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Old 01-22-2002, 07:57 PM   #1
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Dave Barry Article

Thought you guys might find this article pretty funny. Especially the part about the inability of women to understand "funny".

L. Unplugged

Send in your weasel jokes (unless you're Canadian)

The scientific community, having run out of things to clone, is now trying
to identify the World's Funniest Joke. I refer to a project called Laugh
Lab, being conducted by Dr. Richard Wiseman of the University of
Hertfordshire (pronounced ``Scotland'').
Dr. Wiseman has set up an Internet site, www.laughlab.co.uk/home.html, that
has received more than 10,000 jokes, which have been rated by more than
100,000 people, most of them wrong. I say this because the joke they have so
far rated as the funniest is this:

``Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are going camping. They pitch their tent
under the stars and go to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night Holmes
wakes Watson up. `Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you
deduce.' Watson says, `I see millions of stars and even if a few of those
have planets, it's quite likely there are some planets like Earth, and if
there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might also be life.'
Holmes replied: `Watson, you idiot, somebody stole our tent!' ''

Now, I'm not saying this is a bad joke. I'm just saying this is not even
close to being the funniest joke in the world. It would be funnier if Holmes
woke Watson up and said, ``Watson, there's a weasel chomping on my
privates!'' I'm not sure where the joke would go from there, but you can't
go wrong with a setup like that.

Of course, some would disagree. And when I say ``some,'' I of course mean
``women.'' Women generally dislike groinular humor; this is one of the
startling findings -- and when I say ``startling'' I mean ``not startling''
-- of the Laugh Lab project. I have been listening to people -- and when I
say ``people,'' I mean ``men'' -- tell jokes for longer than 50 years (I
don't mean the jokes take longer than 50 years to tell, although some of
them come close) and I can state for a scientific fact that the funnier a
joke is, the more likely a woman is to react by saying: ``That's
disgusting!'' As if that's a BAD thing.

According to a Laugh Lab press release, women don't like jokes that involve
aggression, sexuality or offensiveness -- also known as ``the three building
blocks of humor.'' The release states that women prefer ``jokes involving
word plays.'' It gives the following example of a joke that women like, but
men dislike:

``A man had a dog called Minton. One day Minton ate two shuttlecocks. When
the owner found out he said bad Minton!!''

Whoo-HOO! ``Bad Minton!!'' Get it? Here, sniff these smelling salts.

I'll tell you who else has a serious humor deficiency: Canada. I say this
because, according to Laugh Lab, the following joke was rated highest by
Canadians: ``What do you call a woman who can balance four pints of beer on
her head? Beatrix.''

Get it? ``Beatrix!'' Which sounds sort of, but not quite enough, like ``Beer
Tricks!'' Ha ha! Maybe it would be funnier if they called her ``Minton.''

Laugh Lab also had people rate jokes that were generated by a computer. This
is important research, because if computers can produce workable jokes,
humanity may finally see the long-awaited day when humor columnists have to
work even less than they do now. Unfortunately, the highest-rated joke that
the computer produced was: ``What kind of murderer has fiber? A cereal

Granted, that's better than what Canada came up with. But it's not up to the
standards of, say, Yemen.

Anyway, if you want to participate in the Laugh Lab project, you can go to
the Internet site and rate some jokes. But I warn you: Don't have food in
your mouth! Because the hilarity level of these jokes is sure to make you
go: ``Huh?'' For example, here's one I was asked to rate: ``Why do elephants
have big ears? Noddy wouldn't pay the ransom.'' Allegedly this joke is funny
in England, which uses metric humour.

But here's the good part: You can also SUBMIT a joke to the Laugh Lab. In
the interest of improving the overall joke quality, I urge everybody reading
this column to submit a joke incorporating some variation of the phrase:
``There's a weasel chomping on my privates.'' (Example: ``Why do elephants
have big ears? Because there's a weasel chomping on their privates.'') Also,
if you see this phrase in a joke you're being asked to rate, give that joke
the highest rating. Do it now. Do it for humanity. Do it for the most noble
of all possible reasons: To get to the other side.

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Old 01-22-2002, 08:23 PM   #2
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c'mon, the Brits do have a sense of humour (but not humor), how else do you explain the Spice Girls? and Canada has the Montreal Expos

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