Sat, 21 May 2022
Sometime in the previous millennium, my grandfather told me this joke:
I suppose this might have been considered racy back when he heard it from his own grandfather. If you didn't get it, don't worry, it wasn't actually funny.
Today I learned the Philadelphia version of the joke, which is a little better:
I think it that the bogus racial flavor improves it (it looks like it might turn out to be racist, and then doesn't). Some people may be more sensitive; to avoid making them uncomfortable, one can replace the non-racism with additional non-obscenity and ask instead “what's long and stiff and lies between two nuts?”.
There was a “what's long and stiff” joke I heard when I was a kid:
Eh, okay. My opinion of puns is that they can be excellent, when they are served hot and fresh, but they rapidly become stale and heavy, they are rarely good the next day, and the prepackaged kind is never any good at all.
The antecedents of the “what's long and stiff” joke go back hundreds of years. The Exeter Book, dating to c. 950 CE, contains among other things ninety riddles, including this one I really like:
(The implied question is “what is it?”.)
The answer is of course a key. Wikipedia has the original Old English if you want to compare.
Finally, it is off-topic but I do not want to leave the subject of the Exeter Book riddles without mentioning riddle #86. It goes like this:
I will adapt this very freely as:
The answer is a one-eyed garlic vendor.
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