarn stash grow every larger, your rock and beadwork more fascinating and complex, and your kitchen be filled with good smells and excellent experiments.

#603 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 05:03 PM:

Irish interlocutor: "How do you make an Irish woman pregnant?"

English interlocutor: "I don't know. How do you make an Irish woman pregnant?"

Irish interlocutor: "Jesus, and they think the Irish are stupid!"

#604 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 05:19 PM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#605 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 05:23 PM:

Teresa, laa-ruggyree sonney dhyt!

#606 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 05:32 PM:

David Harmon @ 598: the companies in question hate that sort of thing" Yes, I'm aware of that, which is why I was wondering why "Saran Wrap (TM)" appears to be an exception to the rule.

Of course, the other way companies could look at it is "free publicity".

#607 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 05:40 PM:

Teresa:

Doğum Gününüz Kutlu Olsun

#608 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 05:42 PM:

Mark @ 567: And so, of course, you come to dinner. What's the difference between an Italian mother and a Jewish mother?

If you don't finish all your food, the Italian mother will kill you. On the other hand, if you don't finish everything, the Jewish mother will kill herself.

Now, have another helping, dahlink. You don't like it? You've only had two!

#609 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 06:33 PM:

Teresa, I trust your birthday goes well!

#610 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 06:34 PM:

Okay, Jewish mother jokes:

A Jewish mother buys her son two ties for his birthday. He thanks her, excuses himself from the room, goes and puts one of the ties on. When he returns his mother takes one look at him and says. "So, and what was wrong with the other one?"

#611 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 08:33 PM:

dcb #606: It isn't an exception! Now there are plenty of brands, but for Americans of a wide age range, when they grew up, that was the only brand of plastic wrap which actually "clung", thus utterly dominant.

Compare: Formica, Scotch Tape, Minute Rice, "Coke" (the generic word for soda in large sections of the country), Thermos bottles, Everclear (grain alcohol), Xerox (now fading along with the company's dominance), Tupperware (ditto), and drugstore stuff like Nicorette, Tylenol, Advil/Motrin, Tums/Rolaids, No-Doz, Vaseline... OK, I'll quit now, but you get the idea. We use plenty of brand names in everyday speech.

#612 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 09:33 PM:

I like to refer to one Kleenex™ Brand Facial Tissue as a kleenek. This is in hopes I can someday make some company exec's head explode.

The TMs are generally put in as sarcasm, at least here.

#613 ::: Laina ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 09:34 PM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#614 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 09:38 PM:

Re: ™ as sarcasm - yup, or silliness. Thanks, Xopher, for the link to the ASCII site.

#615 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 09:45 PM:

@612--

ah, some of us go the other way.
around our house, the postman sometimes delivers a netflix, and sometimes delivers several netflices (pronounced 'net-flee-kays').

#616 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:04 PM:

Open Threadiness, apropos of nothing beyond my need to come up for air from over 20 hours spent repairing its installation on my husband's laptop so that he can prepare for midterms, and vent for a moment lest my head explode:

A pox upon whomever it was at Microsucksdonkeyballs Microsoft that decided to release Vista in the horribly under-functional, user-hostile state in which it was not only brought to market, but forced upon those of us who needed to purchase a cheap (as opposed to expensive enough to either be a Mac or else come with "downgrade to XP" rights) new computer about a year and a half ago. I'm not necessarily saying that the individual(s) involved ought to be taken out and shot, but a good pelting with rancid dung would be a good start. Preferably in a public venue.

That is all.

#617 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:07 PM:

Xopher@612:I like to refer to one Kleenex™ Brand Facial Tissue as a kleenek. This is in hopes I can someday make some company exec's head explode.

I've always thought that the declension should go "one Kleenex, two Kleenices."

#618 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:23 PM:

kid bitser 615: netflices (pronounced 'net-flee-kays').

Not /net' flə siyz/ (NET fluh sieze)?

Debra 617: I've always thought that the declension should go "one Kleenex, two Kleenices."

Yes, but one kleenek, two kleenices. And remember to lowercase it to indicate it's a common noun. Heads must explode.

#619 ::: Karen ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:37 PM:

Oh wow. Chris, I wondered if you and I had the same chem teacher. I remember Mr. Szkolar's ideal gas law joke after more than 25 years, but it isn't actually very funny. He was (is?) so adorably shy and proper that I always suspected a very dry, quick wit when he was not at work. I don't remember a lot from that class, but this joke counts as chemistry, and "always balance your units is a powerful error-check" have been quite helpful.

(First kid in the family to go to college comes home after freshman year. Father asks "So what did you learn this year?" Kid replies "I learned that PV=nRT." Parents duly impressed. The summer after sophomore year they ask the same question. "I learned that PV usually = nRT, but there are exceptions." Parents very proud. Summer after junior year: "I learned that PV sometimes = nRT" and after graduation "I learned that PV actually never does = nRT." at which point, he was able to get a job.)

#621 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 10:59 PM:

OK, so, two hundred and sixteen votes walk into Congress and pass a law reforming health care...

#622 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:01 PM:

OH NOES WE ARE IN A FASCIST MARXIST DICTATORSHIP!

PLLEZE DONT DEATH PANEL MY AGED MOTHER BY SOCIALIZING HER MEDICARE!

#623 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:16 PM:

Hey, thanks for the link, Stefan!

...

Maybe it will be possible for my son to live here after all. That's pretty good news, actually, although this bill is pretty far from being the reform I was hoping for.

That one provision, though: insurance can't drop you if you fall ill. That is key.

#624 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:36 PM:

Why did the pharmaceutical industry support health care reform? For that to be true, there has to be something evil in the bill that isn't obvious at first sight. Does it crush generics, perhaps?

#625 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:43 PM:

Yeah, there was something in there about generics if I remember right. Plus Medicare still won't get to negotiate with them or something.

I'll be charitable and see this as a divide-and-conquer strategy.

#626 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:44 PM:

624
They get more patent protection for the (very expensive) biologics. The way the bill was written, all they have to do is tweak the drug, or its applications, and the clock starts running again.

#627 ::: J Homes ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:46 PM:

With all the ten-inch pianist jokes, can I get away with the one joke I know which makes explicit reference to male anatomy, and is also entirely clean?

Q: Why is a man's scrotum wrinkled?

A: Because it hurts so much when you iron it.

J Homes.

#628 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2010, 11:47 PM:

Why did the pharmaceutical industry support health care reform? For that to be true, there has to be something evil in the bill that isn't obvious at first sight. Does it crush generics, perhaps?

I'd guess that they don't care how medications are bought and paid for, as long as people are buying. And people without insurance tend to be more likely to not buy medicines they need, or to be more assertive about asking their doctor for the least expensive generic.

On the other hand, if the difference between brand name and generic is merely a $10 copay versus $5, people are more likely to accept the brand name prescription without questioning options.

#629 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 12:01 AM:

On the bloodthirsty side, an old favorite:

There was a young man at the bay
Making fireworks one fine summer day.
He dropped his cigar
In the gunpowder jar.
There was a young man at the bay.

#630 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 12:09 AM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#631 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 12:09 AM:

Celebrations and joyful outbursts! The long arc of the universe has moved infinitesimally towards justice.

(And happy birthday Teresa! 生日快乐!)

#632 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 12:18 AM:

It's Teresa's birthday?

Wow, what an awesome birthday present!

Also, happy Spring Equinox!

#633 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 12:19 AM:

SamChevre @ 629:

November Fifth has come and gone,
but thoughts of it still linger;
I held a banger in my hand—
Has anyone seen my finger?

And happy birthday, Teresa!

#634 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 12:21 AM:

627
Which reminds of the one my mother told me ....
Two old ladies are sitting on a bench at a retirement home, when a old man walks by.
'I bet you can't guess how old I am', he says.
'Drop your pants and we'll tell you', they answer.
So he does, and they look him over.
'Eighty-three', one of them says.
'How can you tell?'
'We were at your birthday party last week!'

#635 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 12:32 AM:

Why did the pharmaceutical industry support health care reform? For that to be true, there has to be something evil in the bill that isn't obvious at first sight. Does it crush generics, perhaps?

The pharmaceutical industry has no particular interest in preserving insurance companies or doctors. They probably figure that if less money gets spent on insurance company profits and loss avoidance there will be more money to buy drugs. They probably aren't hurt much by attempts to rein in overservicing, either. The bill doesn't contain the reforms that would really threaten them, like having Medicare negotiate on price, or having the FDA do cost-effectiveness evaluation on new drugs.

#636 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 12:50 AM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#637 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 01:32 AM:

Q: Why did the pharmaceutical business support the legislation that passed a few hours ago?

A. It's a spelling, both magical and grammatical, issue -- farm a suit, tickle the legislators in the lobby with percolation, of course! Camp pain fun, too, herding the American pubic with the tee partying of the gulf gain....

And don't forget the sexting and prostitution rings, all those links and hip pockets....

#638 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 01:36 AM:

Did Asprin lose its trademark status from public use, or was Bayer explicitly stripped of it during WW1? That's my impression of what happened to their patent.

#639 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 01:52 AM:

# 591 Dave

a) I'm an applied mathematician....

b) I was in a freshman or sophomore applied math class, which H. P. Greenspan, who was the head of the Math Department at MIT at the time (it rotated between the Applied and Pure parts of the department) was teaching. He said something on the order of, I am going to try something which there is no theoretical proof that this method is correct.... /i> [Professor goes though using method, it works.]

"Solving this problem by using this method is cheating. But then, solving a problem by using any method is cheating. If it works, use it!"

Maybe in 50 years some pure mathematician will come up with a proof. In the real world, you can't wait 50 years for that, you need to get an answer now, not fifty years from now....

#616 Summer
If you are thinking about buying electronics stuff, including computers this year, be aware that memory price and such are going up Demand didn't drop as much at Texas Instruments in particular expected and is rebounding faster than TI in particular planned, the result is a not only a shortage of some types of semiconductor parts, but a perception of shortage. That causes price rises, and then double or even triple ordering, which drives up prices and delays deliveries even more, while the parts makers start frantically adding capacity which won't be available for months... at which juncture, the oversupply starts hitting and the next bust cycle begins to commence... in the interim, though, the price of equipment, such as computers and digital cameras, goes up....

#640 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 04:14 AM:

dcb @ #606: Of course, the other way companies could look at it is "free publicity".


The point is, if they let their trademark become a generic term, it might not be free publicity for them.

Consider the situation that obtains in some parts of America, where a person will enter a shop, ask for a "coke", be given a Pepsi, and leave happy.

#641 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 04:19 AM:

I see a recent Particle that links to the blog of one Michael D. C. Drout, Prentice Professor of English at Wheaton College.

Do you suppose that, if he sticks at it, he'll be promoted a Master Professor of English?

#642 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 04:31 AM:

David Harmon @611: "Now there are plenty of brands, but for Americans of a wide age range, when they grew up, that was the only brand of plastic wrap which actually "clung", thus utterly dominant." AH HAH! Now that's the information I was looking for. Thank you. Now it makes sense. Probably my question wasn't phrased very well in the first place, but for all the other products mentioned, the generic term -is- used (whether or not a brand name is also used more or less of the time), while I've seen "Saran Wrap" but never "plastic wrap" or "cling film" in an American context.

As far as the other part of the discussion goes, companies over here don't seem to be quite as upset about their brand name becoming the de facto name for a type of product, seeing it, perhaps, as an indication that their brand is the market leader. I'm fairly sure Mr Dyson would be ecstatic if people stopped saying "I need to hoover the house" and started saying "I need to dyson the house" - it would be a very clear indication that Dyson had become the leading manufacturer of vacuum cleaners.

#643 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 06:08 AM:

Various: Why did the pharmaceutical industry support health care reform?

Talk about priming. I keep expecting a punch line. (But yay! Bill passed!!)

#644 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 06:13 AM:

Paul A #641: Presumably after having been Journeyman Professor in the interim?

#645 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 06:24 AM:

There was a Old West scout named Ba,
Who Pb prospectors to Cf.
He was very bold,
But while looking for Au,
He was killed while fighting an In.

