9/11, Forever, fun with stereotypes, Great Books of the Western Tradition, Gross Jokes, inappropriate humor, Jesus, Judy Blume, Julius Alvin, Miss You Mom, Pearl Harbor, the Bible, Twins
After the King James Bible and Judy Blume’s Forever, which respectively served as the imprimatur for my troubling moral rigidity and taught me everything I needed to know about sex, no book has exerted quite so profound an impact on my development as has Julius Alvin’s indispensible compendium, Gross Jokes.
This delightful piece of Americana is a relic of a bygone age. Its anachronistic offensiveness harkens back to an era in which the culture hadn’t yet discovered its inner pussy or began to counter the messy inclusiveness of wide-ranging speech with an antiseptic circumspection and a compulsion for self-censorship bordering on mania. Nowadays, the list of lifestyles and affiliations which can be safely mocked has dwindled to near-insignificance.
Gross Jokes is, if not a breath of fresh air in these stuffy times, then at least a pungent fart in society’s plastic-lined cleanroom. Dedicated to Helen Keller (she’ll apparently be reading the audio version, which has been re-titled Y34jk3k Bdkddd for the occasion), and with chapter headings such as Revolting Racial and Ethnic Jokes, Vulgar Cripple Jokes, Indecent Religious Jokes, Foul Homosexual Jokes, Lewd Senior Citizen Jokes and Simply Disgusting, Gross Jokes is clearly something special.
Very few of the jokes contained in this volume are suitable for print even in these pages. It is a testament to the power of Gross Jokes that a significant portion of its contents offends even our attenuated sense of propriety. However, to give you an idea of the range and beauty of this masterwork, we present the following excerpts:
Smak, I must confess I read Judy Blume and I like Judy Blume. But then I read Erica Jong and some others. As far as some of these “gross” jokes, I always DESPISED “dead baby” jokes because they go beyond that line — at least to me. But life is weird and I guess you have to laugh at even some of our most abominable mess-ups through history. Still, maybe some things are tongue-in-cheek and meant to be funny. I guess it all comes down to how you grew up, what influenced you and what your bullsh*t level is. Nah, some jokes are just wrong. But that’s just me.
I still like you though, despite your proclivity for pushing the edge of reason and decency. :). Because I see beyond this stuff you put up here. 😉
You know, I used to find dead baby jokes pretty humorous… Now that I have a child, I just can’t get behind them anymore. Too much like…poking a sleeping bear.
I can dig that. Everybody told me that when I became a parent my attitudes towards a great many issues would change. With one notable exception, they haven’t. I still think the National Sex Offender registry is creepy in its own right, and even though I have only sons I still have a double-standard for teacher-on-student-sex (male teacher with female student = a fucking rapist who will learn all about rape in prison, as opposed to female teacher with male student = Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson!).
The one thing that has changed is my attitude toward people with Down’s syndrome and similar mental handicaps. I was never mean TO mentally handicapped people, and although I still joke about them–I joke about most everything–I used to do so with very little thought. As you know, I don’t mind saying rough things, but I try not to say them gratuitously, if that makes sense.
I believe in what I do, and I don’t do it lightly. But like everything, there’s a cost. A good example is in this post. Although I still think its inclusion appropriate, the joke I have the hardest time with personally is the one nobody’s commented on–the breast cancer joke.
Thanks for reading, ARQ!
Thanks for thinking the best of me, Brigitte!
I always DESPISED “dead baby” jokes because they go beyond that line — at least to me.
I totally respect that, for two reasons in particular. One, is simply that I respect your opinion. Two are the final four words you added–“at least to me.” Everybody (myself included) has a line which, once crossed, the joke stops being funny and becomes offensive. But that line varies from person to person. For someone like yourself, I think that line is pretty broad–you impress me as a fairly easy-going gal. For people like Bill Maher (whose work I enjoy) the line doesn’t seem to be crossable. And then for a great many others, the line seems perilously thin. Given that these differences are irreconcilable, society is left, I think, with but two choices–the extremes. Eliminate all language that could possibly give offense, or live in a world where anyone can potentially be offended. I think you know which I prefer.
