USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘long joke’
Humor

Professor of Logic Joke

The following is a narrative joke told to me by a friend, informally called ‘The Professor of Logic.’ On asking me if I had heard it, which I hadn’t, he insisted on telling it.

 

He proceeded to tell it as such:

 

“This guy Chuck goes over to his neighbor, who’s just moved in. He tells him the usual,

“Hi, just wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood, what’s your name?”

 The guy’s like “Hi, I’m Jerry.”

 

Eventually they get to what they do. Chuck goes “I’m a plumber.”

The other guy says he’s a professor of logic at a university.

 

Chuck asks him,

“What do you teach?”

“I’m a professor of logic.”

“What do you mean by that?”

 

And the professor says,

“Let me give you an example. Do you have a doghouse?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Well, then I’d assume you have a dog.”

“Yeah.”

 

“Well, you know, when dogs have dog houses, and they live in them, that means you have a few kids, and it’s theirs and they take care of it.”

“I do have kids. Two of ‘em actually.”

 

“Alright, you got kids. That usually means you’re married. To a woman, in most cases.”

“Yeah, I’m married to a woman.

“Well, then you’re a heterosexual male.”

“I am, that’s right.”

 

“Now you see. Just by asking you if you have a doghouse, I was able to determine you’re a heterosexual male.”

Chuck just goes, “Wow! That’s unbelievable.” And he leaves, impressed.

 

The next day, our guy Chuck, the main one, not the professor, he’s hustling to get to the bus stop.

So, he gets there. Sees this guy next to him, he asks him if the bus has already come.

 

“No, it hasn’t.”

Chuck says oh, guess we’ll just have to wait a few minutes, then.

And, uh, the other guy lights up a cigarette and jokingly says “As soon as I light this cigarette, I bet the bus is gonna show up.”

Sure enough, he lights it, and the bus comes around the corner.

 

Chuck, amazed again, asks him if he’s a professor of logic. The guy with the cigarette doesn’t know what that means, he asks Chuck to explain.

 

Chuck doesn’t quite know how, and he says,

“Here, let me give you an example.”

“Sure, what”

“You have a doghouse?”

“No.”

“Oh, you must be one of them gays!”

 

This joke is interesting in its mix of initially intriguing intelligence (regarding the professor of logic’s deductive reasoning) that is later subverted by the stupidity of a person who has completely misinterpreted the meaning of what he’s learned, made only clear with the last line. Given its relative lengthiness in needing to be told over the course of one or two full minutes, the building leading into the final punchline is provided a greater level of anticipation given the relative lack of humorous bits leading up to it. This serves to create a complex, but highly example of a classic punchline-based joke where the sum of the humor is comprised of an ending that only works as a result of the lines that come before it.

general
Humor
Narrative

The Monk Joke

Transcribed Text:

