The mood had been fairly cheerful until just moments before. I had wandered into Three Degrees, a bar around the corner, for an afterwork drink (or eight) and was spotted by Dave the barman who had also knocked off and bid me over. I was introduced to his group of friends ( their names were forgotten almost instantly) and we started chatting as one big happy group. Conversation veered, as it so often does, to bad jokes and I told one told to me by Matt: 'A guy goes into a pharmacy and asks the pharmacist if he might purchase birth-control pills for his wife and seven-year old daughter. The pharmacist is bewildered and says "Are you honestly telling me that your SEVEN-YEAR OLD DAUGHTER is already sexually active?" To which the guy replies, "Not really...she just sort of lies there."'
Dave and co splutter, aghast. 'That's freakin' horrible!' manages Dave, cringing somewhat. Taking my cue I apologise offhandedly and mentally tick off a box- Do not tell Dave and his friends paedophilia jokes. I'm glad I didn't use my 'A' material.
My core group of my friends, the ones that I feel absolutely comfortable jokes-wise, tell horrendous jokes as a matter-of-course. Someone tells a joke about a dead hooker, the next will tell one about a dying baby. Oh yeah? says another, I'll see your one dead baby and raise you twenty dead babies. In a blender. The jokes come thick and fast- the Holocaust, suicides, rape and murder. Kidnapping, mutilation, accidentally sleeping with people of the same gender/ has an incurable disease. Race, religion, sex, creed, nothing is sacred, no one is spared. Not the crippled, the abused, the tortured, the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, the Indifferent. All suffer a tragic fate sealed by a cruel punchline- a harsh finality that leads to laughter. Or makes you a social pariah.
Personally I love all my brothers and sisters on the planet. I believe in equality for all, want us to evolve as one united race, blah, blah, blah. Just for the record.
Pausing for laughter