YOU QUACK ME UP
If your doctor is a quack, you have every right to duck him on the bill.
What’s so funny about this? I have often wondered about why phony doctors are called “quacks”, but I didn’t know the answer until doing research for this audioboom. It should not come as a surprise that it is not directly related to the sound that a duck makes. There is a connection but only based on the etymology or the origin of the word. Calling a doctor a “quack” goes back to the early 17th century, when the doctor would be referred to as a “quacksalver”, or someone who sold phony medications, salves and balms. “Quack” meant to brag or boast. Originally it meant to “croak”, imitating an animal sound perhaps similar to a duck’s or frog’s. Clearly this is onomatopoeia. These days, doctors’ and hospital bills are out of control. They seem to be robbing or ripping everyone off, including the government, insurance companies as well as individual patients, especially those without insurance. The joke is making a pun with the word “duck” which, as a noun, is an animal, a bird; as a verb, it means to bend down to avoid being hit by someone or something. Let me tell you, getting a hospital bill these days is totally like getting hit in the head by a giant boulder. So if your doctor is a fake, a quack, then the bill for his services is equally fraudulent and the joke claims you may legally avoid, or duck out, on the bill. After all, one good duck deserves another. And THAT’s what’s so funny!
This joke was submitted to punoftheday.com by Paul from Ohio
NO THIRD STRIKE
What’s so funny about this? You’ve got to admit Steven Wright has a bizarre yet very clever mind. He pays very close attention to individual words and can just nail it when language is irrational or not logical. Today’s joke is a great example. It’s based on a common saying “You scared me half to death!” It’s also common to hear “You scared me to death!” the latter makes a little more sense and yet clearly the speaker is not a liar nor a zombie, nor dead. It’s just an exaggeration or hyperbole to indicate extreme fright. The former saying hedges by 50%. The speaker is not dead, nor a zombie. He or she is only half dead, depending on whether you’re a glass half-full or empty kind of guy. You could be relieved that you’re only half dead or you could be upset that already you’re half dead. All depends on your perspective. Leave it to Steven Wright to focus on the literal sense of the words spoken. He’s realized that two halves make a whole so if you are literally scared half to death two times then you should be fully dead. This also means that you shouldn’t really be able to talk. Since you are, then you are either lying, exaggerating or a zombie. But wait, maybe there’s a mathematical sequence we can apply here. Maybe each time you get scared half to death it’s only half of the time you have left. In this case you will always be getting less and less scared and you will live forever, because you can keep halving until infinity. And THAT’s what’s so funny!
This joke was written by Steven Wright
What’s so funny about this? We’re WAY overdue for a limerick. So I’m bringing you a classic one with an opening line that’s been used in many, quite dirty limericks However, this one has a twist - it’s not dirty at all, so I can use it for this podcast with a clear conscience. By the way, you may have noticed that the website has changed its name from audioBOO to audioBOOM. So technically, this is not a podcast, a name that makes you think of IPads and IPods. Instead, you are supposed to think of this as a new audioboom. Good luck with that. Anyway, the first line of the limerick tells us there’s an old man who lived in place called Nantucket, an island off the coast of the US state of Massachusetts. It has a sister island, a little closer to the mainland, called Martha’s Vineyard. Both are now resort islands for the rich and famous. But back in the day, Nantucket was famous as a whaling center and is mentioned in Herman Melville’s great book about whaling, called Moby Dick. Nantucket has the distinction of rhyming with many dirty words, but in today’s limerick, it rhymes, in the second line, with “bucket”, a term you probably know. If not, it’s a round, cylindrical wooden or metal container usually with a handle, used to carry things like water or sand. This old man didn’t believe in banks. Instead he kept all his money in this same bucket we’re talking about.
The old man also has a daughter who’s name happens to be Nan, short for Nancy. Nancy is in her twenties and is very attractive and probably not too happy to be still living at home on Nantucket. So she decides to run away with some guy who remains unnamed in our little poem. We also know that Nan’s father did not hide his bucket of cash. It must have been in plain sight, because not only did Nan run away with a man, she stole her old man’s, or her father’s, bucket with all the money in it. You might object here, saying that the poem makes no mention of thievery. But if you look at the last line, it ends with the word Nantucket. If we break this word down we get Nan-tuck-it. She took the bucket, Nantucket. And THAT’s what’s so funny!