Monday 1 November 2010

A Blogger Walks Into a Bar

Looking at other fields, it’s often clear that they could be improved by the rigorous skills and discipline of blogging. Comedy, for example; so-called “jokes” are frequently unclear or confusing, so let’s see how one could be improved by the stringent analysis that only blogging can provide:

So, you know that there are sticks, yes? They are part of a tree, and they are called a stick. And they are brown. Wood is brown, these sticks are wood, and therefore they are brown.

[Image: a stick]
[Caption: A Stick. Note colour (brown).]

The Word Sticky
Now, there is also the word sticky. Often when you append -y to a word it would mean “like a stick”, but in this instance it actually means “tacky” or “adhesive”, unrelated to *a* stick, in the sense of a piece of wood.

A Humorous Question
Thus here is a humorous question: what is brown and sticky? Now you are considering an item that is tacky or adhesive, yes, and is also brown, such as perhaps a small patch of syrup, or a dab of creosote, or more appropriately an unbranded wood preservative substance for of course creosote itself is regulated for the use of professionals only under EU Directive 76/769/EEC.

[Image: wood preservative]
[Caption: wood preservative substance meeting appropriate EU directives on benzo-alpha-pyrene and water extractable phenols]

You are perhaps even thinking that the answer is “excrement”, which is uproariously amusing, as excrement possesses intrinsic humour.

[Image: poo]
[Caption: Excrement]

The Answer
However I tell you the answer is as follows: a stick.

[Image: the same stick as before]
[Caption: A Stick.]

You will remember from the opening paragraph that the stick is brown, and from the second paragraph that “sticky” could be misinterpreted as “stick-y”, or “like a stick”, and of course a stick is unquestionably like a stick, thus rendering the answer technically correct, and yet at the same time confounding your expectations, from whence the humour is derived.

Thank you.

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