USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘dirty’
Humor
Legends
Narrative

Irish Pub Joke

“So my family’s Irish and so my dad knows a bunch of Irish shit that he brushed up on when we went to Ireland. So he told this joke to a lot of people in Ireland. And it’s:

An American walks into a bar in somewhere in Ireland and sits next to a really old guy drinking a beer. And the old guy’s like, “Did you see that wall on your way into town?” And the guy’s like, “Yeah.” And the old man’s like, “I built that wall with my own two hands. But do they call me O’Grady the Mason? Noooo.” Then he’s like, “Did you see those cabinets on your way into the bar?” And the guy’s like, “Yeah.” And the old man’s like, “I build those cabinets with me own two hands. But do they call me O’Grady the Carpenter? Noooo.” Then he says, “Did you see the iron gates on the way into town?” And the guy’s like, “Yeah.” And the old man’s like, “I built those gates with me own two hands. But do they call me O’Grady the Smith? Noooo. But you fuck one goat…”

The informant told me this joke in an Irish accent. He was excited when he remembered the joke, because it’s one of his favorites. I think he likes being part Irish (he said that his great-grandfather came here from Ireland), so this joke reminds him of his heritage. It also reminds him of his trip to Ireland last year, of which he has fond memories. Furthermore, the joke is a little dirty, so as a 23 year old, the informant understands and appreciates the more mature humor. I quote, “It’s fucking hilarious”. The informant learned the joke from his father, who learned it in an attempt to reconnect with his Irish heritage. Folklore can form powerful ties when it comes to heritage, ethnicity, and nationalism. Learning and understanding the jokes of a culture can make someone feel a closer connection with that culture, because humor is often culture-specific. Thus, both the informant and his father use this joke to feel more Irish.

I have met many people who are proud of their “Irish heritage”, even though they weren’t born in Ireland and may never have even been there. I think it’s more common when those people’s parents have also been proud of the link to Ireland, so they grew up hearing about their Irish heritage. So it makes sense that both the informant and his father feel this connection to Ireland and therefore love the joke. I found the joke funny, although I didn’t get it right away. I’m not Irish at all, so that could have something to do with it. The joke mentions various jobs that the Irish hold, including mason, carpenter, and smith. There jobs all involve manual labor and skilled hands. It reflects a big part of the economy in Ireland, as least before industrialization. The Irish would mainly work with their hands for money, because that’s what the culture and geographical constraints pushed them to. The joke also mentions a goat, because goats are common on Irish farms, and the people there interact with more often than here in LA for example. It’s funny that the old man had sex with a goat because it’s weird, which is half of why the joke is successful. The other half is because of the repetition of the pattern three times, a magic number in western culture. Overall, I think the joke is amusing.

Customs
Folk Beliefs
general

Arab Belief: Soles of Shoes

“For a lot of Middle Eastern people, you can’t- you can’t put them so that the soles are facing up because the bottom of your foot is the lowest part of your body, the most dirty, the um..and if you put your shoe facing up, it’s like an insult to God.”

The informant is a Middle East Studies major at the University of Southern California. She says she learned this folk belief within the last year while studying various beliefs of people in the Middle East. This was a response to the belief in Thai culture that the feet are considered dirty and the head contains knowledge. This Middle Eastern belief as the soles being dirty and as an insult to God is an oicotype of the Thai belief, but adapted to its own culture. While the Thai belief believes that it is rude to other human beings in general to point one’s feet at, pointing soles of shoes towards the sky does not offend other humans in the Middle East, but God. It is a regional variant on the folklore that reveals the nature of each culture.

general
Humor

Joke – American

“There once was a man from Nantucket

Whose cock was so long he could suck it

He said with a grin as he whipped off his chin

If my ass was a cunt I could fuck it”

My informant first heard this joke from a fraternity brother when in college at the University of Southern California.  The fraternity brother, Jimmy Houseberg, told my informant the joke one night at the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity house.  My informant wasn’t sure how the second informant heard about the joke, but he did know that the joke has been passed down from a few generations.

This joke is very vulgar, but extremely hilarious at the same time.  It has a few words that are very inappropriate for anyone under the age of about 16; therefore, this joke can be classified as an adult joke.  The purpose of this joke is to pretend to tell a story, but in reality it is just a rhyming dirty joke.  The part of this rhyme that I find extremely unique is that all the body parts that are being described are ones of a male except for in the last sentence, but that sentence is just describing what the male wants his body part to be.

The reason why this joke is important in my informant’s life is because of one reason: my informant is a CPA and gets really stressed, so a simple joke helps get rid of a little stress that my informant has.  This is why my informant is so jovial.  He has an extremely tough job so in order to live a life without anger, he decides to get rid of stress by telling jokes and laughing at them.  One little joke can go a long way in helping one’s health.

When I interviewed my informant, I asked to hear a dirty joke, and he hesitated for a while because he didn’t want to say the joke, for the sole reason that he didn’t want it published.  Then once he obliged to tell a dirty joke, he couldn’t think of what the joke was.  Then finally the joke came to him and after saying the rhyme, he slammed the newspaper on a nearby table exclaiming, “Yes! I knew I could remember it!” When asked his reaction to the joke, my informant states that he thinks the joke “is a classic.”  It is very interesting to note the situation in which the joke was told.  My informant and I were on the couch, so he was relaxed which truly shows that jokes help my informant ease some stress.

When I first heard this joke I thought it was really funny because of all the vulgar words.  Also, I find it interesting how one joke can be so dirty, but at the same time so comedic.  I love how my informant can remember so many jokes.  It shows that my informant is a funny man and I am proud to have him as my father.

general
Humor
Narrative

Joke

Slim’s Dirty Joke

“A girl playing golf came home and her husband said to her, ‘how was your game?’. She said, ‘not too cool’. He said, ‘what happened?’. She said, ‘I got stung by a bee’. He said, ‘where?’. She said ‘between the first and second hole’. He said, ‘maybe your stance was too wide!’

To give a proper interpretation of this joke, I first have to give a proper explanation of whom it came from. Slim is a homeless man very notorious around USC. He usually can be found at the corner of 28th and Figueroa hollering at all the students who instantly recognize him and usually reply with a “Hi Slim!”. There have been articles written about him in the Daily Trojan and someone even created a facebook for him, to which Slim proudly tells everyone about.

He told me this joke in exchange for three dollars, to which I happily obliged. He told this joke to me and I was impressed. Although Slim is homeless and enjoys the daily case of beer and whatever else, he told me this joke, which not only has a good punch line, but it derives from a dual meaning inside a multi dimensional joke. The humor in the joke comes from the fact that the husband misinterpreted the wife’s account of the location of the bee sting. While it is probably obvious, the wife was referring to the first and second hole on the golf course, while the husband read her description as telling the location on her body in which she was stung. I do not want to go into too much detail about the whereabouts of the husband’s belief of the location of the sting, but the punch line concludes that it is within a close distance of the woman’s genitalia.

This joke can be classified as a “dirty joke” or a “sex joke”. It does not completely surprise me that Slim chose a joke from this category, as he often tries to get a peek up female students’ skirts. However, dirty jokes are a very popular genre of jokes in the present time because they are a bit of a taboo and perhaps because sex is something enjoyed by a very large age range and percent of the population. While it came from a homeless man, I could have easily gotten many similar jokes from people of all professions and age ranges if I had asked. In the past, my parents have even told me dirty jokes.

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