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    @Alan: So did I. I was just pointing out why that shows how brilliant I am. :)
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2011
    @alan tyson : tell us one then! (please)

    black country humour

    enoch and eli are fishing over the side of a bridge. eli drops the rod but reckons if enoch holds his feet he can dangle over the edge and just about reach it. he's been down there a minute or two and then says 'pull us up pull us up!'.

    enoch says 'have you got the rod?' and eli says 'no, there's a train coming!'.

    there are comedians round here (the west midlands) whose entire act consists of enoch and eli jokes and when they tell them, they are funny.

    btw, you don't hear anyone start a joke with 'I say, I say, I say' any more, do you?
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2011 edited
    Alright, so Herschel jokes (we Catholics have our own nigh-identical versions, but they don't have a named character the way the Jewish ones do) aren't so much culture-specific, as in you won't get them if you're not part of the culture, but they're funnier if you're either part of it, or know someone in it. Herschel the character is a fellow blessed with faith, virtue, and general goodness, but without a whole lot of common sense. Such as:

    Herschel the Good Rabbi needs money to fix up his temple, but the funds simply are not there. He decides that he's going to try and win the lottery, and donate all the money to the temple. "A grand idea!" his friends say, "but that's quite a long shot. You'll need God's help with that, for sure." And so Herschel, because he is a faithful man, prays every night before he goes to bed, and every morning after he wakes up, "Please, God, let me win this lottery so that I can do your works!"

    Now, several months go by, but Herschel never gets that phone call saying that he's just won 20 million dollars. So, he tells his plan to the whole temple, and they all agree that they, too, will pray every night before they go to bed, and every morning after they wake up, "Please, God, let Rabbi Herschel win this lottery so that he can do your works!"

    Ten years go by, and poor, faithful Herschel still hasn't won the lottery. His temple is in need of fixing, he's become a bitter and frustrated man, and barely any the temple-goers pray for a lottery win anymore. One night, Herschel prays before going to bed, but instead of asking to win the lottery, Herschel asks "God, my God, God of Abraham, have I not been a faithful and dutiful servant? Have I not led your people on the right path, have I not promised to use the money only in your Name? Tell me, God, what have I done wrong, why haven't I won the lottery yet?"

    And, much to his surprise, Herschel hears a booming voice echo through his room. "Heeerschelll," the voice says. "Heeeerschelllll, my son...

    You have to buuuuy a lottery ticket!"


    Like that? Here's another, one that got REAL popular in my hometown of Cedar Rapids back in 2008, when the levees broke and most of the city suffered an apocalyptic flood. It's a bit long, so apologies in advance.


    Father Hank, the pious Catholic priest (what the hell, let's switch it up a little) turns on his TV one night to watch the news. "Big storm coming," a guy from the National Weather Service says, "biggest I've ever seen, folks. We're looking at more than a foot of rain overnight, and the National Guard is already on standby in case of a flood. Honestly, ladies and gentlemen, this could be the worst spring storm on record - I'd start making plans for a vacation in the high country."

    "Bah," Father Hank says, waving his hand at the TV. "This town is full of good people. God will keep anything too terrible from happening to us.

    But sure enough, next week the rains come, and the levees and sandbags that the Nat Guards set up can't hold back the river. Water rushes down the streets, and pours into basements. Father Hank wakes up to the sound of someone pounding on his door. "Father Hank, this is the fire department! We're evacuating all of downtown, we've got a truck outside waiting for you, get dressed and come on!"

    "No thank you," Father Hank says. "God will protect me."

    The firefighters argue with him for a bit, but eventually they move on - they've got other people to evacuate, and surely the good Father will see reason eventually. Father Hank makes a cup of coffee, and thanks God ahead of time for saving him.

    The rains don't quit, and as afternoon turns into evening, the streets have become canals. Dumpsters and cars are being washed away, and whole waterlogged houses are leaning into the rushing water. Father Hank's church is holding on for now, but Father Hank has to rush up to the roof to stay dry. After a while, a Zodiac inflatable raft zips by, full of guys in camo fatigues and life preservers. "Father Hank!" one of them yells. "I'm Sergeant Willis, with the National Guard! This whole area's being evacuated, we've got to get you out of here!"

    "No thanks," Father Hank says, waving the Guards away. "God will protect me!"

    The Guards argue with him, but the current is picking up again, and they can't stay on station without wasting fuel. They radio back to base to tell them about the priest, and then move on to find anyone else trapped by the flood.

    Now, night falls, and along with the flood a terrible midwestern windstorm has swept in off the plains, and is whipping the water into a frenzy, and causing plenty of damage on its own. Poor, faithful Father Hank is reduced to hanging onto the crucifix atop his church, arms wrapped around it for dear life, as the wind howls and the water sprays up into his face. He hears the sound of helicopter blades, and looks up to see a white helicopter hovering over him, a searchlight shining down like the light of heaven itself. "Father Hank!" a voice booms out through a bullhorn. "We're with FEMA! The whole town's gonna go under, we gotta get you outta here! We're lowering a rope now, grab on!" Sure enough, they start lowering the rope ladder, with a FEMA guy on the other end, reaching out to take the priest's hand.

    Father Hank almost reaches for it, but yells back "I'm a man of God! If I can't trust Him to save me from this, then what right to I have to call myself a priest? Go on, save the others: God will protect me!"

    Oh, how those FEMA boys try to save the old priest anyway, but the winds are so strong that the helicopter is blown off course, and the guy on the ladder has to be brought back up. By the time the winds die down enough for them to go back, they see that the crucifix has snapped off, and the poor, good, faithful Father Hank is nowhere to be seen.

    Father Hank wakes up a little while later, standing on fluffy white clouds, the music of angels all around him. He is greeted by a white-bearded man in an immaculate robe, and Hank knows this has to be God. "God," Father Hank says. "Not that I'm ungrateful for admitting me into heaven, but... I had faith that you would save me! I waited for your deliverance! Why did you let me die?"

    And God, who is called Yawheh, Allah, and a host of other names, shakes his head, sighs, and puts his hand on Hank's shoulder. "Hank," God says. "I sent a guy from the National Weather Service, I sent firemen, I sent the National Guard, I even sent FEMA to go help you. What more do you want?"
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2011
    Some Scots humour...

    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2011
    'Moet je de geit uitlaten?' is a phrase that Kim Thompson struggled with. When you know it/have heard a similar joke it's a no-brainer. the fantagraphics blog tells the silly but not so silly translators dilemma best :)
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011
    thanks alan. the joke about the priest is one of my favourites - it's funny but also wise (strokes chin)
    • CommentAuthorcardo
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011
    @fat face rick - touche! I could go on, but I think we've saturated the thread with Scottish banter.