#646 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 06:27 AM:

And one from the nineties:

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

http://www.carnegiehall.org/

#647 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 08:12 AM:

Regarding the discussion of trademarked terms being used as generic nouns (kleenex, xerox, coke, etc)-- David Harmon in #598 says "In fact, the companies in question hate that sort of thing (and have been known to sue authors who did it in print) because if it becomes too commonplace, they can lose the trademark, or at least enforcement rights. That is in fact what happened to Aspirin and a number of other former trade names."

This is wrong in a couple of respects. First, Bayer didn't lose the trademark to the term "aspirin" in France, Russia, the UK, and the US because writers used it without capitalizing it and including a circled R or a superscripted TM. They lost it as a consequence of the post-World War I settlement with Germany. The details are complicated and the term is still a trademark in many countries, including some (like Canada) which were on the winning side of the war. But it has nothing to do with writers having used or misused the term.

Second, while corporate trademark attorneys do indeed regularly kick up fusses when writers of various kinds use their trademarked terms as generic nouns, I am unaware of any writer ever having been sued about it, much less successfully sued. You can write about kleenexes, xeroxing, and coke all you want, with no capitalizaton and no silly symbols. At most, you or your publisher may occasionally get a stiff letter demanding that you "respect" somebody's trademark. Except in a few very narrow cases, you can completely ignore these ridiculous demands. (The rare exceptions to this have to do with titles, but even there, the existing case law is largely favorable to writers.)

Every so often I have to overrule a copyeditor who has got the idea that they're obliged to correct every instance of "kleenex," in somebody's novel, to "Kleenex®". They are not. The fact that many people believe this nonsense and pass it on uncritically speaks well of the persistence of corporate trademark attorneys, but it's still nonsense.

(A related piece of folk nonsense is the idea that trademark attorneys are in all cases obliged to engage in this kind of pre-emptive hyperdefensiveness lest they lose their trademark. The fact that this assertion is often accompanied by the false claim that this is how Bayer lost the trademark to "aspirin" should be a clue as to its accuracy. In fact, while Xerox certainly needs to be able to show that they have consistently objected to anyone else making photocopying devices under the name "Xerox," they have no obligation to harass novelists or journalists who refer to "xeroxing," and moreover, I am unaware of anyone having actually lost a trademark because they neglected to police usage of their term inside the texts of novels or journalism.)

#648 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 08:29 AM:

House Democrats approved a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s health system on Sunday, voting over unanimous Republican opposition to provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans

...and the Rethuglicans are screwed to the gills, because both this November and in 2012, every last one of them can now be tarred with "...(s)he fought against health care for YOU AND YOUR KIDS!" Notice, too, that bit about keeping kids on the parents' plan until they're 26 -- the Dems now practically-own the voters born after 1984.

#649 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 09:07 AM:

David Harmon @ 648 -

I'm personally delighted that the reform bill passed, but I'm not going to make predictions on the November elections just yet. To be sure, we're in considerably better shape than if the bill had failed.

The GOP and their fellow travelers were angry before; they're going to be apoplectic now. The rhetoric is going to be kicked up to 11.

#650 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 09:45 AM:

Steve, I'm sure you're right. It's a little scary, since they've already been shouting racial epithets at African-American Congressmen and anti-Gay epithets at Barney Frank. The GOP really is the party of outright thuggery, and it's becoming increasingly obvious. I wonder if the American people will wake up in time.

#651 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 09:53 AM:

Karen, 619: Thank you as well. That's kind of a meta ideal gas law joke, but another line on the "now I can die happy" list is checked off.

So, what class at Hunter? I'm 1986. (Unless you had him at some other school.)

#652 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 10:31 AM:

Patrick #647: While I'm happy to defer to your broader knowledge (and better references), what then prompted Niven's crack about "the s-word" and "the f-word" (Scotch [tape] and Formica)? (I think it might have been in his story "The Fourth Profession", but I'm not sure.)

#653 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 11:07 AM:

Q: Why did the pharmaceutical industry support health care reform?

A: To get to the other side, but the real question is how you get the mice in there to start with.

#654 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 11:09 AM:

To hark back to OT136 for a moment: Huge thanks to everyone here who chimed in with thoughts on my History of the Book panel. It went very well, with good panelists and a small but enthusiastic audience. I used several of the ideas tossed around here to get things started and keep things moving. Having them to fall back on made me much calmer about the whole thing, too.

#655 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 11:11 AM:

Paul A. #641: Prentice Professor of English at Wheaton College

Wow, Wil has a college named after him? Man, that guy is so cool.

#656 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 11:20 AM:

Patrick @647: Actually, I thought that the canonical example of trademark-to-generic was cellophane, but it seems I am partially wrong.

#657 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 11:27 AM:

Yesterday's "Cake Wrecks" (Sunday Sweets) has some very impressive SF-themed cakes and other sweets.

One item, Kimberly Chapman's contest entry, is stunning. I'm detail oriented, but I bow to a master: her creation is complex and rich in detail. (Warning: lots of pictures.) The item that got my attention was Londo Mollari nicking G'Kar's popcorn. She has a number of other very impressive creations in her gallery.

#658 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 11:28 AM:

Me @656: Further examples.

Must wait for coffee to kick in before posting.

#659 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 11:40 AM:

Glenn Hauman @ #645:

Let us pray for the hosts without no.
Who were slain by the deadly cuco.
For it is a mistake
Of such food to partake
It results in a permanent slo.


In his sermons, our priest, the Rt. Revd.
Charles, was quite often qt. clevd.
Creative -- but long!
He would go on and on
Till we feared that the sermon mt. nevd.

#660 ::: Older ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 11:43 AM:

David Harmon @ 648: I was getting pretty disillusioned with the Democrats, but if this thing works out, I can forgive them a lot.

Our schizophrenic son will be back on our insurance for a couple of years. That makes up for a lot (maybe even the prescription give-away).

#661 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 12:09 PM:

dcb @642:

As far as the other part of the discussion goes, companies over here don't seem to be quite as upset about their brand name becoming the de facto name for a type of product, seeing it, perhaps, as an indication that their brand is the market leader.

This may depend on how secure their position as the market leader is. To take an extreme example, Google would be insane to object to people saying "google it" -- they've become synonymous with searching for things on the internet. However, when people say they'll "google it", they actually do mean they're going to use Google. If 40% of the time people said "I'll google it" they then went and used Yahoo or Bing, Google might be a lot less happy about the situation.

#662 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 12:24 PM:

Q: Why did the pharmaceutical industry support health c---

A: Moo!

#663 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 12:40 PM:

How many flourospherians does it take to change a lightbulb?

One, but due to a server error, it was changed twice.

#664 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 12:40 PM:

How many flourospherians does it take to change a lightbulb?

One, but due to a server error, it was changed twice.

#665 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 01:04 PM:

Early example of trademark-to-generic:

Carronade (originally made by the Carron Iron Works)

#666 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 01:21 PM:

re healthcare: I'd hate to be Cassandra, but I am not happy about the bill.

I think the various provisions aren't really going to fix things; it will be years before any of the really affective begin to kick in.

In the meanwhile the Republicans can beat the drum about the, "experiment", the "intrusion of Gov't" and the cost.

Since I think (looking at it) the overall effect isn't going to be that great (it seems to be a bit of boondoggle, moving my tax dollars to insurance companies, but not actually giving me, the taxpayer, any real control over the ways in which they behave; it starts with tax credits being giving to small businesses (which is, as I recall, defined as less than 250 employees, and some millions of dollars in revenue). That's a loss of tax revenue, and a funnelling to the insurance companies.

Since the Republicans got to insert huge amounts of the language they wanted, vote against the bill, and rail against the way it was passed, they get to have their cake (changing the bill to something more their liking) and eat it (they have managed to completely divorce themselves from the bill: a bill they sought to sabotage).

If the bill fails (as they have said they want it to) it will fail in no small measure from things they were for, before they were against them.

They, however, will never be held to account for it, because the Dems, "rammed it down the throats of the American People".

Someday, I hope, to see real healthcare reform. Until then, I am more glad than you can imagine to be getting my healthcare from the VA

#667 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 01:37 PM:

Q: Why did the pharmaceutical industry support health care reform?

A: Sie machen die Schirme auf.

#668 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 02:02 PM:

eric (663/4): Did you do that on purpose, or was it serendipitous?

#669 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 02:04 PM:

Here in Seattle they're restoring the King Street Station. I hope they'll keep and restore the neon signs for the "Electric Stairway." I believe "Escalator" was still a trademark when they were installed, and someone decided to play it safe...

#670 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 02:47 PM:

Thanks to several people for explaining the mechanics behind replaceable fuse wire. Still seems like it's awfully easy to put the wrong gauge wire in, and that an awful lot more "hot" stuff would be exposed in the box than I'm comfortable with. On the other hand, it would be cheap.

#671 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 02:52 PM:

DDB @ 670 -- No more or less difficult than putting the wrong-amperage fuse into place, I imagine. Without having seen one of the devices, it sounds to me a lot like a fuse with a replaceable element: pull the fuse, replace the wire, put the fuse back.

#672 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 02:58 PM:

Joel Polowin @ 671: "it sounds to me a lot like a fuse with a replaceable element: pull the fuse, replace the wire, put the fuse back." Yes, that's it; simple really.

#673 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 04:11 PM:

Steve #649: You can't wet a river.

#674 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 04:46 PM:

Joel@671: Some older US screw-in fuseboxes I've seen will take different size fuses in the same position, but most won't. There were adapters one put in to limit what would go where that got applied to a lot of the older ones. (of course, it's also trivially easy to replace a 15-amp circuit breaker with a 20-amp one, regardless of what the wiring beyond that point is rated for).

What's described (and pictured in the Wikipedia reference) is definitely a fuse with a replaceable element.

But it does seem to leave the element and some of the metallic connection hardware exposed, which was what I was commenting on -- in even an old US fusebox, there's nothing electrically live normally exposed, and when you've removed a screw-in fuse what's exposed is like a light socket -- live, but you can't fit your elbow into it and it's pretty hard to even stick a finger into it by accident. This doesn't bother me that much; I've done enough electrical repair and rewiring, and some movie electrical work involving "tie-ins", to be willing to deal with 100-amp bus-bars when really necessary (or replace a light switch on a 15-amp circuit while it's live, if that's a lot more convenient).

#675 ::: Bruce M. Miller ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 05:11 PM:

I don't recall seeing these:

Q: How many babysitters does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. They don't make Pampers small enough.

Q: How many efficiency experts does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Efficiency experts only replace dark bulbs.

Q: How many jugglers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One, but it takes at least 3 light bulbs.

Q: How many magicians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Depends on what you want to change it into.

Q: How many necrophiliacs does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Necrophiliacs prefer dead bulbs.

Q: How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Hard to say. Each time they separate the bulb into its modules to do unit testing, it stops working.

Q: How many right-to-lifers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Two. One to screw it in and one to say that light started when the screwing began.

#676 ::: Bruce M. Miller ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 05:17 PM:

Or these:

Q: How many software developers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: The light bulb works fine on the system in my office.

Q: How many software engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: . 1. None. It's a hardware problem.
. . 2. None. We'll document it in the manual.
. . 3. Two. One always leaves in the middle of the project.
. . 4. Wait! Maybe the bulb isn't broken. Let's try it again.
. . 5. That change is 90% complete.
. . 6. None. Microsoft declares darkness a standard.

Q: How many supply-siders does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. The darkness will cause the light bulb to change by itself.

Q: How many taxi drivers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: What? Go all the way up there and come back empty?

#677 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 05:35 PM:

David DeLaney @490: Thank you! Some variant of that has been luring around in my subconscious since Mark_W first posted, but given that I am poetically impaired, it just wouldn't gel.

Whew! That's a relief!

#678 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 05:36 PM:

Michael Roberts @ #653 posed:

"Q: Why did the pharmaceutical industry support health care reform?"

A: Because for that is what I am doing.

#679 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 05:36 PM:

Lurking, not luring. Feh.

#680 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 05:48 PM:

Jacque @679 - perhaps it was hoping other jokes would come join it.

