On the first day, God created the dog and said: “Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of 20 years.”

The dog said: “That’s a long time to be barking. How about only 10 years and I’ll give you back the other 10?’

So God agreed.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said: “Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I’ll give you a 20-year life span.”

The monkey said: “Monkey tricks for 20 years? That’s a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back 10 like the Dog did?”

And God agreed.

On the third day, God created the cow and said:

“You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer’s family. For this, I will give you a life span of 60 years.”

The cow said: “That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for 60 years. How about 20 and I’ll give back the other 40?”

And God agreed again.

On the fourth day, God created man and said: “Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I’ll give you 20 years.”

But man said: “Only 20 years? Could you possibly give me my 20, the 40 the cow gave back, the 10 the monkey gave back, and the 10 the dog gave back — that makes 80, OK?”

“OK,” God said. “As long as you’re sure.”

So that is why for our first 20 years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next 40 years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next 10 years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last 10 years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Phil was a lawyer for thirty years, and has now been retired for three.  Since he is over 60 and one of the oldest members of our extended family, he said he gets a lot of the old people jokes.  He said he especially gets a lot of joke explaining the meaning of life.  Since people think he’s old and going to go soon, they figure he needs to figure it out now.  This joke was sent to him recently by one of his good friends.

This joke attempts to stereotype all humans, including at each stage of life.  It stereotypes all humans by calling us greedy.  Showing that stereotypes are quite often true, many people would agree that greed is a common theme among humans.

It stereotypes the first twenty years of a persons life as being carefree.  It says we eat, sleep, play, and enjoy ourselves.  I believe this is more the case for younger childhood because most people work very hard at school, work, and several other activities long before they are 20.

The second stereotype is of the next forty years of a person’s life.  It says you slave in the sun to support your family.  This stereotype is true in the sense that these are the years when most people are working.  It is wrong in that during this time there are many things people enjoy, including their children, and many people enjoy their jobs as well.  Phil said he agreed with this part of the joke the most.  He was partly kidding and partly serious.

The third stereotype is that for the next ten years you are retired and “doing monkey tricks” to entertain your grandchildren.  There is some truth in this stereotype as well.  This is about the time when most people are retired and having grandchildren.  Most people are still agile enough as well to do all sorts of stupid things to entertain their grandchildren.

The last stereotype is the last four years of one’s life.  It is the stereotype that old people are grumpy and just sit on the porch all day people watching.  I think that there is truth to this stereotype as well.  A lot of old people are grumpy, although there are a lot of very happy ones as well.  The sitting on the front porch stereotype can be true as well.  Many old people are not very agile and therefore they sit around all day.  They often enjoy watching other people as a sort of way to live vicariously through them.

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