SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT
What’s so funny about this? I was debating with myself whether or not to do this particular joke, because it’s a bit on the technical side. I’m not talking about electronic technology, but rather the techniques of playing music and the specific terminology which is known only by musicians and serious fans and aficionados. In the painting we see a sleeping violinist, or perhaps a violist or older string instrument player. He’s asleep, confirming a stereotype that musicians are all lazy. They’d rather sit around and make and play music all day than have honest hardworking jobs. Of course, when they’re not playing then they are sleeping. A least this is an old stereotype. But maybe this guy was playing at some rich aristocrat’s party all night long and not allowed to go home. He might just be plain exhausted. Who knows? We can’t really say. However the joke tells us that someone, perhaps the orchestra conductor or the aristocrat, told him to shake “allegro”. Allegro is a musical term meaning fast and lively. But it is also a pun on the expression “shake a leg,” which means to hurry up. The musician was also told that if he didn’t shake allegro he should make himself scherzo. “Scherzo” is another musical term for a light and lively piece of music. In addition it’s a pun on the expression, “make yourself scarce,” in other words, “go away”. Tough boss, but at least you, the reader, get two puns for the price of one. And THAT’s what’s so funny!
This joke was submitted to punoftheday.com by Kap’n Klystron, from Newburgh, NY
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CAN YOU GUESS THIS IDIOMATIC EXPRESSION?
PILLAR OF STRENGTH
What’s so funny about this? I suspect that this is a very old joke, but I must confess that I’ve never heard it before reading it today. I got an immediate kick out of it so I decided to share it with those of you who are as ignorant as I. Of course, you do need to be familiar with the Old Testament of the Bible and the character of Samson. Muslims are familiar with him as well. Samson was supposed to be the strongest man who ever lived. But he had a secret and that was that his strength came from his hair. Don’t ask me what the connection was. He met a beautiful woman named Delilah who was actually a spy for his enemies. She got him to reveal the secret of his strength and one night she cut off his hair and he lost his super strength. He got arrested and chained to a temple, where he was supposed to die. However, his hair grew back and with it his strength so he was able to pull down the pillars to which he was chained and it brought the whole temple down on himself and upon those who wanted him dead. These pillars in front of the temple formed an arch at the top of the temple. This is one reason we say he diedof fallen arches. The other reason is that an “arch” is also the name given to the curve of the sole of the bottoms of your feet. For many people this curve flattens out later in life, and some are even born without an arch or curved sole. This condition is known either as flat feet or fallen arches. Samson might have had a progressively worsening case of fallen arches which also may have contributed to his death. One way or another it was his arches that did him in. And THAT’s what’s so funny, sort of.
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What’s so funny about this? This is at least the second time I’ve used this well-known picture of dogs playing poker. It’s always been a favorite of mine. It hung in the basement of the house in which I grew up. We had a half/finished basement. The finished side had a tile floor, wood paneling, a bar with all kinds of liquor bottles and best of all, a green felt poker table, just like the one in the painting. My parents used this kind of rec (recreation) room, maybe three to four times a year, usually for one big party and then for the occasional card party, where the men would play poker or pinochle in the basement and the wives would play canasta or rummy upstairs on the dining room table. I’d make the rounds from game to game trying to glom spare change. Later, when I was in high school, I’d have friends over to play poker on the same table. In the picture, we see the dogs playing poker. One dog asks what seems to be a reasonable question about the order of winning hands. “When does a flush beat a full house”? If you are not familiar with the game of poker and its rules, then it’s too complicated to go into here. Suffice it to say that you win if your particular combination of cards is higher than or “beats” the other combinations of cards that people have. Altogether there are 10 combination types. These combinations are based on the odds of being dealt five cards of a certain combination. A “flush” is one of these combinations. It’s when all the cards in your hand are of the same suit (color and shape). It’s a pretty strong combination or hand, but hardly the highest. It beats 5 lower combinations. A “full house” is the next higher combination. It consists of a pair and three of a kind. It will always beat a flush. However the question posed suggests that there is an exception to this rule. The answer is the punch line and the pun. A flush is also what you do after you have had a bowel movement in a toilet. You press a handle on the toilet and water is released to flush or wash away the excrement. But if your toilet is broken then it cannot flush. If you try to do so, water will come out of the toilet and you will have a house full of water and excrement. So clearly a flush is preferable to this kind of full house. And THAT’s what’s so funny!
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