#681 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 05:56 PM:

(Late again! Oh, my ears and whiskers!)
Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#682 ::: Eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 06:18 PM:

Paula @558 and Peter @561: I was just telling it how I recall it being told to me, but I'll happily grant that your formulation works better. As for the physicist/engineer swap, I suppose it depends on the physicist and the engineer, but it seems to me that generally when I've heard jokes like that it's the physicist presented as doing detailed calculations. But that impression is coming out of the same game of telephone as the botched punchline, so I'm not inclined to vouch for its veracity at the moment.

#683 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 06:27 PM:

What do you get when you cross a horse with an ox?

An equinox.

#684 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 06:45 PM:

Mary Aileen @668: I did help it along this one time.

#685 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 06:52 PM:

Open threadiness: RFID cat doors.

Reads your cat's microchip and opens automatically. Can be programmed for up to 32 cats at once. Raccoons, burglars, or the neighbor's dog/cat can't get in; the baby can't get out. A good application of a somewhat dodgy technology.

#686 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 07:04 PM:

Who actually has 32 cats at once?

There is also this:
http://www.quantumpicture.com/Flo_Control/flo_control.htm
a silhuotte-recognizing cat door.

#687 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 07:25 PM:

#685: The actually-enjoyable CGI suburban-animal movie "Over the Hedge" used one of those as a plot token.

Oops, it was a collar, not a chip. The movie would have been a lot grimmer if the domestic cat's microchip had to be removed...

#688 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 07:50 PM:

Bruce@676, it's the Invisible Hand of the Market that changes the light bulb for the supply-siders.

#689 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 08:07 PM:

Actually it says "You may have up to 32 cats programmed simultaneously." Good luck programming a cat; it's easier to herd them (at least in the case where you're trying to herd them toward the kitchen, using their innate genetic recognition of the sound of an electric can opener.)

#690 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 08:58 PM:

689
My experience is that a fridge door works pretty well for that, too.

#691 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 08:58 PM:

DDB @ 674 -- I was wondering if there was some regional variation going on, since all of the fuses I'd seen had appeared to have the same basic shape, and I'd definitely encountered examples of wrong-rating fuses in use. But I took a close look at the fuses in my stove (my home's main panel uses breakers) and saw the variation in the flange sizes on the small contact. It's possible to use a lower-than-nominal fuse in a socket, but not a higher-than-nominal fuse.

#692 ::: Karen ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 09:26 PM:

Chris@651, I was indeed hchs class of '83 which means Chemistry was in '81-82. So we overlapped - nice to meet you, and probably time to wave hi to Lisa Padol in the other thread. Sure wish I could think of a funny joke now.

#693 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 10:07 PM:

OK, I don't know how long this will last, so look quickly at the "Customers also bought" on this Amazon page.

No, I haven't been shopping at Amazon. I'm not a traitor! A friend showed me this.

#694 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 10:15 PM:

OK, I don't know how long this will last, so look quickly at the "Customers also bought" on this Amazon page.

No, I haven't been shopping at Amazon. I'm not a traitor! A friend showed me this.

#695 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 10:32 PM:

Xopher @ 693/4:

I laughed as hard at that as I did at most of the jokes in this thread.

(And sorry for not replying to all the jokes I thought were hilarious. The ML server would barf if I made a post that big.)

#696 ::: Goob ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 11:03 PM:

Said the sophisticate to the sculptor, "please, tell me: how did you manage to carve this exquisite elephant from a plain block of simple marble?"

Said the sculptor to the sophisticate, "It was easy! I have a hammer and a chisel, and I used them on the marble until the elephant stopped moving."

(That one goes down well with the philosophy department.)

Said the skeptic to the Australians, "please, tell me: could God make a can of Foster's so big that even He could not lift it?"

Said the Australians to the skeptic: "No."

(That one doesn't really go down well anywhere.)

#697 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 11:28 PM:

Said the skeptic to the Australians, "please, tell me: could God make a can of Foster's so big that even He could not lift it?"

Said the Australians to the skeptic: "No."

(That one doesn't really go down well anywhere.)

An Australian God would never make a can of Fosters of any size. We export it for a reason: so we can keep the good beer for ourselves.

#698 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 11:37 PM:

Karen, 692: Can't find my alumni directory to try looking you up, but if you know Lisa, who's one of my oldest friends (and through whom I got to know Avram), you must be OK. Hi!

And where are the New York City specialized high school graduate light bulb jokes when you need them?

#699 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2010, 11:53 PM:

I was inspired to include a lightbulb joke in another project and had to go looking-- I was hunting something with hicks and/or Iowans. Loooots more lightbulb jokes in the world than I expected.

I told the Interrupting series to Dad, who mentioned Interrupting Totally Uncalled-For.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting totally uncalled-for.
Interrupting to--
and then you punch them in the face.

#700 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 12:03 AM:

The Star Trek The Next Generation sexual innuendo video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReOw_2f4lpY

(Boldly coming where no man has gone before?)

#701 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 12:39 AM:

Patrick @647
The people who most objected to my using the word "xerox" to refer to copying stuff were the people at Kodak.

#702 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 12:58 AM:

That Kimberly Chapman edible sculpture is stunning, and I feel like a total jerk for wishing that she hadn't confused the Dalek's eye stalk with its ray gun.

I hadn't heard of the Interrupting Totally-Uncalled For, but I had heard of the Interrupting Starfish, a near relative.

In re Xerox and trademarks, I worked in a copy shop for two decades and for the majority of that time we didn't have a single Xerox machine. I pretty quickly got into the habit of saying "copies" instead of "xeroxes".

#703 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 08:54 AM:

An amorous M.A.
Says that Cupid, that C.D.,
Doesn't cast for his health,
But is rolling in wealth
He's the John Jaco-B. H.

#704 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 12:17 PM:

#682 Eric

The general tenor of phyicist/engineer/mathematician jokes at MIT when I was a student there, was:
o the mathematician is concerned only with -proving- the concept, and not with actually -doing- anything beyond figuring out the proof. Hence, the mathematician saying "Aha, there is a solution" and going back to bed without putting the fire out, or in a different joke space, saying something equivalent to "this is an infinite series and the destination is beyond that" and giving up because you can never get there.
o The physicist mixes theory with empiricism (experimenting to get evidence that the theory applies, and allowing for "experimental error" where the theory and evidence don't correspond well)
o The engineer is relentless empirical and doesn't bother with theoretical considerations/impediments.... the Black Company motto of "Make them think themselves to death" doesn't apply the engineer with just go and -do- something and not care that theoretically it shouldn't happen that way....

#705 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 12:58 PM:

Applause for Lila @ 703.

#706 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 02:37 PM:

Y young blonde went into a salon and asked for a haricut, but insisted that they cut around the headphones that whe was wearing.
They asked why, and she said 'Something bad will happen if I take them off.'
So they cut around the headphones, and she was happy.
She came in a few weeks later, and they cut around the headphones again, and she was happy.
The third time, the cutter slipped the headphones off, and the blonde fell over unconscious.
He could hear noises coming out of the phones, and when he leaned close to them, he heard a tiny voice saying 'Breathe in ... breathe out ... breathe in ....'

#707 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 02:42 PM:

From the eight year old at the dinner table, two jokes that are going around his class at school:]

Q: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
A: [answer is irrelevant]

Q: Which came first, the phoenix or the fire?
A: The egg.

Kids these days...

#708 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 03:20 PM:

A man goes into a bar and orders a beer.

The bar has a piano player, and the piano player has a monkey.

The monkey gets a little unruly and starts urinating in people's beers.

The man says, "DO YOU KNOW YOUR MONKEY JUST PISSED IN MY BEER!?"

The piano player says, "No, but if you hum a few bars, I could fake it."

#709 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 03:29 PM:

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
- The cock?

#710 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 03:49 PM:

The egg, but it was a reptile egg.

#711 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 04:11 PM:

A blond who was fed up of not being taken seriously dyed her hair brown and went for a drive in the countryside. She stopped by the gate to a field where a farmer was gathering his sheep. As he reached the gate she cleared her throat.

"Can I make a bet with you?"

"Well, yes, I suppose. What?"

"If I can correctly guess the number of sheep in this field, can I have one of them?"

The farmer shrugged. "Sure. It's a bet."

She looked at the sheep for a few seconds and said "137."

"That's amazing", said the farmer, "here, choose one."

She leaned over the gate and grabbed one of the animals.

As she started to put it in the car, the farmer coughed nervously.

"Um, can I make a bet with you?"

"I suppose so. What?"

"If I can correctly guess your real hair colour, can I have my dog back?"


[Apologies to blonds]

#712 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 04:44 PM:

Could someone expand Lila's at 703?

What do blondes call brown hair dye?
Artificial intelligence.

#713 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 06:17 PM:

Diatryma @ 712: "M.A." -> "Master of Arts", therefore "P.Q. -> "pnfgre bs qnegf", naq "Wbua Wnpb-O. U." -> "Wbua Wnpbo Nfgbe bs Urnegf". Extremely elegant.

#714 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 06:37 PM:

I am ECSTATIC and must share this--my conservative, very rural, south Georgia high school is allowing a gay student to bring his boyfriend as his prom date!

BCHS FTW!!

#715 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 06:45 PM:

Tim @ #705, I didn't make it up, just found it.

#716 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 06:49 PM:

Carol @ #710, indeed, some biologist remarked that the question becomes a lot easier to answer if rephrased as, "Which came first, chickens or eggs?"

#717 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 07:26 PM:

Carol (710): That's my standard answer, too. Well, 'dinosaur', not 'reptile'.

I have an answer for a person who insists that the question means/implies chicken egg, but I've never gotten to use it:

Define 'chicken egg'. If it's an egg laid by a chicken, then the first chicken laid the first chicken egg, so the chicken came first. Contrariwise, if it's an egg that a chicken hatches out of, then the first chicken hatched out of the first chicken egg, so the egg came first.

Perhaps I'm overthinking this. ;)

#718 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 07:38 PM:

If a species is defined by ability to interbreed (and that's at least one way to do it), then at some point in time there must have been a first creature able to interbreed with a modern chicken (I guess you'd have to pick a specific modern chicken). Since its parents couldn't do that, the answer is "egg."

#719 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 08:43 PM:

In other news: I have been declared disabled by the VA.

At a rate much higher than I had any expectation of being; one high enough that I am in effect, granted a pension.

80 percent disabled is a bit hard to wrap my head around, and is going to be, in a lot of ways, a bit life-changing.

I have food to go buy, and phone calls to make, and a final this evening.

Tchuss.

#720 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 08:59 PM:

Lila, #714: Do you suppose there's any "prove we're better than Mississippi" feeling involved? That was my first thought, but you're the one who's lived in the area.

#721 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 09:41 PM:

Wait, Lila, that's actually YOUR high school? When did you graduate?

#722 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 09:47 PM:

Terry Karney #719: I offer suitably rueful congratulations.

Personally, I'm not really happy about being "disabled", but without that status I'd have been on the street (and probably dead) long ago, even with the help from my family.

#723 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 09:52 PM:

Terry, if you are disabled, I'm glad the VA has recognized it. I'm sorry that you are, though.

#724 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 10:07 PM:

Terry Karney @719: Do you suppose they know something you don't know? ("He's doesn't have the clearance to know about those nerve gas experiments, but we still have to cover him.")

#725 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2010, 10:30 PM:

Terry@719: Congratulations on your increased level of financial security.

#726 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 01:11 AM:

Rob(and all who might ask): it's a formula. Based on my records, and an emotionally draining physical exam/interview, they assessed my present limits, and came up with the number.

Am I broken? Yes. Would I have guessed that much? No. 30 percent would have exceeded my hopes (that's where they start to pay one), 20 percent was as much as I expected, and 10 percent would have met my wants (that's where various preferences start to kick in).

#727 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 09:19 AM:

Eric @ 682:

I should point out that I tend to hear jokes involving physicists in astronomy contexts, and astronomers are naturally inclined to think of physics as involving, or at least starting with, wild simplifications (e.g., "back-of-the-envelope calculations", Fermi problems, "assume a spherical cow", etc). [*]

But I can imagine that other professions might have different perpectives/stereotypes about physics.