“So there was a little boy who lived with his mom. The mom loved the little kid, they got along pretty well and uh…for the kid’s fifth birthday, she got him a brand new shiny red tricycle. He loved it, it was the best gift he had ever gotten. And um..she told him, ‘now you can ride that tricycle in the yard, and in the driveway, but don’t go out on the sidewalk with that, I want you staying in the house!’ (he gestures his hand at an imaginary child, mimicking the mother’s actions). And the kid goes ‘ok..’ and he spends the day riding it around all around the yard, and all around the yard, but he just really wants to go out onto the sidewalk. And he does. He goes out into the sidewalk and gets run over by a Great Dane and breaks his leg. And..so, they take him to the hospital and he gets a cast on the leg and he’s like ‘aww..’ and the mother says ‘I told you, don’t go out on the sidewalk.’ And as they come back from the hospital, they pass by a monastery. uh..like for monks. And they, they’re walking past the monastery, or hobbling in his case, and they uh, the monk outside says ‘please, stay with us tonight, and you will be completely healed.’ And they feel something is right about this, and they do stay. And the monk says, you can stay, you’ll be healed, but you can’t ask me about the noise you will hear in the middle of the night. ‘ok…’ and so they stay, and hear a strange noise in the middle of the noise. But when they wake up, he is completely healed. So they’re like ‘ok, fine by me! Completely healed!’ Years go by, he’s forgotten this by now and he turns ten. And his mom gets him a brand new shiny red bicycle. It’s awesome, best bike, like a shwinn cruiser, delightful bike. She says ‘you can ride it all around the house, all around the yard,all around the driveway and up and down the sidewalk as much as you want, but just don’t cross the street and don’t go into the street.’ And he’s like ‘ok’ and he spends the day riding all around the block and all up and down his driveway, but he just wants to go out into the street. So he goes out into the street and gets hit by a door of a smart car as it opens and breaks his leg. And so, they take him to the hospital and the mom goes ‘come on, I told you! Don’t do that!’ and he’s like ‘I knooow.’ And as they’re coming back from the hospital, they pass by the monastery again and the monk says the same thing. ‘If you stay here tonight, you will be completely healed, just do not ask about the noise.’ And they do, and he’s completely healed. But that noise, they just have to know. It’s a noise, a noise unlike anything you’ve ever heard..It’s-it’s indescribable what this noise is. But again, they pay it no mind,  because he was completely healed. Now, years and years and years go by from that, and it’s, it’s the kids twentieth birthday. He’s away from home now, but his mom gets him a brand new shiny red corvet. Now this is a big deal, this is a very big deal. She says ‘ you know what, you can go wherever you want with this. But just please, don’t race it.’ And, and he spends the whole next week now, he has a little bit more ability to hold back. He spends the whole next week driving around, he takes it out on the streets, he takes it out on the freeway, but he gets a chance to race it. A guy revs his engine next to him at a red light and he races it, and he gets in a crash. And somehow miraculously, just breaks his leg. He goes to the hospital, this time by himself. On his way back, he remembers the monk from that time, ten years ago, and he shows up and the monk is there, ten years older! He says ‘ you can stay here, you just can’t ask about the noise.’ And he does, he stays there, he’s completely healed, but he just has to know about the noise. And he goes up to the monk and he’s like ‘what is that noise?’ And the monk says ‘I’m sorry, I cannot tell you. That is a secret reserved only for monks, and you are not a monk, so you cannot know.’ And the kid is like ‘rghhhhh, I really need to know.’ He goes like a month, but it’s eating him up inside. He needs to know what this noise is. He’s been healed by it, three times, by this power, in-in this monastery. He just needs to know. So, he goes off to Tibet and goes through a year and a half of training and becomes a monk. Certified, with the robes, and everything. Now, he comes back to that monastery in his hometown and he says ‘sir I am now a monk, you have got to show me what that noise is.’ And the monk gestures, towards a green door. And the boy, now a man, approaches the door, it’s locked. So he goes back to the monk and says ‘the door is locked’ and the monk hands him a green key. So he goes up, takes the green key to the green door, unlocks it up, and there’s a tall green staircase heading up further into the monastery. So he opens the green door, goes up the green stairs, and at the top, there’s a black door. And it’s locked (said in a soft, wondering voice). So he goes down the green stairs, through the green door and to the monk and says the ‘black door, it’s locked!’ and the monk hands him a black key. So he goes through the green door, up the green stairs to the black door, unlocks it, opens it up, there’s a loooong black hallway, extremely long with LITTLE point of orange light at the end. He walks down the black hallway, he thinks he’s walking five minutes probably. Gets to the end and sees an orange door with a slight glow. And it’s locked. So he turns around, he goes all the way down the black hallway, through the black door, down the green stairs, through the green door and to the monk and says ‘the orange door, it’s-it’s locked.’ And he hands him an orange key, glowing with that same ethereal light (every time the man runs back to get a key, informant does gestures of running and opening doors and going down stairs). And he turns back around, he goes through the green door, up the green stairs, through the black door, DOWN the black hallway and opens (says the word very softly) the orange door and the room behind it is vast and glowing with orange lava POWER. And he walks to the other side, and there’s a trap door in the floor. And this trap door, it’s…the most beautiful sapphire blue. It’s crystalline and delightful…and it’s locked. So he goes back across the orange cavern, through the orange door, down the black hallway, through the black door, down the green stairs, through the green door to the monk and says ‘PLEASE. So many hallways! Give me the key to the sapphire trap door.’ And he hands him the key, and this key feels special. It is also made of sapphire. So he goes through the green door, up the green stairs, through the black door, down the black hallway, through the orange door, across the orange cavern (increases speed of recital as each door is crossed) and unlocks the sapphire trap door. Creeeeeeaks (makes a creaking noise) open, there’s a ladder leading down. And he crawls down the ladder and in this room, there’s this sort of atrium, with light filtering in from the windows. It feels VERY magical. And in the center of that room is a huuuuge trunk, about this big (gestures arms about 5-6 feet apart). It is wooden and old and it looks like it is carved by the ancient monks. The monks that even the current monks don’t remember. And he goes down and he inspects it, and uh, there’s no lock. So, he takes it, eeeeeeergh (creaking noise), opens it, and inside that trunk, is a crate. It’s about the size of the coffee table (about 4 feet in length, 3 feet in height) and that- that crate, he pries open the lid and inside that crate is a briefcase. Now this is like a modern briefcase, he’s a little weirded out at this point, but he can tell. From this briefcase, emanating the sound which he heard so many years ago. And he opens the briefcase and within the briefcase is a cigar box. And the noise is getting louder now and he opens the cigar box and within the cigar box is a match box, and the noise is as loud as it could possibly be. And he opens the match box and do you know what he found?

