Sincerely Sire Newsletter-November 2002

The Joker

The other night Roe and I were out to dinner with some very good friends of ours, and I told a joke, the one that was touted by America On Line as the “funniest joke in the world.” You’ve probably heard it by now, but just in case you haven’t:

These two men were hunting in the forest, and one of them fell to the ground and his eyes rolled back in his head and he appeared to stop breathing. Terrified, his pal whipped out his cell phone and dialed 911. “My friend just collapsed and I think he’s dead. What should I do?”

“Just stay calm,” the operator said. “First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

“Okay,” the man said and put down the phone. There was a long pause and then the operator heard a gun shot over the phone.

The man came back on the line and said, “Okay, now what?”

Well, this got a pretty good laugh, and then I asked Lisa, our friend, to tell a joke. She, couldn’t/wouldn’t do it. “Ah, come on,” I said, “just one joke. We can all tell one joke.” I figured it would be a good way to get the evening started, but she couldn’t/wouldn’t do it.

“Hey, lay off her,” Roe said. I never tell jokes either. Have you ever heard me tell a joke?” As I crunched off a few inches of my breadstick, I contemplated the last 27 years with my wife, and was shocked to recollect that she had, indeed, never told one single joke. She just laughed at mine.

“You’re right,” I admitted, taking another bite of my bread stick right in the middle of my epiphany, “you never have told one solitary joke.” At this point Lisa’s husband, Joe, could contain himself no longer and reeled off about ten jokes in row, none of which I can repeat here.

The more I thought about it, not only could I not remember Roe ever telling a joke, I could never remember any woman telling a joke. I guess that’s because when women say something they mean it. Like when Roe says, “Turn off the TV.”

Women just seem to be indulging us men by listening to and laughing at our (stupid?) jokes. Whereas on the flip side, almost every guy I’ve ever known, has got a least one or two good jokes for me, and vice versa.

Is this a genetic thing? Am I on to something here? Is it the same as the way most men enjoy watching football and most women don’t? Are men hardwired from birth to remember and tell jokes and women aren’t?

I asked Roe about my theory, and she said it sounded stupid; that she wasn’t hardwired any different than I was. She said she just had better things to do than remember and tell dumb jokes.

“But life would be so boring without a good joke now and then,” I said.

“Well, of course, I know that,” she replied. Why do you think I married you?”                

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