Beyond the Pale

Jim Davidson

Tell us another, Jim!

"What do cats use to keep warm in winter?"
"I don't know Pete, what do cats use to keep warm in winter?"
"Furmal underwear!"

Everybody loves a good joke. Take the above example of a brilliant joke invented by yours truly -- a joke so hilarious that people forget to laugh when I tell it. And that's just the tip of the hilarity iceberg. Every day, millions of people tell millions of jokes on all manner of subjects, ranging from the benign to the bizarre. And the laughter they produce is infectious. Not infectious in the sense of a horrible contagious disease threatening to destroy humanity, but infectious in the good way. More importantly, having a sense of humour is what separates human beings from animals. Don't believe me? Tell a monkey my joke and see if he laughs. He won't laugh, because monkeys are retards.

But jokes can be risky. Many a joker has found himself permanently ostracised from some social circle after misstepping and making a joke which sank faster than a moist fart on a cold day. It may surprise you to learn that I myself have made the fatal mistake of trying to brighten up a dark moment with the light of laughter, only to be told to get out of the playground and take my John Wayne Gacy costume with me. But I have learnt my lesson the hard way, and I now feel it is my duty to relay my wisdom to you, my loyal yet simple reader. If you've ever found yourself thinking, "this cancer joke sounds hilarious in my head but I'm not sure if telling it to my leukemic sister would be a good idea," then hopefully this article will encourage you to make the right decision. In that particular case you'll be pleased to know that it is almost certainly a good idea.

1) Misogynistic jokes

Example:

Q: How many women does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One. All she has to do is ask a man to change it for her, because women are incompetent!

The staple of any pub, home or workplace, the misogynistic joke is still a mainstay in the British comedy vernacular. Be it an implication of feminine ineptitude, carelessly trampling over centuries of equal rights campaigning, or the objectification of a woman and subsequently detailing her participation in a degrading sexual encounter, there are few people who won't find a misogynistic quip hilarious. Cracking this kind of joke will make you a true machismo hero; a bastion of manliness to be adored by whomever is in the vicinity. You will win the respect of men and women alike, whose initial protestations will subside in a haze of laughter.

There's rarely an occasion where sexism is inappropriate, but you might get into hot water if you make this joke in front of a group of rowdy lesbian feminists. Here, your best option is to pretend you're being postmodern and the joke is actually on men in some roundabout fashion. Either way, you get the last laugh, and on a group of stupid dykes to boot! Am I right guys!

2) Racist jokes

Example:

Q: What's the difference between Jews and blacks?
A: Jews have lots of money and blacks have thick lips!

Whilst jokes about women are all well and good, they are limited in their scope as their target is one single demographic. Racist jokes widen the net, providing literally hundreds of different nationalities, ethnicities and religions to mock and lampoon, with hilarious results. But you have to tread carefully. Telling a joke like the one above may offend those with "politically correct" sensibilities, and so are best told in the company of either staunch nationalists, upper-class bigots, or David Cameron. Oh wait...

3) Jokes about topical emotive subjects

Example:

Q: Who do you call if you want to rearrange the furniture in your classroom at Virigina Tech?
A: Cho Feng-shui!

No one courts controversy better than a court jester, and that's what you'll be if you start barking up this comedy tree. Exploiting people's heartfelt emotions whilst a recent tragedy is still etched into their minds is a surefire way to score big laughs. And the larger the tragedy, the funnier the jokes! Holocaust jokes had comedians in the 1940s laughing all the way to the bank, and there's nothing stopping you cashing in on the latest school shooting or natural disaster. Don't forget, these jokes are also providing a public service: by making people laugh about horrific events, they'll learn to get over them and get on with their lives, even if the tragedy seems insurmountable. Never hesitate to dig into the comedy goldmine which is jokes about topical emotive subjects. Every tragedy is a nugget from God!

4) Scatological and/or fart jokes

Example:

Q: What's brown and sticky?
A: The massive turd I just did in your bed!

If there's something funnier than the excretion of either faeces or gas from the anus of a fellow human being, I'd like to know what it is. Although people may consider themselves to be cultured and intelligent, let's face it, despite millions of years of evolution we are basically still monkeys (please now disregard my earlier statement about monkeys). As such we have a fascination with all things anal and the mention of anything coming out of a posterior is enough to send even the most uptight of people in side-splitting, shit-spilling fits of laughter. The more explicit and depraved you can be, the better. Scat jokes are guaranteed laughs with anyone except the elderly, most of whom find the concept of pooing so disgusting that it might actually kill them.

5) Dead baby jokes

Example:

Q: What's funnier than a dead baby?
A: Nothing.

That example joke pretty much sums up the whole field of dead baby jokes. An internet favourite for many a year, it's a simple fact of life that taking the description of a grisly death and introducing a baby to that scenario is incredibly funny. There are thousands of websites dedicated to documenting dead baby jokes, just so you'll always have plenty at your disposal. However, dead baby jokes are not always ideal for your given situation. The following example scenarios should steer your judgement in the right course:

And so concludes my whistle-stop guide to the world of tasteless jokes and when not to use them. Although there are too many examples to iterate through, there is basically one guiding principle when telling a joke: you must consider whether you'd be comfortable telling it to your mother. If you wouldn't be, then you should tell the joke because it's bound to be edgy and therefore riotously hilarious. Then tell it to your mother anyway and see her face light up. We all need a little laughter in our lives.

Permalink || Posted 3/5/2007 by Pete

5 comments »«

  1. davo - 3/5/2007 - 1:10am

    what kind of porn does a gay necrophilliac poo-fetishist with a lisp like?

    MR SCATMAN PORN!

    Not only does it tick your scat and topical boxes, but it works on so many levels!

  2. davo2 - 3/5/2007 - 1:30pm

    I apologise, I mean 'Scatman John Porn'

  3. Mrs Bigley - 3/5/2007 - 2:17pm

    I'm ashamed of you, Peter. No mention of my dear Ken? Everyone loves to laugh their head off about my good ol' Ken.

    P.S. Get a hair cut.

  4. sarah - 4/5/2007 - 3:18pm

    well, pete, i found this blog highly amusing

    ITS LIKE ONE BIG JOKE ON ITSELF

  5. favedave - 7/5/2007 - 1:26am

    There was no doubt in my mind that when you described this blog as "jokes" you meant it.

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