Noel Meyerhof is a 'Grand Master', one of a small cadre of Earth's recognised Geniuses, who has the insight to know what questions to ask Multivac [a super computer]. But a computer scientist is concerned that Meyerhof is acting erratically. As a known joke-teller, he has been discovered feeding jokes and riddles into Multivac.
Here is a sample joke told to Multivac:
The ardent swain, picking a bouquet of wildflowers for his loved one, was disconcerted to find himself, suddenly, in the same field with a large bull of unfriendly appearance which, gazing at him steadily, pawed the ground in a threatening manner. The young man, spying a farmer on the other side of a fairly distant fence, shouted, 'Hey, mister, is that bull safe?The farmer surveyed the situation with critical eye, spat to one side and called back, 'He's safe as anything.' He spat again, and added, 'Can't say the same about you, though.'
By computer analysis, the characters in the story investigate the origin of humor, particularly why there seems to be no such thing as an original joke, except for puns. Every normal joke is something you heard from someone else.
The computer eventually tells them that humor is actually a psychological study tool imposed from without by extraterrestrials studying mankind. They needed to isolate the responses to their jokes from original ones, so they 'programmed' us to react differently to puns.
They also find that figuring this fact out makes it useless as a tool, so the unidentified aliens turn off humour.
Nothing is ever funny again.
Friday, January 15, 2021
That wonderful and multitalented writer Isaac Asimov (who also wrote limericks, btw) once wrote a short story, "Jokester".
Here is a summary of that story from Project Gutenberg:
If you find the items below funny, then you will know that the aliens have not turned off the humour program.
Happy trails, campers.
I decided to make sure my wife woke up with a big smile on her face this morning.
Now I'm not allowed to have Sharpies in the house anymore.
How do you get 20 Canadians out of a pool on a hot summer day?
Blow a whistle and say, "Everyone out of the pool, please!”
How do you get 20 Americans out of a pool on a hot summer day?
Blow a whistle and say, "For your own good and the safety of others, stay in the fucking pool!”
(Canadians are often characterised as being super polite. More Canadian items below.)
How did Kim Kardashian tell her kid about her upcoming divorce with Kanye?
North, things between West and I have gone South.
One sunny day in January 2021, an older man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he'd been sitting on a park bench
He spoke to the U.S. Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Trump." The Marine looked at the man and said, "Sir, Mr Trump is no longer President and no longer resides here."
The old man said, "Okay", and walked away.
The following day, the same old man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Trump."
The Marine repeated, "Sir, as I told you yesterday, Mr Tump is no longer President and no longer resides here." The man thanked him again and just walked away.
On the third day, the old man approached the White House and spoke to the very same U.S. Marine. "I would like to go in and meet with President Trump."
The Marine, understandably irritated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you've been here asking to speak to Mr Trump and I've told you each time that he's no longer the President and no longer resides here. Don't you get it?"
The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it."
The Marine snapped to attention and said, "See you tomorrow, Sir.”
FROM THE VAULT:
Dad and Dave went to the Royal Easter Show in Sydney and were very interested in the new tractors that were on display. One salesman demonstrated his machine and then offered them a deal.
'You can have this model for $10,000, and I'll take off 10 per cent for cash.' They went away to discuss the deal.
'What’s he mean by take orf 10 per cent cash?' asked Dad. 'How much would he take orf?'
'Gees, I dunno, Dad,' replied Dave.
'Listen Dave, you're in pretty good with that barmaid at the pub where we're stayin' and she looks like a pretty smart sort of girl. How about you ask her?' So Dave approached the barmaid.
'Tell me, Dulcie, if I gave you $10,000 less 10 per cent, how much would you take orf?'
'Jesus, Dave!' she said, 'If you gave me $10,000 less 10 per cent, I'd take off everything bar me garters and you could use them for stirrups.’
LIMERICK OF THE WEEK:
Whilst watching an episode of Escape to the Country (city people buying houses in various parts of the Brit countryside) an item came up about Chichester. “I know a poem about Chichester” I said to my wife. “Go on” she said. “It’s about Chichester’s bishop,” I replied. I don’t know if she was expecting Keats but this is what I recited to her:
There was a young lady of Chichester
Who made the saints in their niches stir.
One morning at matins
Her breasts in white satin
Made the Bishop of Chichester's britches stir.
That was met with a silent eyeroll from Kate.
Not a great structured limerick – the rhymes in lines 2 and 5 are the same and matins is not a perfect rhyme with satin – but still well worth posting.
Canadian graffiti . . .
You know you're Australian when...
- most of the words you know end in "o" such as arvo, servo, bottlo, garbo, reno, ambo, biffo
- you know that there is a difference between thongs and underwear.
- stubbies are things that can either be worn by blokes or drunk.
- a place called "woop woop" is not actually a place but is very far from civilisation.
- calling someone "mate" is a completely appropriate term to call anyone in Australia be they male or female.
- you answer most questions by saying "no worries" or "no drama".
- when you know the national anthem but have no idea what "girt" means.
- you know the best place to get a cooked sausage is Bunnings.
- you greet people by saying garn.