Sunday, 12 July 2009


Joke 1.
Two old men bumped into each other; one said to the other:
"Sorry,I didn't see you . I was looking for my wife!"
" I was looking for mine too."
" What does she look like?"
" She is 25, statuesque; 6 feet two inches tall, slim, with honey-blond hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a pair of white shorts and a skimpy blue top".
"What does yours look like ?"
"Never mind . Let's look for yours first!"
Joke 2.
If you take an Oriental person and spun him around many times ; what does he become? Disorientated?
Joke 3.
If love is blind , why are lingerie very popular?

These are three of the jokes which appeared in a North England Parish Newsletter recently. They provoked protests from readers who were offended at their "sexist, ageist and racist connotations".
This has forced the publishers to apologize for "the inappropriate contents" of their newsletter.
During the week , a radio phone-in programme aired the views of some members of the public about the "offence" caused by these jokes in the parish newsletter.
The public responses were as entertaining as they were spot-on realistic.
The recurrent questions from many contributors were:
Who is denying that men prefer younger women and that men are turned on by beautiful lingerie?
How would a disoriented Oriental cause a racial war?
While some felt the jokes were very funny and harmless or that they were mere, harmless word-play; others thought they were tasteless and insulting to women , old people and Oriental people!
There were no phone-in comments from Oriental people.
I would have loved to hear what they thought about the "Oriental" joke .
If you are Oriental and reading this, please comment: tell me your war plans.

This is another instance of a lot of brouhaha over some comments made about sex,age or race.
Though,this time the uproar was mild, sometimes it could be widespread!
But what was it all about?
Some times people speak words and do things which are unintentionally hurtful or offensive to others.
They were just simply, JOKING ; having innocent fun. No harm intended!

That is not to say there does not exist,in our society, as in every human society; men , women and children who maliciously upset and harass others who they see as "different".
Jokes could be ice-breakers or door-openers to making friends.
However, jokes can make or mar an event because just as they liven up an atmosphere ,there are jokes that are indeed unpleasant and outlandish!
These would not be tolerated in any decent gathering.
So it is the responsibility of the joker to assess his listeners' sensitivities.
To know when and where to joke and who to joke with.
Also it helps to know when to draw the line between a harmless joke and a nasty, malicious barb ; sent out,deliberately, to hurt and dehumanize others.
If you cannot or would not guard your tongue; for your own sakes, keep your poisonous, hurtful words and thoughts to yourselves and within the inner recesses of your personal space(s).

I think the extent and contents of jokes and banter should depend on the depth of the relationship with the persons you are joking with.
You should not unleash your brand of unwanted humour on an unwilling audience or on strangers.
The wisdom to know when and where to joke could be the difference between receiving an applause or a physical attack ; a kiss or a broken jaw ; or even a life or death matter.
Some people out there just don't take kindly to certain jokes.

I have friends and neighbours male and female ,from all the different races in the country and we exchange jokes and banter about each other. I mean way-out jokes and name-calling. There is a familiar bond between us . So we have not swung flying kicks or pulled guns ,daggers or punches at each other .
Neither have we headed for court to complain of "offensive comments "!

When you lose your sense of humour, you lose the essence of living.
Being touchy about jokes could make you lose valuable friends and contacts .
Life is too short to moan and complain about perceived wrongs .
So let the jokes flow! But do it sensibly and responsibly.
Most importantly, the recipe for success and peace in life is in imbibing these words:
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil,
and his lips that they speak no guile:
Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace ,and ensue it.
1 Peter 3:10,11.

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