Not Funny

Last day of lessons before the half term break. Tired teachers sitting around the staff room trying to make each other laugh with bad jokes; Nothing like humour to accentuate the cultural divide.

I try out a bad joke I found on a friend’s facebook page;

Horse goes into a pub and walks up to the bar. The landord asks him what he wants to drink.

“A pint of bitter” says the horse. The landlord pulls a pint of his best bitter for his equine client. The thirsty horse takes the pint and swills it down in one. “Another pint” says the horse. As the landlord pulls the pint he asks the horse -“how many of you would it take to change a lightbulb?”

The horse pauses for thought

“Oh s***; I’m in the wrong joke” exclaims the horse.

YES, this was the punchline. Those English teachers who had actually spent time in England actually laughed. The French English teachers with 1950’s BBC cultural references just scratched their heads, a little bemused and the German teacher went to do some photocopies.

Now, this joke is not funny, but it is when you know the world of pub jokes and lightbulb jokes. The whole point is though, it is funny because it is rubbish.

Here’s another joke, I often tell. It came from a friend who used to work up in Fleet Street, and it had him in fits of laughter.

a) Ask me if I’m a banana?

b) Are you a banana?

a) NO. (and following this, my Fleet Street friend would be in fits of laughter)

So, over the years, I have told this joke over and over again in staff rooms, always making sure that I tell it to history teachers or philosophy teachers. They always ponder the question and come back to me asking why the joke is funny. “because it isn’t” I say. It is pure nonsense – meaning there is no sense – there again, the French don’t do nonsense or at least they do, but rather than a crap joke , quite a few French people will be rolling around in mild fits of subdued laughter when they see a Samuel Becket play. Excuse me, but “Waiting for Godot” or “End Games” just aren’t funny, neither is Ioneseco or Woody Allen,  but they get a lot of French people laughing.

Guess I’ll just carry on with lightbulbs and horses

And here was my last joke

q) What noise does a one legged man wearing flip flops make?

a) flip … flip … flip

A brief silence, and then the question … was the man missing his right leg or his left leg?