What?

I can’t tell you, you’re not a monk.”

The informant is a student at the University of Southern California. He says he first heard this joke when he was in elementary school from a friend. Once he heard the joke, he loved it so much that he started telling it himself with added emphasis and actions. He says that his friend told him that the informant performed it better than he could, and passed on the performance to the informant. The informant is therefore now the active bearer of this joke and performance. It is a joke that is frustratingly long, almost a narrative. It causes the audience to constantly keep listening, waiting for the punch line to appear so the joke can end and they can laugh. However, the joke drags out for a very long time, causing the audience to become more frustrated the longer that they cannot know the end of the joke. Therefore, as the joke does not resolve in any real way in the end, it is intended to leave the audience frustrated. The informant says that he performs the story with additional stages during the life (such as a bicycle and a car in high school, before the part where he turns 20) and with additional doors and keys depending on how long and frustrating he wants to make the joke. He says however, that he always has to have 3 stages of life minimum and 4 doors minimum when he tells it, or else the story cannot be told properly. He also says that every time he tells it, there are some fixed phrases that he uses and repeats throughout the story. This makes use of the oral formulaic theory, where he has beats and fixed phrases in his narrative to help him retell the story well and accurately.

 

general
Humor

Man Cheating Joke

Transcribed Text:

“So, this man and this woman get married and they’re totally in love with each other. And, when they first move in together after their married, the man tells the woman “Ok, I’m going to be completely honest with you. I’m willing to share my entire life with you and everything with you, as long as you promise me one thing.” And the woman says “What?” He’s like “Ok, I have this box. And I’m going to keep it under our bed. And I need you to promise me that you’re never going to look inside of that box.”  And the woman says “yeah sure, sounds easy enough. That’s fine.” So, many, many years go by. And, the husband is out a lot. The woman is basically at home, by herself all the time, which is really sad and depressing. Anyways, so like, the woman finally one day, is cleaning up, and under the bed she notices that box. This is like ten years later. And she’s like “Oh wow, I totally forgot about this.” And being alone, she gets curious, and finally decides to open the box. And inside, she sees, three empty beer bottles, and a wad of cash. She counts it out, and it’s about 2000 dollars. And she’s like “holy shit, this is two thousand dollars. Is he planning on leaving me, or like, what does he have all this money for, he’s never told me about it before? What’s going on.” So she’s like freaking out. Um… and she’s like thinking why does he want this to be a secret from her. So when he finally gets home late that night, she kind of just can’t keep it in anymore, and she finally confesses. “Hey, uh, I’m so sorry. I finally looked inside that box. I know you told me never to do that, but I did, and I just really need to know. What’s the deal with like those three beer bottles?” And so, he said to her, “Ok… I guess I have some fessing up to do. Um…I, every time I was unfaithful to you, I- I kept a beer bottle inside that box. “ Um…and she just started crying, and cuz, there were three beer bottles in there. And so she’s like oh my god, he cheated on me! But at the same time, you know what, she loved him, forgave him, and-and, they, they went to bed that night, like as a couple, they forgave each other. Him for uh, for her looking in the box, and her to him for like cheating on her. Anyway, so like, uh…in the middle of the night, she kind of just like, wakes up and realizes, wait, so what was all the money for? So she kind of like wakes him up. “Hey honey, wha-what was the money for?” And he’s like “shit,” because uh, he thought he got out of it. So he told her, “ok honey, here’s the deal. Every time I put a bottle in the box, and the bottle- uh, the box got full, I went to the recycling place, and got it redeemed for cash. Haha, and that’s that.”

The informant says she remembers hearing this joke freshman year of high school. She also remembers that it was popular in her high school and that it was one of her favorite jokes to tell to her peers to see their reactions. She thinks it’s funny in how the story goes in a direction that is not expected. The audience is left wondering what the wad of cash means after the wife asks about the bottles, and when the punch line is delivered, it comes with a sense of bewilderment and unexpectedness. She says that it is also a quite lengthy joke, which serves the purpose distracting the audience from the twist and the punchline of the joke.

It makes sense that this joke is circled around in this age group and older, as this type of joke with adultery and money tends to cause more humor in a teenage and adult group. It is a joke that would be told in a normal school or casual setting amongst a group of friends. The punch line causes chuckles and senses of bewilderment and amusement amongst the audience, as it isn’t expected. It also has a theme of couples and sex, which is a big topic in teenage and young adult society. This is an example of age group folklore, where the joke is targeted towards a specific range of ages. Children wouldn’t be expected to understand it. Therefore, to understand the joke, one would have to understand the concept of sex and cheating, which is usually something people learn towards middle, high school and college.

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