At the Jokewriters Convention, a visitor was confused by the nature of the
As he entered the nearly full auditorium, he saw a man reaching into a fishbowl
and pulling out slips of paper.
The man - apparently the master of ceremonies - opened a slip and said into
the microphone: "twenty-one". The audience erupted in
laughter which shortly decayed to sporadic titters in the crowd.
Another slip was opened and the man announced: "three hundred and forty four".
Again the crowd laughed in appreciation. (02)
The visitor turned to his friend and asked: "What's going on? I don't find
anything funny in these proceedings".
His friend replied: "We know that there aren't any new jokes, so rather than
wasting everyone's time going through the whole story
for each, we've simply numbered the jokes and now we're reading them in random
order to add some spontaneity to the conference. (03)
Just then, the visitor noticed a man in an adjacent row who'd continued
laughing at the previous joke long after everyone else had
stopped. This guy was red in the face, and gasping for breath, even as he
continued to laugh himself to exhaustion. The visitor
leaned over the row of seats to ask the guy: "Are you OK". The reply came: "Yes
(and taking a shuddering breath) but thanks for
asking. I just hadn't heard that one before."
Terry Longstreth (04)
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