Ve Germans Haff A Sense Of Humour

As you will haff noticed, my name iss a Teutonic one. It iss from the Tyrol where my Grossvater has come. He wass in Amerika from many years and I am here in Australia until now.  So I haff a connection to the Old Country…in fact to several old countries.

I wish to address the libel that iss promoted that Germans haff no sense of humour. This has been the standard of jokes throughout the Western world since 1914. The Eastern world iss too serious for this sort of thing – they regard the German nations as carousels of comedy.

The libel iss false! Ve haff as strong a sense of humour as anyone. The fact that we do not haff a native Mr. Bean does not bar us from appreciating him, though ve would not vish that he was a German or Austrian citizen. After Brexit this will be less of a danger.

Ve haff many jokes – you must look up back copies of ” Simplicimus ” to see this and there are amusing cartoons of the German Imperial general staff there as well. Wise people do not laugh at them in public, however.

Vee also participate in ze jokes that ask how many people are required to screw in light bulbs. But we know the secret that they are not screw-based bulbs. They are bayonet -based bulbs, and if zere iss one thing that a German iss good vith it iss a bayonet. Zat iss why ve only need one person.

And ve are as ready as anyone to laugh at ze Amerikan President. It iss fashionable and makes us look better by comparison. Ze fact that we were not fast enough to erect a border wall around Deutschland in the last couple of years to prevent the sort of thing that he complains of iss neither here not there – but ve are not laughing quite so hard about zis.

If you vant people who haff no sense of humour, try the Swedes.




Does Not Laugh – Can Not Laugh…

These individuals are related to Should Not Laugh and Will Not laugh. They are a close-knit family and support each other in silence.

a. Does Not Laugh. Never been seen to do so, and no-one has really seen DNL smiling either. In fact the thought of a smile is somewhat un-nerving. What would cause it? If jokes, cartoons, movies, songs and YouTube videos of mobile cranes falling into holes does not raise a titter, what would? The mind turns to darker things…

b. Can Not Laugh. This is actually sad, and may draw some sympathy from all of us. CNL has so many worries and woes that nothing seems funny . Nothing may never have, though we hope CNL might have had some fun at some stage of the game. People hope that this is only temporary, and try out new routines to see if they can get a smile.

c. Should Not laugh. Well, if you’re sitting on the magistrate’s bench – or for that matter sitting on the magistrate – the dignity of the court demands that you keep a sober mein. LIkewise police officers, air traffic controllers, and high church dignitaries. The Queen is allowed to crack up occasionally as no-one can say her nay. So are various presidents of various other nations, though some do it better than others. Angela Merkel on a laughing jag is not a pretty sight.

d. Will Not laugh. WNL is the pompous pain in the potatoes who denies any recognition of humour – probably because that would reward the joker. WNL is mean and tight and arrogant…which is why he or she seems to become the butt of satirical humour. Oddly enough, even some satirical writers – especially if they exist on the fringes of real journalism or real writing – exhibit this characteristic too. In their case it is fear of being bettered by someone with a new joke.

Are There Truly Humourless Societies?

We often think of the Puritans in New England or the mullahs in Persia as sober-minded kill-joys. People who cannot be amused and who would not be happy if their life depended upon it. Perhaps this is so, but I can’t help feeling that there must be a quintessential  Puritan or Persian joke that cracks ’em up regularly. We might never have told it but it exists nevertheless.

How about more primitive groups ( Though there will be a little discussion later amongst the cynical about the Persians and primitive behaviour…)? Do the Hottentot laugh it up? The Orinoco Indians? The Inuit? You bet they do. I’ve seen pictures of them yukking it up over songs, dance, and theatre. The humour might be local and pointed, but it’s there all right.

Are there humourless professions? You’d think the funerary ones would be sober, and they are… mostly whilst working…but I’ve seen ’em off duty and they laugh as well as they weep. My own previous professions had their own forms of humour – in one case involving blood and pain and in the other troublesome customer relations. Occasionally they would cross jurisdictions. It will likely be the same with welders, court process servers and people who stuff sausages. And you don’t want to know what they stuff in there…

I think that any group of people – a nation, a society, a club, or a family – must of necessity have some comedy or humour in their makeup. If they don’t they would go mad – perhaps this explains the ones that have done so in the past. As soon as the fun evaporated, so did they.


