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# Warning: Bad Jokes Are Dangerous

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• 2 weeks later...

Some of my favorited jokes are like this one

"What did the big chimney say to the little chimney?

"Nothing, chimneys can't talk."

which the nbcnews article gave as an example of a “bad joke”.

I like these kind of jokes. Their humor comes from making, then rejecting, a silly assertion – in the example case, “chimneys can talk”.

My favorite joke of this kind is

A physicist, a rabbi, and a dog walk into a bar.

The dog says, “bartender, gimme a beer.”

The bartender says “holy *!@#, a talking dog!

This joke sets up then knocks down the assertion that dogs can talk, then sets it back up, then knocks the assertion that if dogs did talk, people would be unsurprised, then defies the listeners’ expectation of the structure of a joke by abruptly ending without resolving the various cliché elements it introduces.

It does seem to annoy people, though I’ve never been attacked over it – maybe because of my imposing presence. ;)

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Some of my favorited jokes are like this one

"What did the big chimney say to the little chimney?

"Nothing, chimneys can't talk."

which the nbcnews article gave as an example of a “bad joke”.

I like these kind of jokes. Their humor comes from making, then rejecting, a silly assertion – in the example case, “chimneys can talk”.

Nah. You are just telling the joke wrong.

It goes like this:

"What did the big chimney say to the little chimney?

"Hey shorty, based on United States 40 CFR, part 51.100 (ii)) you are not in compliance with the HG = H + 1.5L Rule.

where

HG = GEP stack height measured from the ground level elevation at the base of the stack

H = Height of nearby structure(s) above the base of the stack.

L = Lesser dimension, height (h) or width (w), of nearby structures

Nearby structures = Structures within/touching a radius of 5L but less than 800m"

But, only another engineer will get it.

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Nah. You are just telling the joke wrong.

It goes like this:

"What did the big chimney say to the little chimney?

"Hey shorty, based on United States 40 CFR, part 51.100 (ii)) you are not in compliance with the HG = H + 1.5L Rule.

where

HG = GEP stack height measured from the ground level elevation at the base of the stack

H = Height of nearby structure(s) above the base of the stack.

L = Lesser dimension, height (h) or width (w), of nearby structures

Nearby structures = Structures within/touching a radius of 5L but less than 800m"

But, only another engineer will get it.

I think just about everybody would get it, but only an engineer would find it amusing.

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• 3 months later...

"Being selected as an appropriate audience for a stupid joke suggests that there is something amiss with the hearer's sense of humor," Bell said.

As a listener, I'd prefer to hear the joke by the person I know. I just don't find it funny to receive a bad or sarcastic joke from a stranger.

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I came across one the other day that goes very close.

Person 1: I'm going to see a highly intelligent herd of cattle that were once owned by Hoss out of Bonanza.

Person 2: Gee how much will you have to pay to see them?

Person 1: You have to give the herd a deer first, which they all tear up and eat, before they will let you see them.

Person 2: Ah, so you're off to see the whiz herd, the one deer full whiz herd of Hoss.

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