DOGS ARE FOREVER IN THE PUSH-UP POSITION – MITCH HEDBERG
What’s so funny about this? – Mitch Hedberg, the creator if this joke reminds me of Steven Wright another comedian with great one-liners. Their jokes are not at all similar, yet they both look at the world through a lens of their own distortion. They see funny things in everyday, uneventful events and situations. I guess all comics do that to a certain extent, but these guys do it with short crisp one-liners that hit the nail right on the head. In other words, they know how to make point without going into excruciating detail, much as an abstract or impressionist painter, photographer or musician and writer. As you can tell, this is an art I have yet to master. But just because I can’t do it, doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it. We’ve had dogs in our house for almost twenty years, plus I had them when I was a kid. Yet Hedberg’s observations never remotely occurred to me, and believe me, I’ve spent PLENTY of time looking at my own and other dogs. When they are in the “down position” dogs do look exactly the way people do when they are about to do push-ups, not that they ever actually do them. Though I suppose they could be trained to do so. Dogs instinctively know how to exercise; they don’t go out and hire personal trainers. Sadly, people will go out and do just that even though the dog couldn’t care less. It’s all about the owners and not the dogs. That’s not funny but the joke is.
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BEAM ME UP
The angry construction worker realized he’d better take a break before he fastened the site inspector to a steel column. He GIVES IT A REST before he RIVETS A GUEST
What’s so funny about this? I realize that this spoonerism is stretching things a bit, but I think it’s still legitimate. Yes the spelling changes but spoonerisms can be based on sounds too and sometimes odd spellings make the spoonerisms that much more fun. The other thing that I had to stretch a bit was the context. “Give it a rest” is a common idiom and can be applicable to many situations. Most often it means, stop doing whatever annoying thing you’re doing.” Take a break, relax, take a chill pill, etc. But the second part of the spoonerism is much more complicated and more than a little creepy or gory. After all, guests are usually other humans and we don’t normally use rivets and rivet guns on other people unless we mean to do them harm. Of course we might often fantasize doing harm to someone who is bothering or annoying us, but rarely, if ever would we act on it. That’s what the situation is in the joke. We have a construction worker who has to interact with a “site inspector.” No I’m not talking about an eye doctor, though that would be a good pun. I’m spelling site s-i-t-e, meaning location. It’s the word commonly used to refer to a place or location where building is taking place. A site inspector is that guy that a city, or municipality sends to a job site, a work site, a construction site to make sure that the workers are following the proper safety procedures on the job. In most cases they do, but some construction companies will “cut corners.” This does not mean that they damage the building buy eliminating the corners. It’s an idiom referring to some procedures which are less than perfectly safe but are less expensive than correct safety measures. So the company saves a little money but endangers the safety of the workers. It’s the site inspector’s job to find these kinds of problems and solve them quickly. But they frequently are not trusted by the workers and inspectors often “have their hands out”, looking for a bribe to look the other way. That’s why workers and inspectors are frequently antagonistic towards each other. In the joke, the construction worker realized he was getting too angry at the inspector but he still fantasized about riveting the inspector to one of the high beams. And THAT’s what’s so funny!
FULL OF IT
John Deere’s manure spreader is the only equipment the company won’t stand behind.
What’s so funny about this? John Deere, in case you don’t know was an American blacksmith and manufacturer who founded Deere & Company, one of the largest and leading agricultural and construction equipment manufacturers in the world. He lived from 1804 to1886. This company makes tractors, plows, hay bailers and all kinds of heavy equipment you’ve never heard of unless you live on a farm and can afford all this mechanized farming stuff. I’m not saying it isn’t any good, and I’m not saying it’s not necessary or helpful. I am saying it’s expensive. So it depends on how wealthy a farmer you are. The John Deere Company is very proud of all the machines they manufacture. People refer to the company as if it were an actual man, John Deere. He was, once, of course, but no more. A common way for a company to indicate their pride and confidence in their products is to say they STAND BEHIND their products. One of the better machines that Deere produces is a manure spreader. Manure, or animal feces, is a common ingredient in fertilizer, the stuff farmers put on plants to help them grow more and better. Spreading this manure used to be done by hand. As you can imagine it was not a job most famers relished, or liked. It was pretty stinky, I’m sure. So to have a machine that can spread the manure for them was probably a big help. However, as the joke points out, even though John Deere stands behind all of their equipment, the manure spreader is the one exception. It works very well, they should be proud. They just don’t want to stand behind it. Old John doesn’t want to be accused of being full of shit. And THAT’s what’s so funny!
Listen to my audioboo: https://audioboo.fm/boos/1773013-full-of-it
CATCHING SOME ZZZ’S
"I HAVEN’T SLEPT FOR TEN DAYS, BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE TOO LONG." — MITCH HEDBERG
What’s so funny about this? This kind of joke is officially known as a “paraprosdokian”.
This is a Greek word that means “against expectation.” It refers to a sentence where there is a funny shift in the intentional meaning. The guy who told the joke was Mitch Hedberg, a young comedian, who sadly died before his time. Perhaps the joke is a premonition that he’d better not spend too much time in bed, because he didn’t have a lot of time to waste on this earth. The set-up is very simple; Mitch tells us that he hasn’t slept for ten days. 99 times out of 100, if you heard that your reaction would be that this guy must be completely exhausted from lack of sleep. That’s because we all tend to focus on the first part of the sentence, that part that says he hasn’t slept. We all know how important sleep is and insomnia, or the inability to fall asleep, is common. Mitch was counting on us all to have this reaction to the set-up. That’s why he can hit us with his zinger of a punchline “because that would be too long.” Our immediate reaction will be “Huh?” rather than a laugh, because we were not expecting that shift in meaning. It’s when we go back to re-examine the first part of the joke that we realize he’s talking not about not sleeping but simply saying that he was not asleep for ten days. Now it makes sense and we can agree that, yeah, 10 days IS too long to sleep. And we can laugh at ourselves for being fooled. And THAT’s what’s so funny!
Listen to my audioboo: https://audioboo.fm/boos/1769265-catching-some-zzz-s
CAN YOU GUESS THE EXPRESSION?
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