Are You Trying To Be Funny?

This is one of those phrases that you will hear from time to time when you are trying to be funny. It is a put-down designed as bait for a further put-down. As with all bait, though, it can be used to snag the fisherman as well as the fish.

When someone says this to you, you must take it as a question, rather than just a sneer. And a serious question, too. You must instantly look quite studious and concerned – it helps if you have horn-rimmed glasses. Then you must say ” No ” in a steady, measured tone. Then say no more, but keep looking steadily at the other person. If you are wearing those spectacles, either take them off, or look over them at the questioner. Do not break eye contact. Earnestly project the impression that you consider this to be the pivotal question of Western philosophy in the current century, and that you are waiting for them to justify it.

The effect of this will be to shift the burden of further belligerence, complaint, or virtuous protest to the other person. They may find themselves in deep water trying to remember what it was that you said in the first place and they will discover how your serious demeanour makes them look. With any luck, it will make them look foolish.

Once they realise this you can be kindly and comforting to them – it will increase their rage. With a bit of luck they will stalk off screaming imprecations and you can return to the rest of the audience with a gentle smile.

The Best Job In The World


I once heard someone make a remark about an old couple that owned a secondhand bookshop…they’d been observed quietly sitting behind the counter waiting for trade. ” That must be the most boring job in the world”.

Sitting quietly in your own shop full of literally thousands of books that are free to read. Sitting there with a cup of coffee. Reading one of the books. And every now and then someone enters and walks quietly around, eventually coming over to give you money. All day.

And occasionally you get to have a little fun with them…


That is not a job. That is paradise. Paradise with coffee.

The Dad Joke


We are a sad society when we fail to see the goodness around us. Particularly when we fail to give credit where it is due – to the fathers of the world who tell jokes to their children. In particular to that selfless band of men who tell Dad Jokes.

For anyone who has been in the jungle since 1945 and has not experienced modern life, the Dad Joke is a humorous animal that stalks the helpless child but does it slowly and then runs over them in the gentlest possible way. How could it be otherwise – after all it is generally pretty lame.

Thus you can ask a 5-year-old what is brown and sticky and when they are just about to shout out ” poop!” you say ” a stick “. The humour and rage that chases over their face alternately is a joy to behold. You can do Knock Knock jokes that were stinkers in 1956 and still get away with them. If the child is in a car seat restraint they can’t get away either.

The best audience, however, is not the helpless toddler. It is the sophisticate at the cocktail party – the adult who has a vast vocabulary of bad language, indulges in sexual or racial humour, and considers themselves far too cool even to register on a thermometer. If you start an anecdote in a manner that suggests that it too will be suggestive, drag it out with extra preparation, and then deliver a certified Dad Joke, you will be heartily detested but untouchable. If they are caught out expecting a penis but getting a peanut, they look worse than you. Particularly if you employ the phrase ” If you know what I mean…” or ” Geddit…? “.

It is worth while practising in a mirror until you can deliver the jokes with smirks, leers, and raised eyebrows. Making a Tsch Tsch sound with your tongue is also good, particularly if the listener is a female of a certain age.

As a social tactic it is well up there with the practice of addressing everyone in the third person…such as ” How’s ( insert full name ) doing? when you are speaking directly to full name in the first place. You may add an age reference to increase the effect, and if you really want to ignite the love you add “the” and a title or relationship. Let me give you an example:

You go to someone’s house, wait until they pour you a glass of their liquor, and then turn to them and brightly say:

” And How’s The Young Fellow Doing? ” or “Well How’s The Old Brother-In-Law Feeling Today, Eh, Eh, Eh…?”

Then turn away before any reply is possible – head for the drinks table and slope off somewhere else. You will have made a social hit, and with luck, it will be below the waterline.