The hanger of my art displays the anger of my heart
What’s so funny about this? OK it’s not funny. I admit it, but it is a spoonerism and we haven’t done one in a while. It does raise the question as to whether all wordplays have to be funny. Is it enough if they are just clever and true? Look at poetry, that’s certainly not always funny. Funny helps but it’s not always necessary. Rhyming creates a certain feeling in our brains that I can’t describe; I can only say it makes me feel “something”; it touches an emotional chord, if you will. Puns too rarely make people laugh out loud. In fact a groan is a more appropriate to a pun than a laugh; the louder the groan, the more successful the pun. I think the same is true for spoonerisms such as the one we have today, and for other types of wordplay, such as palindromes, homophones, etc. So let’s look at today’s spoonerism. The speaker seems to be an artist. In the first part of the sentence she or he refers to the hanger of my art. “Hanger” in this case could be the person who is hanging the art, presumably on a wall though it could be from the top of a building or any other place from which art could hang. It’s even possible that this hanger is a person who is simply holding the art work up by means of a wire, thread or some other devise that keeps it off the ground. And of course, the “hanger” could simply be the nail and hook from which the work of art is hanging. We could really go nuts and add the homonym “hangar” h-a-n-g-a-r, which is a giant garage where airplanes are stored. Then we could have a hanger hanging art in from a hanger in a hangar. Now we’ve almost moved into the realm of tongue twisters. Let’s get back to the second part of the spoonerism instead. If we take the H from hanger and add it to art, we get hart, but we have to change to spelling to h-e-a-r-t, heart. Many cultures believe that the heart is the center of emotions and people write and talk about angry hearts. Hanger has now changed to anger and the spoonerism is complete. The hanger of the art displays the art work which reveals the anger of the artist. BTW, an old friend of mine is having an art exhibit soon which pretty much follows this spoonerism. I wish him well. And THAT’s what’s not funny but real!
Listen to the podcast: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1396895-artsy-fartsy
WE SERVE FROGS
WHAT DO FROGS EAT WITH THEIR HAMBURGERS? – FRENCH FLIES
What so funny about this? There are a number of underlying puns in this joke, but let’s deal with the basic joke first. Frogs are carnivores, they eat meat, and just about any other member of the animal kingdom that will fit into their mouths. Usually they eat insects, like flies, but frogs will also eat snakes, lizards, and given the opportunity, ground beef, also called hamburger. Most frogs don’t often have the opportunity to eat hamburger unless they are living in captivity as pets or in a lab and used for experiments. But the frogs we’re talking about in the joke are more mythical or imaginary, with more human traits, such as going to MacDonald’s or Burger King for a burger. Naturally, if the frog is going to eat a hamburger, it’s quite likely it will also order french fries and maybe a chocolate shake to go with it. But I’d imagine that most frogs would reject French fries which are, after all, potatoes and not animal. That’s why some restaurants which cater or specialize in serving frogs will give them french FLIES instead of fires. There’s the pun in the joke. French fries are only called that in the US. The French call them pomme frite or “fried potatos.” In England they’re called “chips.” To further complicate matters, Americans also have potato chips but they are sliced very thin and are crunchy and salty, what the Brits call potato crisps. How is a poor frog supposed to know what to order when it goes to a restaurant for hamburgers and flies? In French, the word for fly is mouche., which could be a pun for mousse or pudding.So, for dessert, our frog could eat chocolate mouche. And THAT’s what’s so funny!
Listen to the podcast: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1414016-we-serve-frogs
MY WAY OR THE HIGH WAY
I THINK IT’S JUST TERRIBLE AND DISGUSTING HOW EVERYONE HAS TREATED LANCE ARMSTRONG, ESPECIALLY AFTER WHAT HE ACHIEVED, WINNING SEVEN TOUR DE FRANCE RACES WHILE COMPETING ON DRUGS. WHEN I WAS ON DRUGS, I COULDN’T EVEN FIND MY BIKE.