[*] Because this is how astrophysicists tend to operate...

#728 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 09:27 AM:

A joke that involves my familial professions:

A biologist, a chemist, and an economist are stranded on a desert isle, with plenty of canned food -- but no can opener.

The biologist says, "Let's put the cans of food in the sunlight, and let fermentation generate gases that will explode the cans open, and we can eat."

The chemist says, "We don't need to wait -- we can just build a fire and put the cans right there. The heat will create steam that will open the cans from the inside, and we'll eat a lot sooner!"

The economist says, "Assume we have a can opener..."

#729 ::: Older ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 11:05 AM:

Peter Erwin (@727): At our house the cow joke goes "Consider a spherical cow of uniform density . . ." so you can imagine how delighted we were when we actually found such a cow. It's a pillow, which (somewhat) resembles a cow and it is indeed spherical and of uniform density.

#730 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 11:35 AM:

Lee @ #720, I wouldn't be surprised, as "Thank God for [Mississippi/Louisiana/Alabama]" is a mantra frequently heard from teachers when Georgia's near-the-bottom educational statistics are discussed.

Xopher @ #721, 1978. Not only that, but my mother was head of the English department, and for many years the (only) 12th grade English teacher. Gives you an idea of size. My class was 126 people IIRC, and it was and is the only high school in the county. (There are 2 elementary schools and 2 middle schools.)

#732 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 11:50 AM:

DDB has at least one picture of Mike Ford with a spherical cow of uniform density, but I can't find the pictures on his server at the moment.

#733 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 11:50 AM:

Terry@719: Congratulations on getting a generous decision on what support the VA will provide you! (There; I believe I have avoided suggesting that it is good that you are disabled.)

#734 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 11:58 AM:

Joel@732: Google query was:
"spherical cow" ford site:dd-b.net

First hit is this.

Looks like I can't include a picture inline; at least it's disappeared from the html twice in a row.

#735 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 01:47 PM:

I have a friend who is doing research into a particular type of story and asked for recommendations of works similar to the TV show Carnivàle:

"The mythology part, not the carnies.

Specifically, the avatars, the dream visions, the struggle with morality, the Child of Light and Child of Darkness, the destinies...all that stuff."

There's what seems to be a pretty decent plot summary on IMDB if you're (like me) unfamiliar with the show.

Any recommendations from the Fluorosphere?

#736 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 01:50 PM:

Peter Erwin @727 said: I should point out that I tend to hear jokes involving physicists [...] involving, or at least starting with, wild simplifications (e.g., "back-of-the-envelope calculations", Fermi problems, "assume a spherical cow", etc).

My husband and I, discussing our high school physics classes, noted in many problems the existence of perfectly inelastic, frictionless string used for things like tying together two weights, one of which you drop off the edge while the other is dragged along a table of known friction coefficient.

We began to call this substance "Physics String", which led inevitably (as it does) to referring to many other nonexistent, specifically convenient things as Physics _____; the spherical cow of uniform density is a Physics Cow in our house.

#737 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 02:11 PM:

Re spherical cows:

When I was a grad student in astronomy at the University of Wisconsin, the American Astronomical Society held one of its semi-annual meetings in Madison. This was the logo for that meeting.

The Uncyclopedia page on Spherical Cows is pretty amusing, too. ("In Soviet Russia, spherical cow considers YOU!")

#738 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 02:22 PM:

Skwid: As a disclaimer I haven't seen Carnivale, but from the description some of Clive Barker's novels might fit well for that. (He's not all gruesome horror, though there's usually at least some of that, and always some horrific villains.)

Weaveworld is good, and the themes of The Great and Secret Show fit very closely with what your friend is asking for.

In a very different vein, Michelle Sagara's The Sundered tetralogy uses some of those themes, particularly light vs. darkness. (Not to spoil it, since it's clear from very early on, they're set in a world where the Light has almost entirely lost the battle with the Darkness - not a setting you see often in fantasy.)

#739 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 02:28 PM:

Looks like one of my guinea pigs when they're snoozing after dinner.

#741 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 03:34 PM:

Skwid -- the grandpappy of many such, with a carnival setting, is of course Charles G. Finney's The Circus of Dr. Lao from the 1930s; William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley can be construed in that manner. The interplay of light and dark is of course clearly run in Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series, and pretty much everywhere in Louise Cooper as well -- she's the best writer of Moorcockian fantasy since Moorcock himself. You might offer him the Sandman series, which really is all about that.

It's a major trope all over the place, considered loosely. Most of Charles Williams is relevant, most of Neil Gaiman's fiction outside of comics as well. I could go on for hours, but I've got a massage appointment.

#742 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 05:30 PM:

I just heard something to the effect that Rikibeth became the assistant of Elizabeth Bear in February.

Congratulations, Rikibeth!

#743 ::: Sica ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 05:40 PM:

Open threadiness:

Amazing footage of the ongoing volcanic eruption in Iceland: http://http.ruv.straumar.is/static.ruv.is/vefur/24032010_eldgos.wmv

That's directly from the main icelandic tv station, I suspect the same footage will end up on youtube eventually. It can be hard to get playing in Linux etc. since it's a wmv file.

The helicopter part in particular looks like straight out of a movie.

I've been following the eruption and the quakes leading up to it closely, it's all facinating stuff.

#744 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 06:17 PM:

Sica @743: Ooh! Shiney! I keep thinking it would be great fun to find a way to sculpt with red-hot lava. Probably need veeerrrryyy long tongs....

#745 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 06:21 PM:

Stefan Jones @740:

Just terrific isn't it? I was looking in at one of the political blogs and a troll there made threats that ended with: "See you on April 19th."

Wonderful, it's open season on Federal employees AND elected officials. Thank the ghods my office isn't in a Federal office building...

#746 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 06:26 PM:

Jacque @744:

Actually, what you need are glass-blowing tools -- some forms of lava become obsidian (volcanic glass) when they cool.

#747 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 06:34 PM:

Lori #745:

Not being in a federal building didn't keep that guy from flying into a bulding in Austin where the IRS had offices a few weeks back.

#748 ::: sara_k ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 06:42 PM:

Sorry if this is a repeat but I'm having fun with Library Thing and the Cover Guess. http://www.librarything.com/coverguess

#749 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 07:01 PM:

Mind you, if anything really awful happens, like Rep. Jones getting shot (or more likely, an orphanage getting bombed because it is on 123 E. Main and Rep. Jones lives on 123 W. Main) . . .

. . . the very same bloggers, pundits, demonstration gun-wavers, and comment thread freedom fighters who are calling for revolution will claim that they would never resort to violence, and that the atrocity was a Black Op by the CIA designed to make them look crazy so the feds have an excuse to oppress them.

#751 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 07:14 PM:

Lila @ 714 et seq.: It's only too bad the boy's parents aren't as enlightened as his principal. Buried 2/3 of the way down the article: his parents threw him out of the house.

#752 ::: Mike McHugh ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 08:27 PM:

Skwid @735: In the same medium, American Gothic would seem to fit. (Right down to the untimely cancellation.) And, of course, if you ignore them as actual movies and focus on the mythology, the most recent Star Wars movies deal with destinies, morality, a child with power, choices, etc. Just not terribly well.

#753 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 08:51 PM:

#746 ::: Lori Coulson

Jacque @744:

Actually, what you need are glass-blowing tools -- some forms of lava become obsidian (volcanic glass) when they cool.

I saw a video donkey's-years back of guys using long poles to scoop up bits of molten Etna, which they then dropped/pressed into molds and sold as ash trays. There was a brief market for Mt. St. Helens Christmas globes, blown from that detritus.

#754 ::: Karen ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 09:11 PM:

Chris@698 urgh, I dragged out the 05 alum directory but email to you bounced. If you like, please write to me at karenr0001 at yahoo and we can swap stories.

#755 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 09:17 PM:

Mark, #751: Well, fortunately, he's 18. Not to say that this in any way excuses what his parents have done, but at least it's not the level of disaster it would be if he weren't a legal adult. He can go on from there to make his own life; he can stay with friends, get a ride to a different city, or whatever without exposing anyone who helps him to criminal charges.

#756 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 09:20 PM:

Jacque @ 744:

Not sculpting, but cooking with lava.

#757 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 09:30 PM:

Karen #619 that's like Progress in Physics:
In Classical Mechanics, you can't solve the three body problem.
In Relativistic Mechanics, you can't solve the two body problem.
In Quantum Mechanics, you can't solve the one body problem.
In Relativistic Quantum Mechanics, you can't solve the vacuum.

(I gave up Physics in the 80s, but I think that now they've progressed to not knowing how many dimensions the vacuum has).

#758 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 09:31 PM:

Lee, but it's still...oh, wait, you know all that.

I hope his parents' house burns down. THEY'RE legal adults. They can go on to make their own life, etc. And in their case, they deserve it.

Seriously, I hope he never speaks to them again, and I hope they spend the rest of their lives wishing he would.

#759 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 09:47 PM:

Elliot #736 (re Physics String)
Obligatory xkcd cartoon
Also, on the topic of science and mathematicians: Purity which was topped by Mark Pilgrim

#761 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 10:30 PM:

Mark @ 751: Yes, that sucks. But at least the whole community's not on that same page.

Friends of mine in South Carolina temporarily took in 2 teenagers (under 18) who were thrown out of their homes by their respective parents in similar circumstances. (The kids weren't a couple; these were separate situations.)

#762 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 11:08 PM:

Xopher, #758: The reason that thought was the first to occur to me is that I once knew someone whose parents threw him out and then filed kidnapping and Contributing charges against the people who took him in. It got seriously messy.

#763 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 11:28 PM:

Lila, they didn't throw him out for being gay. He's been out for two years. They threw him out because of the publicity.

That is, they valued their public reputation over their love (if any) for their son. Their son the honor student who tutors other kids in his spare time.

Shitheads.

#764 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 11:35 PM:

#659 etc.:

A girl who weighs many an oz.
Used language I will not pronoz.
When her brother one day
Pulled her chair right away.
He wanted to see if she'd boz.

#765 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 12:19 AM:

Re: the teenagers, I'll throw in a link to a new song by Seanan McGuire.

#766 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 12:22 AM:

I mean he's been out of the closet for two years, not out of his parents' house. Just to clarify.

#767 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 12:29 AM:

Lee, I feel a certain obligation to punish people like those. I can't do anything except hope their deaths are painful when they come.

#768 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 12:49 AM:

Patrick Farley is taking pledges to restart Electric Sheep Comix.

As in: The Spiders, Apocamon, The Guy I Almost Was, and Delta Thrives.

I just threw in $25. Because that's the maximum pledge.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2052006434/electric-sheep-reloaded-0

#769 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 12:54 AM:

Carol Kimball: One can still get glass blown from Mt. St. Helen's Ash. I bought some on my way to Iraq in 2003, and some more after I got back, in 2004.

#770 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 01:18 AM:

A visual ode to the Fibbonacci series and the Golden Ratio, phi: Nature by Numbers (via
Lines and Colors.

#771 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 01:55 AM:

sara_k @748:

Sorry if this is a repeat but I'm having fun with Library Thing and the Cover Guess. http://www.librarything.com/coverguess

Oh, I hadn't noticed that on LibraryThing, and it is fun! Up until now, my main entertainment on LT has been seeing how my library overlaps with those of famous dead authors. I wouldn't have thought that Hemingway and I had much in common, but it turns out that we both like Jane Austen and C.S. Forester. Who knew?

#772 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 02:12 AM:

Thank you, Terry. I should remember to Google before posting.

#773 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 02:34 AM:

How many fluorospherians will be at NorWesCon (Sea-Tac) next week?

#774 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 02:50 AM:

Kathryn: Six! One to hold the...oh wait.

No, I have no idea. Sorry.

#775 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 03:27 AM:

Have y'all seen the updated "Yes We Can" video mashed up with Boehner's "Hell no" yet?

#776 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 06:58 AM:

Speaker to Managers @770, that's a nice video. I'm passing it on.

#777 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 12:08 PM:

I'll be at Norwescon in passing, on Thurs, to help set up and sit on the Foolscap fan table.

