Monday, 13 August 2007

Monster jokes

So this weekend I found a book called "The Silly Little Book of Monster Jokes". There's no sign of an author or authors or editors in the book - it is entirely anonymous, and a quick scan of what's inside is enough to tell you why.

For a start, some of the jokes are just plain bad if they can be described as jokes at all, such as:

What did the angry monster do when he got his gas bill? He exploded.

Why didn't King Kong go to Hong Kong? Because he didn't like Chinese food.

These are almost funny by themselves for just not being funny. But there are other occasions in the book where you start to wonder if there isn't some cunning meta-joke being played out on us for reading this book. For example, on page 79 (yes, I took notes of the page numbers. So what?) there is the joke:

Why did the fat, hairy, drooling monster stop going out in the sunshine? He didn't want to spoil his looks.

While on page 82 there was:

Why did the big hairy monster give up boxing? Because he didn't want to spoil his looks.

Okay, so that was a bit weird. Perhaps they didn't catch that in proof reading, but then on another page (I didn't write down the page for this) was:

Waiter, there's a worm on my plate.
No sir, that's a sausage.


Followed immediately by:

Waiter there are two worms on my plate.
Those are sausages, sir.


So by now I'm thinking this must be deliberate. In fact, I'm kind of disappointed that the next joke wasn't "Waiter, there are three worms on my plate!
Would you shut up, I'm serving you sausages!"

Deliberate or not, there's a strange kind of desperation in joke books. Because the target market is children, they can put in any old jokes they can remember, and if they have to come up with something new, it can be drivel since the writers are anonymous. As long as they fill up the pages and put in at least a few decent jokes they should be okay.

The last one I'm going to talk about (at least for now) is this one (page 42, in case you have a copy) - a sure sign of desperation if ever I saw one:

What did the shy pebble monster say? "I wish I was a little boulder".

This one is just an ordinary joke - quite a cute one at that - with the word "monster" stuck in just so it would somehow fit in with the theme of the rest of the book. You've got to admire their chutzpah, if nothing else.

3 comments:

sam said...

"he exploded" kind of appeals to me though I couldn't tell you why...

chris said...

I made that boulder joke on b3ta about a month ago. Thats only cause I heard it 18 years ago and thought it was amusing then. I don't know where I'm going with this comment but I felt compelled to contribute.

sam said...

Your comment actually had a good deal more substance than mine. I wasn't saying anything, and appear to be saying even less here.