What’s so funny about this? This joke centers around the phrase “on drugs”. It means to be taking drugs and to be under their influence. The question is, what kind of drugs and what kind of influence? English doesn’t have separate words for good drugs and bad drugs. It makes no difference if you’re talking about Penicillin or Heroin. They are both drugs even though they do wildly different things. There are other words used for some of the same things, such as medications, medicine, herbal supplements. These last three represent the more positive drugs. And there is a LOT of slang for bad drugs, e.g. dope, oxy, meth, crack, etc. So if you’re addicted to opium, do you buy it at a drug store? Theoretically it should be available there, since it’s a drug and that what drug stores sell. But we do make a distinction between a “controlled substance”, which is an illegal drug; a “prescription drug”, which you can only get with a special note from a doctor (unfortunately there are some doctors who will write out a prescription for anything you want, if you pay them enough); and “over-the-counter drugs”, which you can just pick up off the shelves at any drug store. This includes acne medication, aspirin and hay fever pills. But what about Lance? He was on drugs, wasn’t he? So how could he do so well when others who are on drugs, are lying in a stupor in some alley? Lance Armstrong took what are called “performance enhancing drugs”, the same stuff baseball players used to take or might still be taking, and the same junk they give to horses to make them run faster and stronger. When the horses gets sick, they just shoot them. Maybe that’s what they should do to these “so-called” athletes. And THAT’s what’s so funny and kind of disgusting.
This joke was sent to me by my pal, Bill Greenfield
Listen to the podcast: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1399055-my-way-or-the-high-way
SORRY, I’M A LITTLE TIED UP AT THE MOMENT
REPUBLICANS UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF BONDAGE BETWEEN A MOTHER AND CHILD – FORMER VICE PRESIDENT, DAN QUALE
What’s so funny about this? There are so many ironies in the politics of morality. The people who are against abortion are frequently those who support capital punishment. The people who don’t want any restrictions on carrying and shooting guns, have no problems about restricting the rights of children or adults. Corporal punishment of children is very popular in some states such as Texas. They say parents as well as schools have the right to spank their children and administer other punishment. They believe in the sanctity of the family as long as it’s not a gay family. But in the abortion debate there has been a lot of finger pointing and blaming the other side and calling it evil. So, this might be a good time to remember our old friend, Dan Quale who was Vice President under George H.W. Bush, George Jr.’s father. Dan had his own way with words just as the younger George did. One of Dan’s most famous malapropisms was the quotation in this joke. Dan was trying to defend the anti-abortion position of the Republican Party and rejecting the claim that they were insensitive to women’s issues. He wanted to stress the importance of the relationship of a mother to her child. This connection is often called a “bond”. But in Quale’s mouth it became bondage, which literally means tying someone up. And it has sexual overtones as well. I guess we know what was really on Dan’s mind when this great quote came out. And THAT’s what’s so funny!
Listen to the podcast: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1413017-sorry-i-m-a-little-tied-up-at-the-moment
MAKE MINE A DOUBLE
A WOMAN DROVE ME TO DRINK, AND I NEVER EVEN HAD THE COURTESY TO THANK HER – W.C. FIELDS
What’s so funny about this? This joke just goes to show you that even though something was said a long time ago, if it’s true it will always be funny. This joke is at least 80 years old, and, of course, we’re still laughing at Shakespeare and Mark Twain and all those guys. There were some funny old women too. W.C. Fields was an old time movie actor, well-known for his jokes, his giant round nose, and his heavy drinking. Naturally, there are multiple meanings going on here, all centered around the word “drive”, or “drove” since the joke is in the past tense. By itself, DRIVE means to operate or control a moving vehicle. If you drive someone someplace then that person is a passenger in your vehicle. BTW the vehicle could be a horse and buggy, a spaceship, or a car. If it’s moving and you’re controlling it then you are the driver who is driving the vehicle. However, to “drive someone to do something” is an idiom. It means to make or force someone to do something. Usually they don’t want to do it, but you’re driving them to do it, perhaps by nagging them, bribing them or holding a pistol to their head. In the case of the joke there is a strong double meaning. The drinking refers to not any drinking, but to drinking alcoholic beverages frequently. It could be that W.C. Fields was against drinking (alcohol), but was driven to it or forced to do it by the woman in question. On the other hand, WC Fields could simply have gotten into her car and caught a ride (she drove him) to the nearest bar or saloon, where he commenced to drink his daily dose of booze. We’ll never know which of the two he meant, but we do know that he was grateful to her for doing it. It’s probably better for us too. I doubt he would have been as funny as he was if he were sober. And THAT’s what’s so funny!