#778 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 12:59 PM:

@746, 753, 756, 760, 769: Cool!! Um. I mean, "neat!"

#779 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 04:31 PM:

Star Wars knittiness!

#780 ::: Mattathias ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 06:30 PM:

abi @707:

my kid responded:

A: the iguana came first,

and

A: the fire came first;

and then objected that the phoenix doesn't actually hatch from a fire; it hatches from an egg which is in the fire. and the fire isn't strictly necessary, but it's so beneficial for phoenix feathers that nearly everybody attributes the rebirth to the fire itself.

we may have to go reread David and the Phoenix to reacquaint ourselves with the finer points of being a phoenix.

#781 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2010, 11:25 PM:

A quick question: after spending some time reading up on Delia Derbyshire I've been wondering about the two theatrical Dr. Who feature films. Did they use the Dr. Who theme at any point, or was it just let drop? I ask here because I understand they're pretty blah and I don't want to check them just to listen to the scores.

#782 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2010, 12:20 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @ 781: Do you know about the BBC Radio Workshop Retrospective?

#783 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2010, 12:39 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @781: Apparently (and disappointly) not. Here is a YouTube link to the opening credits of the Peter Cushing movie Dr Who and the Daleks.

#784 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2010, 05:16 AM:

Happy Birthday, Mary Aileen!

#785 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2010, 11:11 AM:

Re: the dream discussions on Open thread 136... do we know if Randall Munroe reads ML?

#786 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2010, 03:12 PM:

Thanks, Serge!

#787 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2010, 09:45 PM:

Shameless bragging: I've lately been doing a lot of work (under my "Mental Mouse" alias) on the fan-wiki for the cross-platform roguelike game POWDER.

Well, it seems my efforts were appreciated -- I just got handed sysop status there! It'll be a while before I can make proper use of it, given next week will be a busy one in realspace, but I'm chuffed!

Tomorrow I'm off for very realspace stuff -- helping clean up the trails at Mom's development. Apparently, they got really clobbered over the winter -- my hiking buddy over there says he saw a canoe stuck in a tree! And Monday night starts Passover....

#788 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2010, 10:46 PM:

Tim Walters: No, I hadn't heard of that recording, so thank you! I do know that years ago the BBC did a series of LP's of sound effects and that #14 was the one to get: it was all Goon Show effects from when Spike was making the effects folk work overtime. (My budget didn't allow for it so I've been looking for it ever since. I'll gladly change over to the one you've found.)

Rob Rusick: Thanks for finding the clip! You're right: it sort of blows, doesn't it? Brings to mind what I call the My Fair Lady rule of popular entertainment because I dreamed it up while watching a local production of the musical. The cast was capable, the sets and direction were good, and I was happy until the scene at Ascot. You know the one: it's where the film Eliza appears in what you might call the uber-Edith Head Dress of All Dresses. The costume designer and director clearly wanted to avoid hassles from the studio or the Head estate, so they'd done a black and white dress in a different style. Unfortunately, the more you looked at it, the more your hindbrain shouted "That's the WRONG DRESS!" Hence my rule: if you have a scene like that you either match the original as closely as possible or you do something so brilliant and outstanding that it overwhelms the earlier version. That opening theme sure doesn't drive the Delia Derbyshire version from my head...

#790 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2010, 12:13 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @788: The Gold Key comic adaptation of that movie was my introduction to Dr Who. The memory of that intrigued me enough to check out Tom Baker's Dr Who when it came by on PBS in the 80s.

The second movie of that series, Dr. Who: Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., features a young Bernard Cribbins as a police officer who dashes into the Tardis expecting it to be a real Police Box; events ensue.

#791 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2010, 12:51 AM:

Portland, Oregon Fluorospherians may be interested in knowing that SF writer David Levine will be giving a talk on his two week stay at the Mars Desert Research Station. Here's his description:

In January 2010 I spent two weeks at the Mars Desert Research Station,
a simulated Mars base in the Utah desert. Although the Martian
conditions were simulated, the science was real, as were the
isolation, hostile environment, and problems faced by the six-person
crew. My official title was Crew Journalist, but I soon found myself
repairing space suits, helping to keep the habitat running, and having
interplanetary adventures I'd never before imagined. See
http://bentopress.com/mars/ for my journal and photos.
On Thursday April 8 at 7:00 PM I'll be presenting a thirty-minute talk
about my trip to "Mars," profusely illustrated with photographs, at
Powell's Technical Books in the Park Blocks (33 NW Park Avenue).
People seem to like this talk a lot, and I hope you will too. See you
there!

#792 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2010, 08:56 AM:

David Harmon @787:
Well, it seems my efforts were appreciated -- I just got handed sysop status there!

W00t! (throws confetti).

<small but not guilt-tripping voice>does that mean you'll have less time to be here? because that would be sad</small but not guilt-tripping voice>

#793 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2010, 11:45 AM:

Bruce Cohen @791: I highly recommend catching David's talk on his Mars trip. He's an excellent speaker with a great sense of timing, and has good slides. He did a version of it at Potlatch after the banquet this year, and it was very well received.

#794 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2010, 01:50 PM:

abi #792: Well, not that much less time... this is actually a fairly "small" game, and most of the Wiki's sections are actually finished by now -- fairly soon, it'll be down to preening pages, weaving links, and (more) strategy guides. Also, this has gotten me reading C++ again, which is another step towards getting back into programming.... I mostly abandoned programming after a nasty burnout/depression¹ starting over 10 years ago, so I consider this a Good Thing.

Plus, it's not just me! Looking at the site history, there seems to be a pattern of "somebody stumbles across the site, and then does a bunch of pages". I'm just the latest example, and the co-founder who elevated me is also on a "run" himself. We're generally focusing on different sections, but have also been spotting each others' mistakes and questions. (Which is to say, the wiki system is working fine.)

¹ Besides the one-two punch of a pet's death followed by my father's death, I was then in a really abusive work environment, which did a number on my "self-identity" as a programmer. It's been a long road back....

#795 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2010, 02:23 PM:

Bruce @788
Not sure if this has been posted before, but...

Delia Derbyshire

The onward links from that page are good, too.

#796 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2010, 03:33 PM:

Not-very-hopeful Fluorosphere request: A really nice guy on another site has asked if anyone knows of any books for people who used to be stepparents, but no longer are due to a breakup. He has some Google-fu, and has tried that.

It seems awfully specific, but AKICIML, as we know, so I thought I'd just put this out there and see if anyone knows of such a thing.

#797 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2010, 09:07 PM:

Cadbury Moose:

Hadn't run into that link before: I'd been coming at it from the Derbyshire end of things rather than the BBC end of it. Thank you!

#798 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2010, 03:22 AM:

Goon Show effects from when Spike was making the effects folk work overtime

Have you heard the anecdote about the time Spike, having written in a script that something sounded like a sockful of custard hitting a wall, actually went to the BBC canteen to get some custard, poured it into one of his socks, and hit it against a wall to make sure that was actually the sound he'd had in mind?

#799 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2010, 07:07 AM:

Bruce @797

On the other hoof, if you're interested in Daphne Oram, there's
always this:

Warning: Contains Steam Locomotives

...and having found that, this moose needs to buy the boxed set.

#800 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2010, 01:16 PM:

Cadbury Moose:

That short reminds me of a film book I have with the line "It's always fastest to travel by montage."

#801 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2010, 02:08 PM:

re 799: If they have to worry about "our trains' notorious inability to cope with the white stuff", maybe they need one of these. Or one of these.

#802 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2010, 10:46 PM:

A dog limped into a bar.

He said,"I've come for the man who shot my paw."

#803 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2010, 10:49 PM:

How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?

Only one, but the light bulb must want to change.

#804 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2010, 11:20 PM:

Silliness: Staring in fascinated horror at Watching a SyFy movie (yes, yes, I know). Crusader caught in the middle of peeing; he stops to zip his zipper. Yeah.

But then, that's right after the escaping priest inadvertently skateboards (!) away from his pursuers. No Syfy movie deserves to be taken seriously, but this one is announcing "hey, this is just a joke, OK?" right from the beginning.

Could be fun. I'm going to watch if for a bit more.

OMG it has Patrick Swayze in it. They REALLY don't want you to take this seriously.

#805 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 09:02 AM:

Mrs o'Toole decided she wanted to expand her horizons a bit and one evening she set about cooking several elaborate courses of French haute cuisine. She prepared and planned and shopped for various fresh exotic ingredients, down to the snails ordered up in advance. On the big day, she sent her husband to pick up the snails from the fishmonger. "Now come straight home," she admonished, "no stopping at the pub. If you're late the whole meal will be ruined."

O'Toole went straight down to the market and picked up the snails, wrapped in a paper sack at the fishmonger's counter. But on the way home, whom should he run into but his old friend Reed, headed for the pub. "Come round the pub with me for a pint, O'Toole," says Reed.

"No," says O'Toole, "the wife will have my head if I'm late."

"No one ever got kilt over one pint," says Reed, which was true enough. But then, no one ever had just one pint with Reed. One became two, as one does, two became four, and so on.

After a time O'Toole looks up at the clock over the bar and remembers his dear wife minding all the pots on the stove. With a cry of dismay he seizes the sack of snails and goes tearing out of the pub, up the street, round the corner and down the lane and up to his own front stoop, and as he comes screeching to a halt...the bottom of the paper sack, quite sodden by now, rips open and the snails scatter over the doorstep.

Just then the door opens, and there, big as life, is Mrs O'Toole. Glaring. As only an Irish wife can glare.

O'Toole looks up. Looks down at the snails.

And says, "Come on lads! You can do it, we're almost there...."

#807 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 12:58 PM:

Open Threadiness: Coming back from the store, I spotted a Magic the AddictionGathering card that had clearly gotten lost and blown onto someone's lawn. Curious, I picked up the sodden card, figuring my nephew probably has a deck. It turned out to be the spell "Salvage".

#808 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 01:35 PM:

It's worth about fifteen cents in unplayed condition.

#809 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 02:42 PM:

Actually, on closer inspection it's from the "Yu-Gi-Oh" game. Regardless, I just thought it was apropos to the context.

#810 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 02:49 PM:

Ah, well, that's a different kettle of fish. I don't have quick access set up to value Yu-Gi-Oh cards like I do for Magic; I've been setting up to sell off the remainder of my MTG cards (which includes a nice, complete Antiquities collection).

#811 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 03:05 PM:

Random open-threadiness on comment threads, moderation, and toxic topics: What topics does Marginal Revolution talk about when comments are disabled?

#812 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 09:18 PM:

Some more open-threadiness (and really cool vehicle)

#813 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 09:32 PM:

Two-word review of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter™: I can.

#814 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 09:49 PM:

813
No 'dairy flavor' to it, yes?

(The one I use, which is a soft spread and so not suitable for actual cooking, has some yogurt in it, so it tastes a little more like the real stuff.)

#815 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 10:58 PM:

Xopher 813:

I know someone who calls it 'snot butter for short.

#816 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 11:09 PM:

One source of the flavor difference between butter and margarine is texture: remember "melting point range" from chemistry class? Pure substances melt more abruptly than mixtures, and so margarine, being a simpler mixture, melts in your mouth more abruptly.

#817 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 11:12 PM:

Xopher, #813: Agreed 100%, in exactly the same words, about 15 years ago at my parents' house for what was supposed to be Thanksgiving dinner.

#818 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 11:13 PM:

I like the Light version of that product well enough. I can have "buttered" toast without feeling too guilty about it as a result.

#819 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2010, 11:32 PM:

I Can't Believe was the first nonbutter thing I recognized that my family used, so except for baking, it's what I use. Regular butter tastes wrong, whether just different or actually kind of bad-- a bad separate from the bad-because-it's-different, I mean.

My palate: extremely unsophisticated.

#820 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 12:43 AM:

Xopher @ 813: Two-word review of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter™: I can.

I carry two imaginary New Yorker cartoons around in my head. One of them is a fly opening his refrigerator to reveal a tub labeled I Can't Believe It's Not Shit™.

#821 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 02:35 AM:

9 teenagers face criminal charges in bullying case that led to suicide.

