Joke – Canada

Joke-  Question: How do you kill a Fox?

Answer: Tell it to run across Canada.

This joke refers to Terry Fox, a Canadian man who attempted to run across Canada but died before he completed his mission.  Terry Fox was an athlete until he was injured in a car accident and discovered that he had osteosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in his right leg.  He was forced to have his right leg amputated at the age of 18, but decided to run from one coast of Canada to the other in order to raise money for cancer research.  Unfortunately, Terry Fox only made it to Ontario when doctors found that the cancer had spread to his lungs.  In June of 1981, Terry Fox passed away.

Paul said that this joke has been around for a very long time, and he has heard it since he was a child.  He said that it is inappropriate, but funny in a strange way.  He thinks that the reason the joke has stayed relevant might be due to the fact that Terry Fox is an iconic Canadian figure, and charity events like the Terry Fox Run and other cancer research organizations that use Terry Fox are still visible to the public.  Since he is still known to the public, it makes it easy for the joke to continue to be passed around.  When asked if people ever get angry when the joke is told, he said that among his friends or people his age and younger there was no stigma attached to telling this joke.  However, some adults are offended when this joke is told.

It seems as though the younger generation does not have a real connection to Terry Fox and his untimely death.  Because Terry Fox is still remembered and honored, younger people are aware of his story and tell the joke, but probably do not realize the significance of his death or his mission.  However, for adults and people who were alive when Terry Fox died, the joke is probably less humorous since they have a greater emotional attachment to that event.  Also, it seems like when the joke was first created, it might have been used as a coping mechanism or a way to make sense of Terry Fox’s tragic death.  However, in more recent times, children or teenagers probably use the joke just because they know it, not because of any deep connection to the story of Terry Fox.