For Audience Participation Friday last week I solicited unfunny jokes, and you, the readership, rose to the occasion with some jokes that were thoroughly unamusing. Having suffered through that together, I thought it might be good to cleanse our palates, so to speak, with some jokes that are actually funny. So for this Audience Participation Friday the question is this: Heard any good jokes lately?
I’ll get things started with one of my favorites, which concerns a surly turtle on a picnic. Three turtles went on a picnic. Being turtles, it took them ten days to get from their house to the picnic site, which was out in the countryside. When they finally got to thei spot beside the river, they began to unpack the basket. They pulled out the sandwiches, the potato salad, the baked beans, the slaw, the apples, the root beer. That’s when they realized that they had left the bottle opener at home. Accusations flew; each turtle thought it was somebody else’s fault that they had left the bottle opener at home. At last, however, they decided that it didn’t much matter whose fault it was; they would draw straws to determine who would have to schlep back to the house for the bottle opener. The turtle who drew the short straw was furious. “It’s not my fault that we don’t have a bottle opener,” he said.

“But we agreed,” said one of the other turtles. “It doesn’t matter who left the bottle opener; that’s why we were drawing straws; one of us has to go back, and it turned out to be you.”

“All right,” said the unlucky turtle. “I’ll go. But you have to promise me one thing.”

“What’s that?” asked the other turtles.

“You have to promise not to eat the picnic until I get back.”

It was so agreed, and the turtle left to fetch the bottle opener. Ten days passed, then fifteen, then twenty, and the two remaining turtles eyed first the picnic, then the horizon whence they expected to see the third turtle come. “It’s about time for him to be getting back,” the one turtle said to the other. “Ten days there, ten days back.” He looked at the repacked picnic basket with longing. “I sure could use a bite to eat,” he said.

“We made a promise,” said the other turtle. “We said we wouldn’t eat the picnic until he got back.”

Twenty-two days passed, then twenty-three, then twenty-four. “I’m not sure he’s coming back,” said the one turtle. “He’s had more than enough time to get there and back. I’m mighty hungry,” he said, caressing the top of the picnic basket.

“I don’t see what it would hurt if we had half a sandwich each to tide us over,” said the other turtle.

“He wouldn’t want us to starve to death, would he?” the other asked rhetorically.

So they opened the picnic basket, pulled out a sandwich, unwrapped it, and cut it in half. Just as they were raising their half-sandwiches to their lips, the third turtle jumped out from behind a rock. “AHA!” he shouted. “I knew you wouldn’t wait! I’m not going.”

  • Dan Kulp
    11:35 AM, 29 October 2010

    (I almost put this on last weeks list, except I like it)What’s red & smells like blue paint? – Red paint

  • Dryad
    1:25 PM, 29 October 2010

    This is complicated grammatically, and SOME people don’t think it’s funny, but you should judge for yourselves.This sentence does not contain any of the direct objects it could contain.

  • Jonathan Rogers
    3:02 PM, 29 October 2010

    You’re saying there are some people who don’t find that joke funny, Dryad? What’s this world coming to when people don’t find complicated grammatical puzzles funny? Actually, I’m still a little dizzy from the convolutions of that sentence. As Mike Tyson once said, that scrutinizes with my brain.

  • Jonathan Rogers
    3:07 PM, 29 October 2010

    OK, I’ve got another joke: A woman answers the doorbell one day to find a snail on her doorstep. “Eeek!” she says, and she flings the snail out into the yard. Three weeks later the doorbell rings again. When the woman opens the door, there’s the snail again, who says, “What was that all about?”

  • sally apokedak
    5:59 PM, 29 October 2010

    Well, sorry, Dryad, but your sentence didn’t make me even crack a smile. Jonathan’s response, on the other hand…. So take heart. You’re a good straight man.
    Umm, Jonathan what is with the preoccupation with slow-moving critters today? Is there some connection with the book you’re presently writing? Having a hard time getting the plot moving?

  • Joe
    6:23 PM, 29 October 2010

    A priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and asks, “Is this a joke?”

  • Patrick
    6:46 PM, 29 October 2010

    Well… I already told you the brick joke I posted last week is my favorite. But I added it to the unfunny list, because- although it is quite hilarious to the teller tricking the audience into guessing the wrong answer – the audience still doesn’t laugh out loud for some reason. Especially if they are the kind of audience who are actually trying to give away the punch-line before the teller of the joke does. That’s the kind of audience I usually get. I love jokes. Here’s another good one:
    There once was a frog named Kermit Jagger. He was at the bank because he needed a loan for a new car, and he presented this request to the teller whose name was Patricia Whack.

    Patricia responds, “Do you have any collateral?”

    Kermit pulls out a gorgeous little porcelain pink elephant, “will this do?” he asks.

    “Ummm… one moment please”, Patricia turns and hurries off to find the manager. She soon returns with a man to whom she asks “what do you think of this?” gesturing toward the elephant.

    The manager replies “It’s a knick-knack, Patty Whack, give the frog a loan. His old man’s a Rolling Stone.”

  • Canaan Bound
    3:07 PM, 30 October 2010

    What goes clickety-clack, clickety-clack, BANG!, clickety-clack, clickety-clack, BANG!????

    (An Amish drive-by shooting.)

  • Dan Kulp
    1:01 PM, 1 November 2010

    What do you say to a one legged hitch-hiker? Hop In. (no offense to one legged hitch-hikers or those with a tendancy to hop)

  • Sarah B C
    1:38 PM, 1 November 2010

    What do you get when you cross an insomniac, an agnostic, and a dyslexic?Someone who’s up all night wondering if there is a dog.

  • Mark Geil
    12:44 AM, 2 November 2010

    I remember about one joke a year. Here’s this year’s joke. Unfortunately, it’s the type you have to say out loud.
    Guy walks into his psychiatrist’s office and says, frantically, “I’m a wigwam! I’m a teepee! I’m a wigwam! I’m a teepee!”

    Psychiatrist says, “I’ll tell you one thing. You’re too tense.”

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