IMO, this is good news -- finally, someone in authority agrees that criminal behavior should not get a free pass just because the criminal is a schoolmate of the victim.

#822 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 09:45 AM:

Doctor Who theme continuation:

Some nice remixes here (disclaimer: been a big fan of Alexis Glass since his first album, hoping for a second one some day, but in no way affiliated to the site).

I remember being astounded when I heard some of the extracts on that Delia Derbyshire BBC news page when it was published.

#823 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 12:40 PM:

I can't believe I missed this first time 'round (from March 3) - Two women barred from boarding flight from Manchester (UK) airport because they refused to go through the full-body scanner, one for religious reasons, the other medical.

As somebody in the comments thread at the Guardian said, it looks like refusing to have nekkid pictures taken of you is grounds to be barred from flying at at least one UK airport

#824 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 01:19 PM:

Craig, #823: Is anyone else here as becroggled as I am that the brand name of the machines is "Rapiscan"? Talk about unfortunate associations!

#825 ::: Scott Wyngarden ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 02:25 PM:

Since AKICIML, I have, from a friend, a question whose answer is most likely to be found here. It concerns a book she read some time ago. From her blog, asked with permission:

I’m trying to remember a young adult book. I probably read it sometime between third and fifth grades, and it probably falls into the 8 – 12 year old category. I have no idea if it was new at the time, but I likely read it around 1987 or so. The basic plot, as I remember it:

Twin A and Twin B, both boys, are perhaps around 12 or 13 years old, or perhaps 16 or 17. I think they were getting ready to start either high school or college. Twin A is the more athletic one, and Twin B is always a little envious of his brother.

They either discover or build some sort of shack in their backyard that, when inside, time moves more quickly. I believe they figured out precisely how much more quickly, and make certain pacts with each other so that they don’t screw up their lives by spending too much time inside.

But then Twin B’s envy gets the better of him, and he spends an entire year in the shack—a year that passes in real time as a single night. He spends his time reading, doing situps, working out, trying to catch up to Twin A.

The book fell broadly into the category of sci-fi/fantasty, but definitely had broader appeal; I remember really enjoying it (and it’s stuck with me for the last twenty years). I don’t think it was a trendy book at the time (a la Twilight). And, of course, I could be misremembering the details I’ve outlined above.

I really want to read this book again and have never been able to pin it down. Do you remember reading this? Do you remember the title or author? Anything?

Many thanks and a gift of 1 (one) internets to any and all who can solve her mystery.

#826 ::: Incoherent ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 02:38 PM:

William Sleator, Singularity

(Woops -- should have been directed to Scott Wyngarden@825, apologies for double post)

#827 ::: Scott Wyngarden ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 03:04 PM:

Excellent, Incoherent, thank you!

#828 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 05:08 PM:

I think "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" may have been reformulated from its original recipe.

When it first came out, quite a few years ago, it was touted for its inclusion of buttermilk in its formula. While it may not have tasted exactly like butter, it was butter-like, with a noticably salty flavor and a *snap* on one's taste buds. As butter-substitutes go, I considered it the best on the market, and used it for years.

About two years ago, I noticed the packaging had been revised to downplay the buttermilk content (it now appears only on the ingredients list). And the flavor has become much blander, pretty much indistinguishable from most of the other soft margarines & spreads out there. Sad.

It may be the changes were made to make ICBINB a healthier product. But the result in my case is that I've found myself using real butter a lot more often. So much for healthy.

#829 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 05:16 PM:

I think "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" may have been reformulated from its original recipe.

When it first came out, quite a few years ago, it was touted for its inclusion of buttermilk in its formula. While it may not have tasted exactly like butter, it was butter-like, with a noticably salty flavor and a *snap* on one's taste buds. As butter-substitutes go, I considered it the best on the market, and used it for years.

About two years ago, I noticed the packaging had been revised to downplay the buttermilk content (it now appears only on the ingredients list). And the flavor has become much blander, pretty much indistinguishable from most of the other soft margarines & spreads out there. Sad.

It may be the changes were made to make ICBINB a healthier product. But the result in my case is that I've found myself using real butter a lot more often. So much for healthy.

#830 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 06:24 PM:

Bruce Arthurs at #829:
"I think 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter' may have been reformulated from its original recipe."

In that case maybe it should be called "I Can't Believe It's Not I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!"

#831 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 06:37 PM:

About the body scanners at airports - my frequent travel companion and I are fat. We do fit into coach seats without need for a seat-belt extender, but it's not the comfiest fit. She faced one of those scanners for the first time last month on her way home from Vegas. She was not allowed to go through and informed by the TSA dude that the scanners did not work on the "overweight". She therefore received the standard ineffectual (not that she's complaining) pat-down.

I find that we are often right in the middle of various sizes and shapes when we travel. So if these fancy scanners don't work on let's say 45% of humans walking through, and can't see under breasts, which are also fat, so we can increase that to maybe 75%, what good are they? Other than increasing paranoia and giving TSA folks the ability to look at naked-ish non-overweight people all day.

#832 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 07:14 PM:

Nerdycellist (831)
"...what good are they(airport whole body scanners)? Other than increasing paranoia and giving TSA folks the ability to look at naked-ish non-overweight people all day..."

(1) theater
(2) Some defense contractor's company makes even more money
(3) theater
(4) some congresscritter gets a nice consulting gig after their time in Washington
(5) Theater
(6) The TSA folks can look at naked-ish non-overweight people all day
(7) all of the above

#833 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 08:54 PM:

#832 Craig

It's all about image of Doing Something. It wouldn't have caught the underwear bomber, it won't catch fake boob bombers, or explosives in body cavity bombers.... But, it gives an appearance of Doing Something.

#821 Lee
The school officials, however, who ignored the situation, got free passes. Ptui! on that. Hooray for charging the bullies, however, the supposed adults at the school allowed the situation to fester and fester and get so horrible for the victim that she decided suicide was preferable. Systematic bullying does NOT exist in a vacuum of environment, it exists in a vaccuum of adult supervision by adults opposed to bullying--as to an environment of adult supposed supervision, by adult unwilling to and/or uninterested in making schools a low/no-harassment zone.

#834 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 09:08 PM:

Bruce et al.:

Sculptress of Sound: The Lost Works of Delia Derbyshire (hour-long BBC radio documentary).

#835 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 09:41 PM:

Paula, #833: Good point. Each and every one of the teachers who knew about it and failed to intervene should be charged as accessories. It was happening on school property, a place where the victim was required by law to be, and they had the authority to step in, and didn't.

#836 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 11:07 PM:

While we're asking about kid's books, there was a book with a small group of kids who solved mysteries. One of the kids had (somehow) won a chauffeured Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, so, in spite of being maybe 12 or 14, they had wheels. They may have had a secret clubhouse in the middle of a junkyard, or that might have been another similar set of books/stories.

#837 ::: Lydy Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 11:25 PM:

Cally, 836:

The bit about the clubhouse in the junkyard rings a bell. Was the ringleader named Jupiter? I'm no help, I can't remember what the books are, either, but I'd love to know. I really liked them when I was the right age.

#838 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 11:32 PM:

Cally and Lydy: The Three Investigators! Wow, I hadn't thought of those books in years.

#839 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2010, 11:47 PM:

Cally, Lydy, Andrew: Beware. The Three Investigators (Jupiter, Pete, and...somebody) have been bowdlerized and dumbed down. Avoid the modern versions, for they are abominations before the Lord.

#840 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 12:05 AM:

Andrew @838

YES! The Three Investigators! I KNEW Alfred Hitchcock was in there somewhere, but I couldn't make him make sense, so I left him out. Thank you!!1!!one!!!

The Rolls, the junkyard; that's exactly it!

And TexAnne, thanks for the warning!

I remember really liking those books as a kid, because the author(s) didn't cheat.

#841 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 12:14 AM:

TexAnne -- Do you mean that the original books have been reworked and re-released (as, for example, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books have been updated), or only that the more recent books (e.g. the sequel series described in that Wikipedia article) are inferior?

The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew sequel series are amusingly ghastly. "Camped out in the Maine woods, the Hardy boys get a real jolt when they glimpse Joe's old girlfriend, Iola Morton. Can it really be the same girl who was blown to bits before their eyes by a terrorist bomb? ..."

#842 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 01:17 AM:

What did Barack, Michelle, Malia, and Natasha say when they tried "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter"?

#843 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 04:22 AM:

it was butter-like, with a noticably salty flavor

Bruce @829, I have to ask, as one who always buys unsalted butter for choice, why you would regard a noticably salty flavour as butter-like. Some of the cheapest and nastiest magarine I've ever eaten has tasted like essence of Dead Sea in this respect.

#845 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 07:12 AM:

Gads! I was just looking on Amazon to see if there was miraculously a second Ted Chiang book I didn't know about. (Answer: no).

In amongst the many five star reviews I noticed a single one star review which in part reads:

"I have two words to describe the stories in this book. Boring and depressing. This author could be described as the Shirley Jackson of SF."

What wouldn't I do to earn such abuse?

And what would this reviewer offer as praise?

#846 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 07:25 AM:

@836--

on 'kids who solve mysteries'--there was an excellent german kids book that combined this theme with the hidden-picture mystery genre. called "the black hand gang" in its english translation, by hans-jurgen press. ("press" is the author's name in the cataloguing info, so this isn't published by hans-jurgen verlag).

not easy to find, and he never wrote any more sequels. but an excellent gift for any 6-12 y.o. grandkids on your list.

#847 ::: Dave Bell from Hospital ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 08:10 AM:

It was a damn stupid accident, but I hadn't anything planned, so Saturday was the day I broke my hip. Surgery on Sunday, a partial joint replacement (hemi-arthroplasty), and I expect to be home tomorrow.

I am not comfortable, Things can be painful. I could dislocate something if I was careless over the next dozen weeks.

#848 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 08:16 AM:

Dave @847:

Now, you know there's no point showing off the National Health Service now that HCR has passed. You can stop breaking yourself just to prove you have access to medical care any time now.

Please?

#849 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 08:51 AM:

Earl Cooley III @844: And how does this relate to "free speech zones" as established by a certain former President? Discuss. (Yet another example of how WBC seems to fund itself primarily by lawsuit, I think.)

Last message with my old e-mail address.

[Abi adds: Click here to find Tom's new view all by]

#850 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 08:53 AM:

See msg 849 on this thread to find other comments under my old e-address.

[Abi adds: click here to go to his old view all by.]

#851 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 08:58 AM:

Tom @849 & 850:

I've done a little backstage magic for you.

#852 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 08:58 AM:

Dave Bell #847: All the best for a speedy recovery.

#853 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 09:37 AM:

Dave, many ows in sympathy, with best wishes for a speedy recovery.

I had a full hip replacement, as you may know. The only advice I can give is: do all your physical therapy, no matter how painful, boring, or annoying it is.

#854 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 09:45 AM:

Kids who solve mysteries -- One of my all-time favorites (and I think I've mentioned them here before) is the Bill Bergson trilogy by Astrid Lindgren (author of the Pippi Longstocking books). Great not just because the kids solve mysteries (including a scary one involving kidnapping), but they also have a highly active fantasy life in which they play out the War of the Roses. It's also a nostalgic glimpse into a past where parents didn't get unreasonably panicked if their kids stayed out playing for most of the long summer night. (I also liked those Three Investigators books mentioned above.)

#855 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 10:05 AM:

Abi, you are a joy and a marvel -- thank you!

#856 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 10:50 AM:

Dave@847: Get well soon! Hip replacements are a pretty big deal, as are broken hips. Take care of yourself, do the physiotherapy, and we'll all hope for the best!

#857 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 12:05 PM:

Dave, #847: Ow, sympathies. Didn't you do something like this a couple of years ago, and have a longish recovery period? Stop that!

#858 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 12:32 PM:

WRT butter/not butter, someone did some blind taste tests quite a while back.

They gave margarine (colored yellow) and freshly made butter (white) to people. They all rated the margarine as much better, creamy, buttery, and so forth. They considered the real butter as artificial tasting, oily, yada, yada. There's more to perceived taste than what just goes in your mouth.