I’m not a particular fan of dead baby jokes, either. I threw that one in to warn the public about the dangers of twins. People don’t realize how insidious this phenomenon can be. Why, before we were afflicted, my wife and I were carefree people who did exciting things and had lots of cash in their pockets. Now, a half-decade later, we’re housebound paupers rapidly sliding into a premature old age. Meanwhile, THEY get stronger, faster and smarter.
Thanks as always for your great comments, which never fail to get me thinking.
Also, because my replies to you sometimes convey the erroneous impression that I’m upset, irritated or snarky, let me assure you I’m none of the three. I’m not even peeved. I’m quite jolly.
We too, are housebound paupers. Ain’t being a parent grand? As to the SOR, I don’t have an issue with the registry in and of itself…but I think more car should be given to WHO goes on it… Is it really fair to ruin someone’s life for peeing in public (indecent exposure?) and put them in the same category as a child molester? Also, in my trip through my local registry I was STUNNED that some of the offenders had only to register for 10 years and they were offenders against children. To not put too fine a point on it, you diddle kids and you deserve to be an outcast for life. Or dead. Jus’ saying.
*care, I meant more “care”
Carrie Rubin said:
If that last picture is a photo of Smak’s clone hiding behind this foul book, then it’s a good thing he hid his face. Then again, those jokes make the words that fly out of my boyfriend Biden’s mouth look like daisies, so it’s all good.
My clones were used in a different photo.
It’s the bald chicks.
Carrie Rubin said:
Yeah, I figured you were a bald woman.
Only 1 like so far to this post? I thought they were funny….xcept for the baby joke…dead babies…no bueno
Thanks! The breast cancer joke gave me more of the moral heebie-jeebies than did the dead baby joke. All three of ’em were a little iffy!
Yeah sometimes I’ll feel so guilty about laughing over certain off-collar jokes…some are just so wrong.
I know what you mean. But sometimes we can’t help what we think is funny. I recall a time I was travelling in Germany. In this empty bar–the last place I expected it–a couple of American came in and sat down not far from me. I didn’t say anything and after a while they sort of forgot about me, the way people tend to do (at least the way “we people” do) when they think nobody else speaks their language.
I wasn’t really paying attention until one of the guys told the other a joke. “Why is Michael Jackson like caviar?” he asked (MJ was still among the living at this time).
“Because they both come on little crackers.”
I literally spit my beer.
Sword-chinned bitch said:
Dead baby jokes — haven’t heard one of those since the early seventies. I won’t repeat the one I heard because I don’t want people wearing lieder hosen carrying torches to chase me out of town the way they did Frankenstein’s Monster 😦
want people wearing lieder hosen carrying torches to chase me out of town the way they did Frankenstein’s Monster
Sometimes the krauts just can’t help themselves, SCB, it’s in their nature.
Smak, if you still need schooling in matters sexual and moral, may I suggest Marquis de Sade’s “Justine”?
You may! Although Judy Blume’s “Forever” is a terrific primer.
XD Who knew?
I remember Judy Blume! Mostly the ever popular, Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret one. I can NEVER remember jokes! The one and ONLY one I could was:
What do you call the blonde corpse in the attic?
(the 1976 Hide n Seek Champion)
hahahaha – still makes me laugh..cryin’ shame.
El Guapo said:
Yes, I’ll be retelling that one, whitelady.
But it’s HATE humor, Guap! Just because nature has been kinder to some than to others, doesn’t mean you have to tear them down!
That would be great–if it weren’t so offensive. Why does it have to be a “blonde” corpse? Can’t the joke be funny on its own without sullying it with racial stereotypes?
Blond is beautiful! Blond people can no more help their fantastic luck in the genetic lottery any more than can the short help their runtiness. One is a gift from God, the other a terrible and pernicious curse.
haha! I know you are not really offended, Mr. Blonde Gigantor! And I am PROUD of my runtiness AND my dishwater blonde hair! (though it’s kinda silver, too)
I’m grey at the temples, but you can’t really tell. And although I do find the double standard puzzling (think it’s okay to joke about hair? Try saying “Nappy Headed Hos” on national radio–‘Blonde Bimbo’ is a safer bet ‘fer shure) I don’t really mind the jokes. Nor, honestly, do I mind having the kind of looks that puts old ladies at ease and doesn’t cause them to clutch their purse when I walk by. It works pretty well with the police, too (with one or two extremely unfortunate exceptions).
