It has come to this.
I don’t have an original insight in my head that’s remotely interesting, so maybe I can make you laugh. Holiday weekends tend to do that to me.
These jokes came to mind a few years ago when our pastor at St. Stephen’s told one of them, a variation on one I first stumbled across in 2002 when I learned the results of a survey done by researchers in Great Britain to find the world’s funniest joke.
The joke Father Michael told then took second, but we’ll get to it in a minute.
Here’s the outdoors-related joke that won the global survey. I’ve tweaked it to give it some more local flavor.
A couple of guys from New Jersey are hunting in some Hampshire County woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing; his eyes are rolled back in his head.
The other guy whips out his cell phone and unexpectedly gets a signal strong enough to call 911. He gasps to the operator: “My friend is dead! What can I do?”
The 911 dispatcher, in a calm, soothing voice, says: “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”
There follows a silence; then a shot is heard. The guy’s voice comes back on the line. “OK,” he says. “Now what?”
That’s it — the certifiable funniest joke in the world. The 2nd-place finisher has deep British roots.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner and a bottle of wine, they retire for the night, and go to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful companion.
“Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”
“I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes,” replies Watson.
“And what do you deduce from that?”
Watson ponders for a minute.
“Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.
“Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe.
“What does it tell you, Holmes?”
Holmes is silent for a moment.
“Watson, you idiot!” he says. “Someone has stolen our tent.”
Now, if that’s not your cup of tea, here’s the joke that Americans thought was funniest.
Two men are playing golf one day at their local course.
One of the guys is about to chip onto the 15th green when he sees a long funeral procession on the road next to the course.
He stops in mid-swing, takes off his golf cap, closes his eyes and bows his head in prayer.
His friend says: “Wow! That is the most thoughtful and touching thing I have ever seen. You truly are a kind man.”
The man replies: “Yeah, well we were married 35 years.”
See you next week.