lcorbin at rawbw.com
Tue Apr 28 04:45:43 UTC 2009
The purpose of this post is not to engage in the
vulgar practice of using the web to disseminate
jokes of questionable taste. Ahem. Certainly not!
There is a point.
A young boy comes down for breakfast. Since they
live on a farm, his mother asks if he has done
'Not yet,' said the little boy. His mother tells
him no breakfast until he does his chores.
Well, he's a little ticked off so when he feeds
the chickens, he kicks a chicken. When he feeds
the cows, he kicks a cow. When he feeds the pigs,
he kicks a pig.
He goes back in for breakfast and his mother
gives him a bowl of dry cereal.
'How come I don't get any eggs and bacon, and why
don't I have any milk in my cereal?' he asks.
'Well,' his mother says, 'I saw you kick a chicken,
so you don't get any eggs for a week. I saw you
kick the pig, so you don't get any bacon for a
week either. I saw you kick the cow so for a week
you aren't getting any milk.'
Just then, his father comes down for breakfast and
kicks the cat halfway across the kitchen.
The little boy looks up at his mother and says,
'You gonna tell him or should I?'
Get it? Did you get it?
I submit that there are three kinds of people who
don't get the joke:
1. those not familiar enough with English, or
at least not familiar enough with the terms
having to do with sex
2. innocents, e.g., young people or the very
ascetic, who never happened to pick up on
that universe of discourse
3. folks whose linguistic associations failed
them or who demanded more in the way of strict
logic than the joke supported, (a category
into which I myself fell)
I am reliably informed by two co-workers that
the joke revolves around one particular other term
in the English language for cat besides "kitten",
"kit" and so forth, to wit, "pussy" (a term, of
course, that indeed is familiar to many, and even
Now I would have "gotten" a slightly different
joke: the man comes downstairs and kicks the
goat, and the little boy says to his mom, "You
gonna tell him or should I?". It wouldn't have
been very funny, in all probability, but it
would have made more logical sense, implying
perhaps a sudden discomfort to the man as his
wife now realizes she has a rival. (I tried that,
but a cat is too small. Er, I mean, I sought such
an interpretation of the joke, but the cat was
Consider that the entire context of the joke
is supposed to have provided the basis for a
linguistic association, and does in fact
succeed for many or most people.
Yet (so my take goes) such are the logical
requirement of some of us that the following
Kick chicken -> No eggs for a week.
Kick cow -> No milk for a week.
Kick pig -> No bacon for a week.
Kick cat -> No "pussy" for a week.
doesn't work at all. In the first three cases
the object of the kick provides a service. In
the latter case, the cat is out of the picture,
and only a synonym for the cat comes into play.
Mind you---I'm not saying that the joke is
wrong or illogical, just that I am surprised
that it works for most people.
(In my own case, so far as I can tell by
introspection, it was a simultaneous linguistic
association failure and a too rigid logical
adherence, the former possibly provoked by
Any analogs to this phenomenon occur to you,
or emergent new generalities, or other examples?
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