Joke

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Jewsih
Age: 85
Occupation: Retired
Residence: Laguna, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: March 23, 2008
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Joke, WII Military

Joke and Performers Analysis: I would start the joke by telling them I had a friend who had flown a bomber in the General Doolittle raid on Tokyo. They flew two engine bombers from the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. And they didn’t know, after bombing Tokyo, how far the gas they would have left would take them and who would be on he ground when they landed.

Hoping he would be met by friendly natives, my friend had an American flag tattooed on his chest before taking off. Well, they bombed Tokyo and then flew on. When they ran out of gas, my friend parachuted from the plane and landed in a rice paddy. There was a woman in a kimono at the far end of the paddy, and she now walked towards him.

When she reached him, my friend unzipped his flight jacket , pulled his shirt open, and exposed the flag on his chest. “American,” he said.

The woman pulled her kimono open. She was wearing nothing underneath. “Nip on nese,” she said. End of joke.

The joke was current at the time, and I told it with my wife Cynthia at a dinner party. We were in our late 20s, and I insisted I tell the joke before they go. The joke was common at the time, and I learned it from someone in they military after the war finished up.

Collector’s Analysis: During lecture this semester, we covered jokes, in particular disaster jokes. We discussed “Making a Big Apple Crumble” a book containing jokes about September 11th 2001. We also discussed that the Kennedy Assasitnation was one of the first instances where are disaster or tragedy became socially acceptable to poke fun at an event. However, this seems not to be the case with Albert Schutzer’s joke about World War II. While this joke regarding the Japanese would have been offensive during World War II, there came a time where joking about World War II became socially acceptable.

Conversation about disaster jokes raises the question when it is OK to start making fun tragedy. Often times it is found that a disaster joke becomes funny well before the risible moment is identified and accepted. In addition, this joke, especially for younger generations, would not be considered funny. Thus, the joke is somewhat outdated and socially irrelevant because less and less people were alive to understand the context of the joke and why it is humorous.