Julian Borra looks at jokes, political correctness and the slow, painful death of ‘funny’
A fat bloke walks into a pub with a chicken on his head…
Well that won’t wash.
Fat. Fattist. Wholly unacceptable. Body shaming. Not on my watch.
Well, stout then. Or sturdy. Or substantial?
Very good. Substantial. Happy with that.
Ok…A substantial bloke walks into…
Hang on. Bloke? Why a bloke? Not very modern. Or fluid.
Fine. A woman maybe? Intersectionally biased. Non binary-ish?
Or a person perhaps? Or a pronoun? A they.
Perfect. A they. A substantial they walks into a pub…
But… maybe they can’t. Walk that is. Huge assumption that they can walk. Or crawl. Or dance. Or hop or skip or jump for that matter. They may well be disabled. Requiring assistance. Or mobility support.
So scrub walks. What about enters?
God no. Far too invasive. Might as well say penetrates! Or violates.
Accesses? Surely accesses is ok?
Yes ‘accesses.’ Functional. Simple. Accesses.
So, where were we? Oh yes. So…A substantial they accesses a pub with a…
Hmmmn. Pub! Bit blokey? A pub. The crucible of white male privilege. Bastion of earthy male supremacy.
The threshold of the Victorian patriarchy. Fountainhead of drunken violence. The pub’s a no-no.
What!? How patronising. ‘Dry white wine for the lady?’.
Jesus. Brasserie? Canteen? Bar!
A bar. Perfect. Asexual. Non-gender specific. Without cultural shading. Well, apart from Human League’s homage to male manipulation and misogynistic dismissal.
Don’t You Want Me?
Don’t I want what?
…you were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar…
Cocktail Bar. No just ‘bar.’ Cocktail. It’s different. Now, can I just tell this joke…please?
Sure. No one’s stopping you.
A substantial they accesses a bar with a chicken on their…
Hold the bus.
Chicken? CHICKEN! Caged meat. Factory-farmed. Dead animal. What kind of monster are you?
The chicken is ALIVE. Not roasted. Nor poached, broiled, boiled or fried. Or in any way dead. Or poorly.
So it’s a pet of some sort?
No idea. At this point in the joke, the chicken is simply ‘on they head’.
Like a hat or headdress of some sort?
Really? Are we really going to go there? Are we going to get all cultural misappropriation of ethnic headdresses…or feather fascism…
Now you’re being silly.
SILLY??!! I’m not the one intimating that perhaps some form of meat alternative would be preferable to either industrially-bred meat products or the misappropriation of someone’s ancestral ethnic birthright.
RIGHT. A substantial they accesses a bar with a fowl-shaped piece of mycoprotein on their head…happy now?
Hmmmm. Not very funny is it.
Funny. Its not very f u n n y!
Swearing is the lazy aggressive tool of the ignorant…and just out of interest, what might you be about to do with that hammer?