Listen to the podcast: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1401067-make-mine-a-double
HOT FLASH DRIVE
THE EXHIBITIONIST RAN TO THE STORE BECAUSE HE HEARD THEY WERE HAVING A FLASH SALE
What’s so funny about this? So, exactly what is an exhibitionist? Two definitions come to mind. The first is a person who likes to exhibit him or herself. “Exhibit” in this case means to show, display, or to show off. It’s someone who likes to be seen by many people. The word does not necessarily have a sexual connotation, but it usually does. Another name for an exhibitionist is a “show-off”. This is the person who’s always trying to get attention for himself or herself. Someone who likes the spotlight; who wants to be on stage; who wants to be in the movies and have their picture plastered all over the internet. At the sexual level, an exhibitionist is a person who wants people to see the body parts that we normally cover up and don’t allow others to see. However, another perfectly reasonable definition could be someone who likes to produce, stage, or put on exhibitions of say, art. Another name for this kind of exhibitionist is “curator”. You will find them at museums and art galleries, which is where they have art exhibits. Of course these can be sexual in nature too. But why, in the joke, did the exhibitionist run to the store? Well, he heard about a “flash sale”. A normal sale in a store is when the store offers discounts on certain products in the store. The sale might last a week or a week-end, something like that. But a “flash sale” is a limited time sale with a really good discount. It’s designed to get people excited and come to the store right away. The sale might only last for a couple of hours. But “flashing” is also a slang term for revealing one of those body parts related to sex. A person who does this is called a flasher. It can even be a completely nude man or woman who runs across the field at a sporting event. A flasher is typically shown as a dirty old man dressed in a rain coat which he opens at the appropriate moment to reveal what’s underneath, which is usually nothing. So our exhibitionist friend got excited because the sale might be a chance to meet some fellow flashers. Or maybe he just needed a good flash light, or a new version of Adobe. And THAT’s what’s so funny!
This joke was submitted to punoftheday.com by Adele from Bohemia, NY
Listen to the podcast: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1410413-hot-flash-drive
DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE FRANKFURTER SALESMAN WHO GOT DRUNK AT A BASEBALL GAME? HE WENT ON A HOT DOG BENDER.
What’s so funny about this? The Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle is a great source of puns. The daily puzzles aren’t bad either, but Sundays seem to bring out the best (or the worst, depending on how you feel about puns) of the puzzle makers. I debated whether or not to do this one because it is so culturally loaded with concepts that only American native English speakers would know. And then, even if they get it, chances are that they won’t laugh because puns evoke groans rather than laughs. Nevertheless, I’m going to forge ahead because that’s what most of you are doing here, trying to understand the basis for American English jokes and puns. In the set-up I needed to paraphrase a “hot dog vendor.” These are the men and women you find at baseball games and other sporting events held in large stadiums (or stadia if you want the Latin plural) They walk up and down the aisles, yelling “Hey hot dogs, hot dogs here, get your hot dogs.” So a couple of synonyms for hot dogs are “frankfurter” and “wiener.” Both of these words reflect the Germanic origin of the “all-American” sausage. However “wiener” has too many other connotations these days, so I went with “frankfurter.” A “vendor” is a salesperson, usually of something small that they can hand you, like a hot dog or a beer. Moving on, these vendors are as human as the rest of us and like a drink or two, now and then. In the case of the joke, the vendor had a whole lot to drink and got roaring drunk. This kind of heavy drinking and getting drunk is known as “going on a bender”, which works very nicely as a pun for vendor. So a hot dog bender could even be someone who got drunk on too many hot dogs. Maybe they were laced with vodka? And THAT’s what’s so funny!
This joke was inspired by the Sunday, May 19, 2013 New York Times crossword puzzle by Jean O’Connor
Listen to the podcast: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1401972-beer-here
GO GRANNY GO
A group of seniors were sitting around comparing ailments. “My cataracts are so bad I can’t even see my nose,” said one man. “I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis is my neck,” said another. “I forget where I am and where I’m going,” said a third. “I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old,” said a woman, “But thank God we can still drive.”