It was through such blind taste tests that Coca-Cola came up with New Coke -- one of the more expensive debacles in business history.

This was back in the days when dairy farmers passed laws in some states that restricted the sale of butter substitutes. In fact, you could buy margarine and then a yellow food coloring to mix into it, because it was forbidden to sell yellow margarine.

#859 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 01:07 PM:

Abi, I shall take your request under advisement.

Thanks for the good wishes, all.

#860 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 01:50 PM:

Dave Bell: Do, please, take care of yourself!

#861 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 03:02 PM:

Steve, #858: Even though I understand about vision (and expectations) affecting taste, I find that one really hard to believe based on personal experience. My parents never bought or used anything but margarine (yellow) when I was growing up, and my first taste of actual butter, at age 14 or thereabouts, was a revelation; I've never willingly eaten margarine since. I wasn't expecting it to taste any different from what I was used to, either -- I clearly remember how gobsmacked I was at the time, and having the thought, "So that's why they say real butter is so much better -- it really is!"

#862 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 03:12 PM:

Steve@858: I have very little experience with margarine, but I do find that hard to believe, unless they cheated -- different salt levels, for example, might do it. "Freshly made" butter could be unsalted, which is in my experience an acquired taste (which I haven't yet acquired).

Generally, I can tell if cookies are made with butter or margarine at a taste. Margarine has been getting better over the years, and my taste acuity most likely has not, and it has reached the point where things like my wife's vegan rosemary shortbread is actually quite pleasant (though I suspect it would be better if made with butter).

#863 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 03:14 PM:

Lee (861): I, on the other hand, grew up eating margarine (which we usually referred to generically as "butter"), and it took me a long time to get used to the taste of actual butter. I still tend to forget that it needs to be out of the fridge for awhile to be soft enough to work with. Margarine, even the stick form that we used, didn't have that problem.

#864 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 03:15 PM:

So what does ML do when I change the name I post under? (No intention of breaking association between the names!)

#865 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 03:18 PM:

ddb@864: Good, it does about what I wanted. All comments under both names (and the same email address) are together in "view all by", and each comment remembers the name it was posted under.

This change will make "David@#" less confusing, I hope :-).

#866 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 03:27 PM:

Dave Bell @ 847:

Get well soon! (I know, soon is never soon enough.)

#867 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 03:48 PM:

Dave Bell @847: Oy! Please get well soon!

#868 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 04:13 PM:

About the Dhalgren sidelight:

The Kitchen adaptation aims to be the next cycle of Dhalgren: It begins where the novel ends, with a new character—a woman instead of a man—entering Bellona.
That's not a fucking adaptation. That's a goddam sequel. Fuck that.

(Why yes, I DO think they're partly doing this to avoid man-on-man sex in their play.)

#869 ::: Rob Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 04:24 PM:

Here is a great hiphop video for skeptics and disbelievers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAYVY2eLMck

Seriously, it's good. Would I steer you wrong?

Rob

#870 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 04:32 PM:

Kittens! They buy green artichokes!
Kittens! They like to purr for folks!

Kittens! They wear white mittens -
So get a kitten
With mittens
Today!

Kittens! They love their lemonade!
Kittens! They like to serenade!

Kittens! They wear white mittens -
So get a kitten
With mittens
Today!

Kittens! They like to eat pink shrimp
Kittens! They ride around in blimps

Kittens! They wear white mittens -
So get a kitten
With mittens
Today!

Kittens! They’re full of whipping cream
Kittens! They like to watch you dream

Kittens! They wear white mittens -
Go get a kitten
With mittens
Today!

#871 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 04:40 PM:

I now get to sound off (on things astronomical) at a new astronomy blog on the Houston Chronicle website:

Observable Universe

#872 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 04:46 PM:

Speaking of surreal man-in-bar jokes, here's Steve Witham's:


Tell me if you've heard this one.

#873 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 04:48 PM:

Oops: the above comment was not made into a link correctly. The URL is:

http://www.tiac.net/~sw/tell_me_if.html

#874 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 05:10 PM:

Since a lot of people here seem to deal with pain a lot, either chronically or occasionally (*koff* Dave Bell *koff*), this seems pertinent:

Over at Hyperboleandahalf, a recent post tackled the subject of those "Which of these cartoon faces reflects your level of pain?" charts you sometimes see at the doctors' office.

The end result was a much better chart, both in the cartoon faces and the descriptive text. I particularly like "I am actively being mauled by a bear."

(On that same blog, you might also want to check out this fish story. You'll cringe, you'll cry, you'll laugh your butt goodbye!)

#875 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 05:21 PM:

I always rated my pain by what I need to deal with it:

0. Water
1. Aspirin
2. More aspirin
3. Oxycontin
4. Morphine
5. Hemlock

#876 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 05:24 PM:

Bruce @ 874 -

Laughing my head off at the fish story....

#877 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 05:25 PM:

On the subject of half-forgotten children's books:

I'm trying to ID a book I read in elementary school. The author's surname is in the first third of the alphabet (probably B or C - it was halfway up the first stack. 30 years later, I still remember EXACTLY where I left it.)

It would have been published prior to 1980 (81 at the latest - I read it in 2nd or 3rd grade and the copy was not new. It could easily have been printed in the late 50s or early 60s, a lot of the books in that school library were outdated.)

It's about a kid - probably a girl - who's sent to live with (or visit for the summer) an elderly relative who lives in an old house, and gets told stories about what had happened in the house back in the Old Days. The stories revolve around another kid - I think a boy - who lived or worked in the house.

There's one bit that stuck with me that involved somebody climbing up one of the chimneys into the flue, and then down out of another fireplace. I grew up in the suburbs without a fireplace or stairs and I found this absolutely fascinating.

Oh, and the edition I read had a dust jacket that was printed in medium bluish green and plum purple on off-white paper.

#878 ::: Incoherent ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 05:38 PM:

Thena @877 -- could that have been Treasure of Green Knowe (aka Chimneys of Green Knowe) by Lucy Boston?

The main character who's being told the stories is a boy rather than a girl, but the rest of it seems to fit.

Fun note: The Green Knowe manor house actually exists, more or less as described, and is open to the public.

#879 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 05:56 PM:

Bruce Arthurs #874: Over at Hyperboleandahalf, a recent post tackled the subject of those "Which of these cartoon faces reflects your level of pain?" charts you sometimes see at the doctors' office.

Nice find. That blog is immediately promoted to my RSS feed list.

#880 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 06:07 PM:

Dave Bell #847: Ouch! Take care of yourself, and here's hoping for a full recovery!

Butter: I grew up with margarine, but as soon as I was shopping for myself, I went right to butter. I buy it unsalted too -- if I want salt, I know where the shaker is. (For frying I tend to use olive oil.)

The other issue is that much margarine and such is based on hydrogenated oils, which have since been recognized as Dietary Evil. (IIRC, the new "Harvard" guidelines flat out say, "there is no place for trans fats in a healthy diet.")

#881 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 06:16 PM:

Open threadiness:

The New York Times has poets in the comment threads. Based on the examples they quote it seems to run mostly to limericks, rather than sonnets, but it's the only other place I've heard of this phenomenon.

#882 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 06:30 PM:

Erik, your original #872 worked for me as a surreal joke as it was, for what that's worth.

#883 ::: Lydy Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 06:37 PM:

The Three Investigators. Cool. Thanks. I'll avoid the modern editions. I vaguely remember the Alfred Hitchcock bit.

#884 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 06:37 PM:

Obama the Appeaser.... The Repukes have proven themselves unwilling to make ANY compromises, why spite the people who vote for Obama on the no opening of new areas for drilling promise?

Shame, shame, shame, appeasing the party of rapists (the Repukes refused to support anti-rape bills....)

#885 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 06:38 PM:

Thena, Incoherent: Yes, the description reminded me of the Green Knowe books, as well.

#886 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 06:44 PM:

#881, from lorax:

Computerworld's Shark Tank gets daily appearances from a limericker called O2BIrish, who recently won Roger Ebert's limerick contest (with much cheering-on from the regulars there).

Cuttlefish (who dropped by here a while ago) sometimes swings by there too, though he more usually hangs out at Pharyngula.

So we're not the *only* place to get poetry.

Side note: Switching between here and that games wiki is really messing with my "wetware macros"....

#887 ::: Jeff Davis ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 06:48 PM:

Xopher @ 868: Good point. An adaptation of (or sequel* to) Dhalgren that leaves out the man-on-man sex would be like filming A Wizard of Earthsea with an all-white cast. I suddenly feel a lot less compelled to catch a flight to the other side of the continent within the next 72 hours for this. (On the other hand: Dhalgren! On stage! And the April 3 show has a panel discussion with Samuel R. Delany as one of the panelists!)

*I suppose, given the nature of the source material, the play is more of a "sidequel" than a sequel...

#888 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 06:51 PM:

@878, @885 YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!

That's got to be what I read. I've been wondering about that book for decades and my google-fu is not up to finding a particular book without some configuration of (author, title, publisher, date of publication). I read it at the end of a school year and attended a different school the next year and put it back KNOWING I wouldn't get to check it out again...

*does the happy library dance of open-threadiness*

#889 ::: Incoherent ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 07:19 PM:

Thena @888 -- Glad to be of service. I believe all of the books are currently in print, at least in the UK; at least, you can order them from the Manor shop.

I highly recommend all of them, especially The Children of Green Knowe, which is one of the sources of my ideal of the Perfect House.

#890 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 09:09 PM:

Oh, I remember the Three Investigators books. I can locate them spatially in my junior high library - there. Down the row and around the corner, the Lucky Starr books (filed under French rather than Asimov, putting them conveniently near Walter Farley). Another shelf or two over, the Heinlein juveniles. Around the next corner, Andre Norton and Alan E. Nourse right next to each other. And, for some reason, on a low shelf in the middle, Gone With the Wind.

Why can't I remember where I left the copy of Diving the Wreck by Rusch, which I checked out of the library, read half of (enjoying it), and left ... somewhere ... in the house a few weeks ago.

Sigh.

#891 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 09:21 PM:

Okay, if we're identifying children's books... I've been trying to track down a book or series featuring a character who does a lot of gadget-building. One of his inventions is a special alarm clock intended to guarantee that he'll get up (he's a very sound sleeper): after the alarm activates, it escalates to louder and louder noises until it hits its final stage, a small explosive, which is definitely enough to force him awake but has the unfortunate side effect of destroying the clock. This is an added incentive for him to get up and shut off the alarm.

The premise of the device is somewhat similar to the variable alarm setting on Don's hotel bed in Heinlein's Between Planets.

#892 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 10:21 PM:

Right. I was being good. I was not mentioning it. But this thread is being so great at finding old YA novels ... I finally lost a willpower roll. On all yer heads be it.

This one has stumped rec.arts.sf.written, and every other forum I've mentioned it, despite having several exceedingly unique features. I'm starting to think it was a very small print run. Or possibly like the manual in "So You Want To Be A Wizard," though to what end I cannot imagine.

The protagonist, named Paramecia (after her mother's study animal at the time she was born), is from The Future. Our Dark Future, as it happens, after an ecological collapse or several. Her father is driving her in their bubblecar across the middle states of the US, or rather their dusty, blowing remains. He exposits a bit to her about why Things Are Like This Now, and then stops the car to let her pee behind a bush so she can stretch her legs. She explores a little bit, goes just out of sight of the car, and falls/walks through a spacetime rift into the just-pre-DustBowl years.

She spends a while back there, thought crazy (though sort of believed by the people who found her, because her silver jumpsuit is something they've never seen before), and observes people making choices that will eventually lead to the later ecological collapse, for reasons that seemed good to them then. She saves breeding pairs of rabbits and foxes (improbably extinct, uptime) and goes back through her rift to her dad at the end of the book.

I read it in the mid-to-late 1980s, so it was definitely written before then. The physical book was a hardback with the cover art printed onto the cloth texturing -- blue with a picture of Para in her silver suit stepping through an oval silver hovering rift.

Anyone?

