“Was haben Frauen und Handgranaten gemeinsam?
Ziehst du den Ring ab, ist dein Haus weg!”
“What do a woman and a hand grenade have in common?
When you take the ring off, your house is gone!”
Context: The informant went to school on a military base in Weisbaden, Germany, and spent the majority of her childhood there. She heard this joke from classmates who were mostly male.
Interpretation: This is perhaps meant to be cautionary toward young men. It is based on the stereotype that women use men for money, and could perhaps make men more cautious when choosing a wife so that they do not have to worry about “taking the ring off.” It uses humor to make women and marriage threatening, which is a common occurrence in American stand-up comedy. Furthermore, it subtly warns against divorce, which could suggest to the audience that an unhappy marriage is better than a divorce.