Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Vee haff vays of making you laff

It's a commonly held notion, especially in the UK, that Germans have no sense of humor. I can attest that they do, but it is very different. It's a direct sense of humor, stark and pitiless, but Germans have often made me crack up to rib-aching, eye-watering, hysteria. On one occasion, my friend Vol A and I were in Mexico and had met up with a couple of German fellows. They crossed the roads of Veracruz without much regard for the Mexican traffic. When we rebuked them for their lack of caution, they said "You must be careful, but in Germany we have nationally funded health insurance." (Maybe you had to be there.)

Stewart Lee is one of my favorite British comedians. He's incredibly irreverant and one of the geniuses behind the downright blasphemous Jerry Springer, the Opera. (It puts The Da Vinci Code into the heretical shade). He's written an article about the cultural chasm between British (or anglophone) humor and its Germanic cousin.

The good folks at The Guardian, where the article appears, have kindly gathered up some German jokes for your reading pleasure. Here's a sample:

Tabea Rudolph, 26, Stuttgart

There are problems in the woods. The animals of the forest are always drunk, so the fox decides to ban alcohol.

The following day, the fox spies a rabbit hanging out of a tree, clearly wasted. The fox ticks him off, and carries on his way. But the next day he sees the rabbit drunk again, and gives him a final warning.

The next day, the fox does his rounds and there's no sign of the rabbit, but he notices a straw sticking out of a stream. Wondering what it is, the fox scoops it out, only to find a very drunk rabbit on the other end of it. "How many times do I have to tell you that animals of the forest aren't allowed alcohol?" says the Fox.

"We fishes don't give a toss what the animals of the forest aren't allowed to do," says the rabbit

No comments: