Here’s a joke I’ve seen doing the rounds:
Don't know if this is just a sick coincidence but.... 2007 - Chinese year of the Chicken - Bird Flu Pandemic devastates parts of Asia 2008 - Chinese year of the Horse - Equine Influenza decimates Australian racing 2009 - Chinese year of the Pig - Swine Flu Pandemic kills pigs/humans around the globe. It gets worse.... Next year... 2010 - Chinese year of the Cock -what could possibly go wrong?
And in a briefer Twitter version:
2007 - year of chicken (bird flu). 2008 - year of horse (equine flu). 2009 - year of pig (swine flu) - shit - 2010 is year of the cock.
This fails as a joke on so many levels, it might actually be funny after all, but only as a hilarious example of how not to construct a joke:
- The years are wrong. 2007 was pig, 2008 rat, 2009 ox, 2010 tiger. And equine flu hit Australia in 2007.
- You don't even need to look up the years anyway, as obviously a chicken and a cock are the same frickin' animal (rooster, incidentally, which was 2005)
- The punchline asks us to imagine a scenario where genitals catch influenza, which doesn't make much sense.
When I point out the failure of this joke, I get comments like “it’s supposed to be a joke - why let facts get in the way?”. Well, a good joke shouldn’t have glaring errors in it - if the audience’s response to a joke is “huh? Is that right? That doesn’t quite sound correct to me” then you’ve fucked it up.
Three men walk into a bar - an Englishman, an Irish woman, a Scotsman, a young Welsh girl and pigeon. The barman says, "is this some kind of poorly constructed joke?"
Just wanted to get that off my chest.