Annals of Lame Comedy

June 4, 2009

We now take up the issue of forwarded e-mails with purported jokes.

Today’s lesson, based on two recent e-mails:

Punch line in search of a premise

Exhibit A
A man was driving when a traffic camera flashed. He thought his picture was taken for exceeding the speed limit, even though he knew he was not speeding.

Just to be sure, he went around the block and passed the same spot, driving even more slowly, but again the camera flashed.

He thought this was quite funny, so he slowed down even further as he drove past the area, but the traffic camera flashed yet again.

He tried a fourth time with the same result.

The fifth time he was laughing when the camera flashed as he rolled past at a snail’s pace. A week later he received five tickets in the mail for driving without a seat belt.

Ok…now, when was the last time you heard of anyone getting a photo radar for not wearing a seat belt?

We’ll put this question in the popular multiple choice format to make it easier:

a) never
b) never

Fact is, the premise just doesn’t make sense, and thus the joke disappoints. The punch line isn’t necessarily all that bad. You almost want to chuckle a bit at the little surprise, but ultimately you’re left unsatisfied because the joke tries too hard with too little yok muscle to carry it off.

Exhibit B
This one was sent with the title:

We’ll just start off by saying that the headline is pretty good. It sets us up for something intriguing, which we know will be a joke, but we don’t know which way it’s going.
Here it is, verbatim…as forwarded to me.

Last week I checked into my hotel in Atlanta and was a bit lonely. I thought: I’ll call one of those girls you see advertised in phone books like escorts and such.

I picked up the phone book and found an ad for a girl calling herself Erogonique, a lovely girl, bending over in the photo. She had all the right curves in all the right places, beautiful long wavy hair, long graceful legs…..well, you get the picture! I figured, what the heck, give her a call.

“Hello,” the woman says.

God, she sounded sexy.

Afraid I would lose my nerve if I hesitated I rushed right in. “Hi, I hear you give a great massage and I’d like you to come to my room and give me one. No, wait, I should be straight with you. I’m in town all alone and what I really want is sex. I want it hard, I want it hot, and I want it now. Bring implements, toys, rubber, leather, whips, everything you’ve got in your bag of tricks. We’ll go hot and heavy all night; tie me up, cover me in chocolate syrup and whipped cream, anything and everything! Now, how does that sound?”

She says, “That sounds fantastic, but you need to press 9 for an outside line.”
A phone book? Give us a break. He found the ad in a phone book?

Do they even have phone books in hotel rooms anymore?

This premise tells us that the putative jokester is essentially living in a world of black Ma Bell rotary-dial phones and hotel desks where the person simply answers the phone “Hello?”

Let’s at least bring the joke into the current century, eh?

Update: We did check the Yellow Pages to see if there were actually escort services to be had and, behold, there were a couple hundred. There were even five suggestive display ads, including one intriguingly titled After Golf Lessons, which bills itself as “Upscale, Discreet, Same Day Service.”

We still maintain that the local New Times free weekly is the place to go (not that we have personal experience).

And we fervently hope no one gets confused with the next category — Escrow Services.

Side note to the EMJFC (E-Mail Joke Forwarding Community): Would it kill you to remove the headers, CCs, legal disclaimers, ads, intermediate comments and other forwarding crap before passing the joke along?


One comment on “Annals of Lame Comedy

  1. You picked a very old joke to rave about. The one with the photo radar was cute though…..and probably truer than we think! Word is out that seat belt laws are now being enforced here in the Valley.

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