What’s so funny about this? My mother never learned to drive until she was in her 50’s. She was never a great driver, but I was too young to realize that. She was one of those drivers that preferred to err on the side of caution. As a result we always went REALLY slow, with virtually every car on the road passing us. I’m amazed she never got a ticket for going 20 miles UNDER the speed limit! As I became a teen-ager, it drove me crazy of course and I always drove when we needed to go someplace together. Amazingly, she was never in an accident though it’s impossible to say how many she caused for all those drivers who sped up to pass her. She drove for another 40 years until she was about 95, when she finally gave it up. I remember she was very depressed about it for more than a year. It had been her last bit of freedom and afterward she felt trapped at home having to rely on friends to take her around. She was never as bad as the seniors in this joke, thankfully. She wore glasses but she didn’t have cataracts, which is when the eye gets cloudy limiting your vision. She had practiced yoga, and didn’t have much arthritis, the disease of the joints, so she could turn here head in all directions. She may have been a little crazy in the head, but she never had Alzheimer’s or dementia, so she always knew where she was and why. Can you guess in what sate she lived? Florida, of course, which is no doubt where the seniors in this joke lived. And THAT’s what’s so funny, unless you’re sitting in a car stuck behind one of these drivers.
This joke appeared in the “Planet Procter” column in the 4/12 issue of Funny Times
Listen to the podcast: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1408027-go-granny-go
Check out the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MhiHZvq8zc
HOT TO TROT
FOR SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T LIKE INDIAN FOOD, THAT POLITICIAN SURE IS GOOD AT CURRYING FAVORS.
What’s so funny about this? This is kind of an obvious pun, but I wanted to do it anyway because of the fascinating origin of the expression “curry favor”. But first let’s look at “curry”. As a noun it has a variety of food related meanings. It can be a mixture of spices in powder form; it can be a sauce; or it can be the actually dish itself including spices sauce, meat, vegetable, etc. You can have a chicken curry a, lamb curry, even a spinach curry. Curries are usually associated with India but many other Asian countries have them too. As a verb, however, curry has an entirely different meaning. It means to clean a coat of a horse, or to tan leather. Can’t get much different from that, and that’s because these are really homophones with the same spelling, that originate from very different words. One comes from Dravidian, an Indian language, and the other from French. The idiom “to curry favor” means to be nice to someone in order for them to do something nice for you. Kind of like “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. It is similar to “apple polishing” or “ass kissing,” and we know politicians are great at that. But the idiom comes from a mispronunciation of Favel who was a talking horse in a 13th century French morality tale. Favel managed to deceive and corrupt the aristocracy and clergy of the time. They, in turn, thought that by being extra nice to Favel, by rubbing and cleaning (or currying) his coat, he would help them get rich and powerful. So the original expression was to “curry favel’ which eventually was mispronounced and became “curry favor”. And THAT’s not rip-roaringly funny, but it should bring a smile to your face.
This joke was submitted to Punoftheday.com by Wordsworth, from California
Listen to the podcast at: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1403716-hot-to-trot?playlist_direction=reversed
ALL DAY SUCKER
IF YOU CAN’T SPOT THE SUCKER AT THE POKER TABLE, IT’S PROBABLY YOU
What’s so funny about this? This saying has probably been around as long as the game of poker which itself is at least 200 years old. Nevertheless, it has a certain freshness about it, at least to my ears, since I haven’t heard the expression in a long time. It’s not that difficult to understand. The key word in the expression is the word “sucker”. This word has many meanings, not all of them clean. The verb form is “suck” which goes back to Anglo-Saxon and Olde English and back even further to Old German Dutch and Norse. It’s one of those really basic rootsy kinds of words. Though its sexual meaning only goes back about 100 years, the noun form, “sucker,” goes back to the14th century, only then it referred to a young mammal before it stopped sucking it mother’s teat. In slang usage it goes back to the mid 1800’s, meaning someone who is easily fooled or deceived. The word was made famous by P.T. Barnum the circus guy, who said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Mostly it’s about easily taking someone’s money away from them. There is a fish by the same name that’s very easy to catch and some people thing that’s where the slang expression, sucker, came from. Poker is not as easy as it looks and there’s always some guy who thinks he’s smarter or luckier than the other people at the table, which is where poker is played, in case you didn’t know. This joke is actually a good warning not to be over confident. Even if there are no cheaters at particular poker game, chances are decent that there will be someone at least as smart and as lucky as you. The advice is to not go to a game trying to find the one guy whose money you’re going to win. If you do and you don’t see him, guess what, they’ve been waiting for you. BTW, this joke is true even away from the poker table. And THAT’s what’s so funny!