#893 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 10:44 PM:

Tonight, on Is it Possible on the Discovery Channel, a dog with narcolepsy, complete with cataplexy--induced by "things that make dogs very happy"--like food and playing with their people. Plus, Theo Jansens's wind-propelled strandbeesten, stalking the beaches of the Netherlands.

#894 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 11:07 PM:

lorax @881:

The comments on Shaenon Garrity's webcomics Narbonic and Skin Horse also tend to involve a lot of poetry and filk.

Joel Polowin @891:

I think the escalating alarm clock figured in the Alvin Fernald books by Clifford B. Hicks, but I don't own copies and haven't read them in a long time, so I can't be sure. It's also possible that I'm remembering it from the Brains Benton series, but I don't think so. My recollection is that the Brains Benton books were better than the Hardy Boys though probably not as good as the early Three Investigators books. They're the only boy detective books from my childhood I still own, having given my copies of the Three Investigators and Hardy Boys books to a younger cousin many years ago, but I haven't re-read them in a long, long time.

#895 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 11:18 PM:

Elliot Mason #893: I am not absolutely certain that I have read that book. I can't recall any detail other than those you've listed here, and I definitely don't know the book's name.

Nevertheless, the description you've provided links up in my head with an extremely vivid mental vision of my fourth-grade classroom, the one with the cardboard painted to be Mary Lennox's Secret Garden in the back. When I was in fourth grade, at the end of the eighties, I read every SFF novel I could find. The more I think about it the more I think that I must have read the book about Para-who's-named-Paramecia-after-her-mother's-research, and that I must have read it in fourth grade.

I hope that helps you, if only to confirm that you're (probably?) not hallucinating the book's existence!

Now, does anyone know the name of a book I read at about the same period, in which Terra is the proper name of a dystopian alternate-universe version of Earth? I remember becoming very confused when I first heard our planet referred to as Terra; I was terrified that I'd fallen through the rift and was now living in the alternate universe!

Come to think of it, it's even possible that the alternate Terra could have been in the same book with Paramecia.

#896 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 11:21 PM:

Argh, I meant to address Elliot Mason at 892. How do I not see these errors when I check over my posts at preview?

#897 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 11:23 PM:

Dave Bell from Hospital, #847, Dave, and when was the last time you hurt yourself and had to go to the hospital? I hope you're better soon.

We started with margarine because it used to be considered safer. I didn't even like the taste of butter until I was an adult, and now I usually use butter.

#898 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 12:03 AM:

Xopher at #868 writes:

> That's not a fucking adaptation. That's a goddam sequel. Fuck that.

Does it help that Delany himself seems well pleased with the play?

#899 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 12:33 AM:

Steve: Only a little. And he said it seemed familiar, not that it seemed exactly like the book he wrote. And he'd expect me to form my own opinion.

And my opinion is that they way they've done it is a cheap trick to let them use the setting, characters, and to some extent the events of the book without having to have men have sex with each other (even implied); or, as in the book, a 27-year-old man having sex with a 15-year-old boy. After all, that'd be kid porn (redeeming social importance, feh, saith the FBI).

I say it's sequel (and you can't possibly be picking up the sneer with which I use that euphemism) and I say the hell with it.

#900 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 12:35 AM:

Elliott @892 & Rymenhild @895: The Girl Who Slipped Through Time, by Paula Hendrich?

#901 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 12:39 AM:

Dave Mason @892 -- why am I thinking of David Palmer's Emergence? I don't think that's it, but it's what you made me think of.

#902 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 12:42 AM:

Xopher at #899 writes:

> as in the book, a 27-year-old man having sex with a 15-year-old boy. After all, that'd be kid porn (redeeming social importance, feh, saith the FBI).

Which brings to mind the filmed versions of Lolita. The Kubrick film was good, but there was definitely some dodging going on there.

> I say it's sequel (and you can't possibly be picking up the sneer with which I use that euphemism) and I say the hell with it.

I still haven't read it (one day...) so can't comment. Just think of some incredibly perceptive response and attribute it to me.

#903 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 12:45 AM:

addendum to #900-- there's an eBay listing of that book showing the cover art here.

#904 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 12:51 AM:

Hah. A Buffy fan!

I read Dhalgren at least six times before my 20th birthday.

I haven't read or seen Bellona: Destroyer of Cities. But it's the nature of such things that I have to make my decision before seeing it, because once I've seen it, if I'm right it's too late. I have no pulpit from which to denounce it; a ticket sale to me is a ticket sale.

I leave you with one other thought: pandering to the real or imagined homophobia of others is itself homophobia. That's what I think this playwright did when he made the main character into a woman. The main character has sex with both men and women (and one teenager) in the book; man-man sex is ICKY, whereas woman-woman sex is HOT.

And they talk all about how it's the next cycle of the story, instead of admitting that they sex-changed the main character in order to make the play more acceptable. Contemptible hypocrites.

#905 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 01:25 AM:

#881 - Lorax
If you're referring to #870, that's not poetry - it's the finest doggerel. I should know; I wrote it.

#901 - Tom

Definitely not Emergence. That one the girl roamed post-disaster America on her own until she met up with a young boy who'd also survived. Eventually they meet up with a group of survivors in California. The trick to surviving seemed to be having grandparents who'd had the Spanish Flu & survived.

#906 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 01:31 AM:

Xopher at #904:

> Hah. A Buffy fan!

Just an occasional viewer. If you're referring to "Just think of some incredibly perceptive response..." I plead parallel evolution.

> I leave you with one other thought: pandering to the real or imagined homophobia of others is itself homophobia.

Certainly there's no censorship like self-censorship. It's an amazing labour saving device.

> man-man sex is ICKY, whereas woman-woman sex is HOT.

This subthread has got me wondering: I find all descriptions of sex pretty avoidable, no matter who's involved. Is it linked to my lack of interest in descriptive writing? Or to inner prudishness?

#907 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 01:34 AM:

Hmm. I don't know. Maybe prudishness and lack of interest in descriptive writing are knotted together in some way; either one arising from the other, or both from the same source.

And I was thinking of "Tell Giles I said...oh, it doesn't matter. Make up something cool, tell him I said it."

#908 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 02:23 AM:

A library coup, of sorts: I think I am the first borrower of Michael Lewis's The Big Short in the state, judging from dates on the inside cover.

More than that, I'm also first or second borrower of Connie Willis's Blackout.

I just finished The Doomsday Book. I now have to face the difficult decision: which do I start first?

#909 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 02:23 AM:

Xopher at #907 writes:

> either one arising from the other, or both from the same source.

I think I'll blame a life based around computers, not interactions with the material world. Had I been a cooper of a hod carrier all would have been different.

> And I was thinking of "Tell Giles I said...oh, it doesn't matter. Make up something cool, tell him I said it."

That certainly sounds very Buffy.

#910 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 03:15 AM:

The escalating-up-to-explosion alarm clock sounds vaguely familiar to me. I know I read a number of the Alvin Fernald books, and not any of the Brains Benton ones, so I guess that it's from one of the former.

#912 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 09:48 AM:

You mean Tmail?

#913 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 10:10 AM:

Joel Polowin (891): Is that the Roger Tearle series by Scott Corbett? The main character basically lived in a treehouse.

#914 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 10:19 AM:

Thinkgeek is having its annual offering of products I really wish existed. My favorite - Tribbles 'n' Bits.

Tribbles 'n' Bits

#915 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 10:45 AM:

@911: Does Teresa get royalties?

#916 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 12:06 PM:

Jim Henry @ 894 -- I've read (and still own) a number of the Alvin Fernald books. However, a quick search on-line shows that Alvin's usual alarm clock was silent -- he removed the bell and set up a mechanism to pull a string attached to his big toe, so he could wake up without disturbing his parents. I'm pretty sure I haven't read any of the Brains Benton books.

Mary Aileen @ 913 -- The books don't sound at all familiar, so I don't think that's it. (I notice on that page you linked to that Amazon thinks that people interested in a YA book titled The Case of the Gone Goose might be interested in "GooseControl.info - Ways to reduce, remove & get rid of the pest Canada geese population.")

#917 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 12:17 PM:

Placeholder for a message held for moderation, for reasons that are obscure to me.

#918 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 12:44 PM:

And now they're explaining the vowel outage. Who planted the disemvoweller at the data center? 'Fess up!

#919 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 12:47 PM:

@905,

No, I was referring to the general tendency of commenters here to spontaneously break out in sonnets, not to anything specific.

#920 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 01:09 PM:

Pendrift @917 -- the page you linked to included a link to "Google Researchers discover new dimension in Google Streetviews" when I looked at it a moment ago....

Dave Mason @892 -- after thinking, I realize that the binding you describe is a YA library binding, which (as Margaret pointed out above) definitely leaves out the paperback original by Palmer.

#921 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 01:09 PM:

I don't think it was specifically mentioned in the old Flamer Bingo topic, but you win a game of Moderator Chicken if you get the last post in just before the moderator shuts down a flame war, even if your hand is just a busted flush full of entitlement cards (hmmm, poker rather than simple bingo imagery). The downside of this is that you may only get to play that game once per venue, but the victory can be touted elsewhere in a multi-venue flame war, of course.

#922 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 01:29 PM:

Joel @917:

We had a block on .info URLs. Too many spammers used them. I've taken it away for the moment.

Pendrift @918:

Wasnae me, no, no. I mean, just because three quarters of my team works in Seattle, you can't seriously think I had anything to do with that, right?

Right?

Good. Just so we're clear.

#925 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 02:13 PM:

Lee @924,

Indeed, I literally cheered1 when I heard that on the wireless this morning, especially given the date (since, so often, the libel laws of this country seem to be particularly appropriate to same...)

Having said that, the ruling, though welcome and important, seems (though I'm not a lawyer2), to just say that Dr Singh can, in fact, use “fair comment” in his defence, which means there is still the possibly that something horrendous and ridiculous might yet occur...

1 In a restrained and almost inaudible way, as befits someone born in England...

2 And neither do I play one on TV...

#926 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 04:24 PM:

#924: Lee, as I understand it, Simon Singh has won an important battle, but not the war. The libel suit continues.

#927 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 06:10 PM:

Breadcrumbs forward to 138.

#928 ::: Stefan Jones is suspicious about 929 ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2010, 07:48 PM:

Welcome back, Tony, assuming you're not a test message for a spammer.

(I hate being paranoid, but . . .)

#929 ::: Rob Rusick backs Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2010, 09:49 PM:

No previous posting indicated by 'view all by', and not a name I recognize (though that by itself is not a proof). The content of the message doesn't address any point.

#930 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2010, 10:01 PM:

"I'm not new here but I haven't been on here in like a year" as a search phrase on Google produces a couple of hits on different sites; one where I see 'TonyHeroldsk' referenced.

#931 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2010, 06:35 AM:

Thanks, guys, good spot.

#932 ::: Mary Aileen is suspicious ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2010, 11:44 AM:

#934 looks like another of those vaguely plausible "introductory" posts.

#933 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2010, 11:45 AM:

Dead already. Don't know why this thread is getting targeted, but it's getting old.

#934 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2010, 11:49 AM:

abi (935): Time to close the thread?

#935 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2010, 01:06 PM:

Well, the shark-infested custard one was done at #186, so...

Q. Why do elephants wear green hats?

A. So they can hide on a billiard table.

Also:

Q. What's black and white, lives in a tree, and could be dangerous?

A. A magpie with a machine gun.

(Both of those are contemporary with the shark-infested custard.)

#936 ::: Mary Aileen sees something very odd ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2010, 09:58 AM:

#938 is...strange. Can't be spam, there's no payload, but what the heck?

#937 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2010, 10:42 AM:

The payload is usually the words, and how they manipulate search engine indexes, or allow spammers to easily find target areas. Immediately toxic spam is a bit quaint at this point, although it still exists in the wild, from time to time.

#938 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2010, 12:27 PM:

Judging by the text, it was a simple test to find out if this thread was still being actively monitored. It's about as polite a way as possible for a spam-tester to act, oddly enough!

#939 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2010, 12:30 PM:

Oh yes -- I'd ignored it because I thought it was redundant to point to something that said "pls dlt ths pst" -- do you wish such things pointed out, moderators?

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