No joking. Am I joking? I don’t think so. I have come to the conclusion that in this day and age none of the age old formula jokes are safe. Their utterer will indubitably end up within the crosshairs of the politically correct police. Let’s examine some of these long established joke genres.
1 Knock Knock? Who’s there? No way Jose. No way Jose is not part of the joke. I am simply saying that you cannot use this knock knock formula anymore as it likely violates rights to privacy. Nowadays you simply do not dare do that. After all we have never had as much privacy as we have now. Privacy is sacrosanct. Nobody has a clue what we are doing on our computers.
Furthermore the term “Knock” evokes an image of violence. You cannot hit anything, let alone a door. Some folks may feel offended and they’ll have to find a safe room. Maybe that room is behind that door you’re knocking on. Who knows?
2 An Englishman, a Frenchman and a German enter a bar. I don’t care what any of them order at the bar. Any way you pour it some people will rule it out as being racist. I can only imagine there will be a cute punchline after the Englishman orders his scotch, the Frenchman his Champaign and the German his beer. But I will not venture a guess what the punchline will be. Verboten.
3 A close cousin to this genre is “There is a priest, the minister and the rabbi.” Try one of these jokes in places such as some university campuses and you risk getting drawn and quartered. Actually there is a double risk; one for including these three religious representatives and possibly another for actually failing to include reps of other religions. And I don’t even know where agnostics and atheists fall into the picture. The human rights tribunals would have a feast on you.
4 How about the hyperbole joke, such as “it’s so hot that”. Don’t dare touch this one with a 10 foot spatula. If you do you will be making light of climate change. No weather is funny. Pass.
5 Why did the chicken cross the road? Uh uh; animal rights. Ask that one again and you may as well invite PETA to converge on your house with torches and pitchforks.
6 And don’t ask what you get when you cross an elephant with a jar of peanut butter. Triple no no. In addition to knocking animals, sorry make that assailing animals, you are messing with genetically modified organisms. Thirdly you may hear from the allergy associations given that there is a plague of people allergic to peanuts. FYI I might get some slack cut on that one; my son and granddaughter are in that club.
Actually I know the answer to that joke but I’m not talking. Google it. Given your secure privacy status nobody will know.
7 And likely the shortest joke in the English language, the iconic joke, the signature joke of the “King of the one Liners “, Henny Youngman, is definitely taboo. I am talking of course of, “Take my wife, please.” Now was the legendary comedian being sexist or disrespectful to his wife? You tell me. Did you know the two were happily married for 60 years? Just maybe the humour helped cement a marital union of the type you rarely find today.
Can the world lighten up a bit? As legendary humourist Erma Bombeck once said, “When humor goes, there goes civilization.”