And even if I were the kind to get upset about blonde jokes (which would make me even MORE hypocritical than I’ll admit to), I couldn’t get mad at you!
OMG the one with the bloody semen is going to repeated to EVERYONE I SEE today.
We apologize to your friends and family for any trouble we may have caused!
Is it wrong I want a threesome with the bald chicks? Man if anyone’s going to get cancer cells I’m glad it’s two women who look good with a shaped head. Bless their hearts.
No, my friend. It’s not wrong at all. You know what they say: “Once you go bald, you never go back.” It’s something like that, anyway.
Books like “Gross Jokes” I can only read a few jokes at a time, not because I’m a prude, but because after a while my brain goes numb to the humor.
Yeah, I know what you mean, actually. Before writing this, I hadn’t read the book in years. Although I found the lack of modern sensitivity (which is truly sensitivity, and not empathy) to be refreshing, I was surprised at how many of the jokes simply weren’t funny. A great many were mean-spirited, which I don’t like. I think you can be funny about religion, race, sexual identity etc. without being mean-spirited (and yes, I’m aware of how ridiculously subjective is that contention), and there were examples of that kind of humor in there. But many of the jokes go for low-hanging fruit–sometimes relying simply on vulgarity to carry the joke across.
I do think I’m better off for my early exposure to these kinds of jokes, however.
El Guapo said:
Gross Jokes? Figures. I bet you also like JIF more than Skippy.
I’m a Truly Tasteless Jokes man, myself. At least three volumes!
And I can go back and forth all day on “Dead Baby” and “But Mom…” jokes all day long!
And I can go back and forth all day on “Dead Baby” and “But Mom…” jokes all day long!
A man after my own heart. “Mommy, mommy–daddy’s up!” “Shut up and reload.”
I bet you also like JIF more than Skippy.
Neither were allowed in my household as a child, I’m afraid–Mom always got the natural stuff that you had to stir after you opened it–so I didn’t really know the difference. I swore I’d be a little cooler about the peanut butter thing when I was an adult, but thanks to my mother’s pernicious influence, I’m a Laura Scudder’s fascist.
I preferred Truly Tasteless Jokes as well, honestly, but Gross Jokes is the one that I had. The inspiration for this post came when I was going through some boxes in the garage (we’re having a water-heater episode) that I’d brought back from my mom’s house when she died in 2005, but hadn’t gone through.
Something I suspect might be of interest to you–also recovered from one of the mystery boxes were a TON (not literally, of course–it was more like 3/4th of a ton) of Far Side & Bloom County books.
El Guapo said:
I find it a great tragedy that they haven’t released a Bloom County compendium yet. but I still flip through the books from time to time.
I like the all natural. And after refrigerating, mixing the oil back in is an excellent workout.
Do you actually have a copy of the touching book? If so, please review it. That would be amazing.
Cakes and Shakes... said:
I need that book. Purely because I can never recall any jokes when one might be required, save for one my brother told me years ago that I’ve told everyone since, repeatedly: it’s not even appropriate for me (a woman) to be telling really, but here goes: Why is a woman like a shrimp? Because their heads are full of shit but their pink bits taste delicious.
P.S. I rofled at the dead baby joke, but I would *cut* someone who mocked disabled children or adults. Seriously, I carry a really sharp knife just for those occasions (ok, bad joke)…
but I would *cut* someone who mocked disabled children or adults
I was a little more callous about that until I had children of my own. I don’t mean that I was cruel to the handicapped or teased them, but I was a lot more glib with jokes and the like. That’s really the biggest “paradigm shift” I’ve had as a parent. Most of my other views haven’t changed. We came close to rethinking the “kid leash,” but fortunately it never came to that, and now it doesn’t look like it will.