BH: What do you do to an elephant with three balls?
BH: You walk him and pitch to the rhino.
Me: *Chuckling* I don’t get it
BH: It’s a baseball joke.
Me: OH haha… that’s good I like it!
Context: The informant is from San Diego and remembers hearing this joke as a child from his dad. He also didn’t get it at first, so his Dad told it to him multiple times.
Thoughts/Analysis: This joke plays upon many themes that are present in both American and global culture. Firstly, the set up sets the expectation for the listener that the joke is going to be a dirty one, as any use of the word balls in the context of a joke is most likely going to mean testicles. The punchline, however, works because it subverts the expectation of what “balls” mean in the first place. Additionally, it conjures up the idea that an elephant is playing baseball, which is an absurd and silly idea. The joke also relies upon the listener to be a baseball fan, or at least have base level knowledge of the rules, in order to understand that a fourth ball would be a “walk”. One last thing about this joke is that it contains the idea that those on the same team would be animals from the same region, perhaps alluding to American tendencies to have communities of similar ethnic origin.