Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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There’s a terrible joke…

Yes, too terrible for even me to relate in its entirety. Ponder THAT for a moment!

It isn’t that the joke is scandalous, highly sexualized, or derogatory to a specific ethnic group; it’s just that it’s the most painfully contrived joke I’ve ever heard, all in the pursuit of a most unworthy payoff.

I heard it from my older brother, who picked it up God knows where. I do not say that in order to pin any undue blame upon him because the truth is that both he and I laughed ourselves sick over the joke when we first heard it. I’m guessing I was about 10 or 11 years old at the time, so this memory actually cheers me up — it makes me realize how far I’ve come in my appreciation of the funnier things in life.

I stated at the outset that I wouldn’t tell you the joke, and I’m sticking to that pledge. I will, however, give you part of the setup, which should convince you that I needn’t complete the task. Here you go:

A woman inherits a large estate. The name of the place is Hairy Butt. She also has a dog that she names Crack…

That’s as far as I’m going. To be clear – that’s just the setup; it’s not the funny part (feel free to make air quotes when reading the last two words of that sentence). It’s one of those jokes, i.e., one that requires an excruciatingly forced group of key words that will show up as part of the punch line; insisting that the listener suspend all impulses to question the joke’s logic or complete the joke ahead of time. It’s the kind of joke made up by someone who likes to laugh but who has failed to ponder any of the nuances of joke construction. Either that or it was made up by someone whose aesthetic growth stalled when they were about five years old and whose threshold for laughter is extremely low.

There is no grand summation to this story, except that it offers a glimpse into how we once thought and offers an opportunity to compare it to our present-day sensibilities.

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