I’m a Frayed Knot

A string walks into the bar. It goes up to the bar and the bartender says, “Sorry we don’t serve your kind here.” The string goes, “Okay, fine then, I’ll leave” and storms out, mad. The string is upset he couldn’t get in so he comes up with an idea that he’ll disguise himself, so he ruffles up his hair, he ties himself, and then he walks into the bar again, he sits down, and the bartender goes, “Aren’t you that string I just kicked out of here?” And the string goes, “No. I’m a frayed knot.”

Informant’s dad told it to her. She found it so funny. She likes that it’s punny and unexpected. Her dad would tell it to her over and over again. His dad told it too.

This joke is a type of one I’m very familiar with, the “something or someone walks into a bar” genre of jokes. However, while the informant was telling me this one I was surprised when she told me that it was a string who walked into the bar and I was confused and curious to see where it was going. It doesn’t get much explanation, it’s just setup for the punchline but I thought it was an interesting take on the genre of jokes. One thing I noticed about the way my informant told me about this jokes was that the first thing she did before telling me was warning me that it was kind of long, and she struggled to get it out smoothly, as she had to recall parts of it and how it went. It’s interesting to analyze how these jokes might be used in comparison to short, one-line jokes. They’re mainly used in situations where the teller knows they can keep the listener’s attention for long enough, and are almost story-like.