A Serious Talk About Jokes — The Bad Jokes

On jokes, parrots, and the pressure to laugh in chorus.

Adelina Vasile


Cat in a cage with 3 parrots perched on top of the cage.
Source: pixabay.com

In my sixth grade, mom came back from a school meeting.

She said my literature teacher worried about me not laughing during his classes. Everyone else was laughing at his jokes, but me. I was too serious. 😑 Surely, there must have been something wrong with me.

In my defense, I said — but mom, I find his jokes lousy. 😒

To this day, I have this habit of not laughing at the jokes I don’t enjoy. And I usually don’t enjoy pejorative jokes.

But here’s one joke I particularly enjoy. I won’t be sad if you won’t feel like laughing at it.

Some parrots just don’t get it

The joke:

A magician was working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. The audience would be different each week, so the magician simply performed the same tricks over and over again.

There was only one problem: the captain’s parrot saw the shows every week and began to understand what the magician did in every trick. Once he understood that, he started shouting out in the middle of the show.

“Look, it’s not the same hat!” “Look, he’s hiding the flowers under the table!” “Hey, why are all the cards the Ace of Spades?”

The magician was furious but couldn’t do anything, it was the captain’s parrot after all.

One day the ship had an accident and sank. The magician found himself on a piece of wood in the middle of the ocean and, of course, the parrot was by his side.

They stared at each other with hate, but did not utter a word. This went on for several days. After a week the parrot finally said: “Okay, I give up. What’d you do with the boat?”

My twist:

Without humor, life is nothing but a big sad joke. But even when humor is involved, there’s someone at the giving end and the rest of us at the receiving end.

Sometimes, there’s a parrot at the receiving end who doesn’t get the joke. Other times, there’s a parrot at the giving end.



Adelina Vasile

Mother, educator, journalist, copywriter. I write about the things I need to learn myself.