Un Chiste de Pepito
A Pepito Joke
“En los periódicos de Mexico existe un personaje muy popular, es un niño muy listo que se llama Pepito. Pero es un niño que dice muchas groserías. Bueno, uno de sus chistes graciosos es que Pepito un día iba con su abuelita tomando una paleta, cuando de repente se le cayó. Trato de levantar la paleta, pero la abuelita le dijo, ‘No Pepito, no la levantes porque ya la beso el Diablo.’ Entonces, siguieron adelante caminando cuando de repente, la abuelita se tropieza y se cae. Y le dice, ‘Pepito, Pepito, ayudame a levantar!’ Pero Pepito le responde, ‘No abuelita, no puedo porque ya te beso el Diablo!’”
“In Mexican newspapers there is a very popular character, he is a very witty boy called Pepito. But he is a boy who also says many profane things. Anyway, one of his funnier jokes is that one day, Pepito was walking with his grandmother, eating a popsicle, when all of a sudden it fell. He tried to pick it up, but his grandmother told him, ‘no Pepito, don’t pick it up because it has been kissed by the Devil.’ So, they kept walking, moving forward, when suddenly, the grandmother trips and falls. She cries out to him ‘Pepito, Pepito, help me get up!’ But Pepito replies, ‘No granny, I can’t because you’ve been kissed by the Devil!’”
My grandfather, the informant for this joke, was born and has lived in Mexico all his life. He has seen the country change drastically and in many different ways over the 86 years of his life, and as a result knows a very great amount about Mexican culture, customs, and folklore. He often tells jokes, riddles and stories that he has garnered throughout his life, most of which he remembers very clearly and recites in the form a great storyteller.
Although the informant says that the character of Pepito is found in Mexican newspapers, he has become such an iconic figure that he has transcended comic strips and been appropriated by a large part of the population at large. A large number of Pepito jokes are created outside of the influence of the comic strip, based on people’s personal experiences and situations. In fact, the informant cannot remember whether the joke in question originally appeared in a comic strip, or whether it came about through word of mouth. Whatever the answer may be, we see in this joke a variety of themes. One is that of Christianity, and fear of the Devil. Given that Mexico is essentially a Catholic country, this theme makes complete sense, drawing on a common, religious base that most people are raised on. Superficially, however, we see the naiveté of children expressed, how when we are young we take things very literally, and in this joke to a ridiculous and henceforth humorous degree. Reading deeper into this, we see how the advice of the older generation is trumped by that of the younger, suggesting an emphasis on the importance of younger generations. Given that Mexico is a country with a particularly large population under the age of 18, this becomes instantly relatable.
More information on Pepito jokes can be found in the book:
Faure, J. 1200 Chistes De Pepito Y Mucho Mas. Mexico, D.F.: Editores Mexicanos Unidos, 2007. Print.