Humour is a funny thing. Not funny ‘ha-ha’ but funny peculiar. Because to be really funny, any joke has to offend someone, somewhere. It’s a way in which we deal with the world and with the shit that happens from time to time. But even I was taken aback with Rodney Marsh’s sacking over that tsunami joke.
Okay, poor taste. Okay, weak joke. (And which footie fan didn’t think ‘Toon Army’ when they heard ‘tsunami’?) But he was having a pop at David Beckham intellect, or lack of it, not the hundreds of thousands so terribly affected by this disaster. But someone is offended and he gets the boot.
When things go so spectacularly badly, it isn’t long before jokes start to spread. I’m sure if you Googled ‘9/11 jokes’ you’ll get hits. I don’t know for sure because I’ve haven’t tried. I did hear one after Princess Diana was killed. I won’t bore you by repeating it, but if you really want to know what it was, go here. It’s near the bottom of the page. The one about Diana, Mother Theresa and St Peter.
We’re in serious danger of suffering a sense of humour by-pass. These jokes will pass anonymously on the web or in the pub taproom, but are forbidden on the small, silver screen. For me, the right to joke is inalienable. Because if you can’t laugh, you’d spend your days and nights crying.
At which point I’m about to take a risk by telling a joke, one of the best I’ve heard, told me years ago by a former girlfriend.. It contains strong language and will offend those fond of the anthropomorphism of cute rodents. Here goes. Ah-hem:
Mickey Mouse bursts into the marriage guidance counsellor’s office saying, “That’s it! I’ve had enough! I want to divorce Minnie.”
“Calm down, calm down,” says the counsellor. “We can usually work these things out. Take a deep breath and tell me all about it and let’s hope we can reconcile your differences.” So Mickey opens his heart.
“Right, Mickey, let’s get Minnie in and we can hear her side of the story and there are always two sides.” Minnie enters the room.
“Now, Minnie,” says the counsellor sympathetically. “Mickey here says he wants a divorce on the grounds that you have buck-teeth.”
“No, no, no!” Shouts Mickey. “I said she was fucking Goofey!”
Please be offended and I’ll sack myself.