Here's a joke for you:


Laughter is the best medicine!

Unless you're treating diarrhea.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Take a chance!

I tell a lot of jokes. Because I tell so many jokes, I frequently wind up with my foot in my mouth. Some of my quips and jokes in the course of a day are a little edgy. I feel like I have a talent for telling jokes, so I’m willing to take a chance.

I’ve offended more than a few people. I once told a joke about a man who was hit and killed by a train. I can no longer remember how the joke went, only that it wasn’t particularly offensive or dark or pointed. But there was a young lady present whose father had been hit and killed by a train. Now I had no way of knowing this, and I certainly would never have purposely told a joke meant to hurt anyone.

But some of the people there chided me for always joking around. I was told then, and have been told since, that jokes and joking are silly and unnecessary and even inappropriate. That’s what people think when a joke misfires. But when a joke is good, when it’s funny, when it makes a relevant and good point, then the teller is a sage.

But like I said, I certainly would never want to hurt someone’s feelings with a joke. But I won’t give up my sense of humor because some people are dull and hypersensitive. It’s a dangerous road, being a joke teller. I remember how painful it was to overhear some of those friends talking about my joke that backfired. One of the girls said:

“That Darrell Mangum! He thinks he’s SOOO funny!!”

Well, hey. OF COURSE I DO!!!!

Here’s a joke that’s edgy:

A widow goes to the funeral home to review the preparations for her husband’s funeral. When she sees her husband in his coffin, she becomes very upset.
“I didn’t want him buried in a black suit! He always said that he didn’t want to be buried in black! He wanted to be buried in blue! He should be in a blue suit!”
The mortician felt very bad about this and promised to look into the situation. He explained that black suits were standard procedure for a funeral when the family didn’t provide burial clothing. But the bereaved widow went home crying.
The next day the widow goes back to the funeral home, and to her great relief, her husband is dressed in a blue suit!
“How did you do it?” she asked gratefully.
“Well, something wonderful happened. We are preparing for the funeral of another man, and his family brought him to us dressed in a blue suit. His widow was unhappy with the blue suit. She decided that black would be more fitting.”
“So that man was wearing blue, and my husband was in black!”
“Exactly!” smiled the mortician as he casually sat at his desk.
“At that point it was simply a matter of switching around the heads.”

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Throw it away!

People take jokes and joke telling too seriously. They’re JOKES, for heaven’s sake. Don’t tell your jokes as if you were some kind of clown. If you build it up too much, then it really falls flat if you bomb.

Throw it away! Tell your joke as if it doesn’t matter too much. It’s just an observation, just a quick anecdote, just some trivial information you want to share.

A joke isn’t a trombone solo in the jr. high school band program. Your mom’s not waiting with her camera for you to tell a joke. Don’t try to make it something important.

That’s what makes a joke funny. It’s something ridiculous that is thrown into everyday conversation. It must be thrown in as if it were as natural as the last thing that was said.

This means watching for an appropriate moment, a relevant moment, and then slipping in your joke.

Practice with this one:

A lady goes to the local newspaper to submit an obituary. She fills out the form and hands it to the man behind the counter. He reads aloud.
“Harold Robertson died.”
The man scratches his head and gently addressed the widow.
“Don’t you want to say a little more about your husband than this?”
The widow shakes her head.
“That’s what happened.”
The man searches for the right words to explain.
“Well, ma’am, don’t forget that the first six words are free!”
The widow considers this for a moment and then takes the form back. When she finishes she hands it back to the man behind the counter who reads:
“Harold Robertson died. Boat for sale.”