The “Yo Mama” Edition

In Life, People, question, Social Commentary on June 17, 2009 at 3:36 am

Dear Ally,

Why are there joke murderers? Why do they exist?


* * * * *

Sehr geehrter Herr Gráinne,

My free online translator slaved over that extensive piece of English to German translation, so you’d best appreciate. Also it best be right. Because if we cannot trust the internets, who can we trust?

Your question might require some explanation for those who have had the good fortune not to run into such an individual, or who have but are not familiar with the term “joke murderer”.

A joke murderer indicates a person who, by some sort of innate talent or through the absolute lack of a sense of humour, manages to destroy what would have otherwise been a perfectly funny joke. I must clarify: I am not merely referring to someone who is incapable of delivering a scripted joke (as those are never funny) or whose failure to understand a joke causes for a lengthy explanation which negates the humour. I mean someone who disrupts a genuinely spontaneous spot of joshing, teasing, joking, taking the piss, or comic over-exaggeration that has developed between, or has the opportunity to develop between, two or more people.

Still not following? An analogy: you are “chillin'” with your “peeps”, and between two of you a particularly funny statement is drawn out into an even funnier non-sequitur conversation that has the two of you dangerously close to a pants-wetting situation. Enter the joke murderer: perhaps with a pathetic attempt to join in the joke, or maybe even with a Debbie Downer-esque statement, they manage not only to put a stop to all manner of frivolous giggles, but to cast a dreary net of gloomy humourlessness over the whole experience. The moment is over, thanks to the joke murderer, and what’s worse, you will never be able to look back on the joke prior to its death and enjoy the comedic sentiment that first sent you into stitches.

Remember: jokee murder is no joke. Except it sort of is.

Remember: joke murder is no joke. Except it sort of is.

That is the joke murderer.

I know, it is hard to believe that such criminals are allowed to walk the streets, and even more unbelievable that they are not marked in some way that makes them easily avoidable. Much like creepy perverts at a dance club on Saturday, they slip easily amongst us. We cannot tell who they are until they are upon us, groping inappropriately at our bra clasps or, in this case, our jokes.

The birth of the joke murderer is a chapter in human history that seems to be sadly lacking from all known creation myths, from the Bible to the Silmarillion. To be fair, a chapter describing the genesis of the joke murderer was under consideration during the writing of the Bible, but it was cast out due to its lack of parables, Jesus, God, or a fig tree, and its overall irrelevance to Christianity in any way possible.

You know the story in Peter Pan about the birth of fairies? “When the first baby laughed the laugh broke into a thousand tiny pieces, and each became a fairy” or something along those lines? Well, the birth of the joke murderer is rather similar. Except that instead of a baby’s laugh, it was a “Yo’ Mama” joke. The first time some douchebag made a “Yo’ Mama” joke, the responding douchebag laughter shattered into a thousand pieces, and each piece was shot into the heart of a random child. That child, through no fault of their own, would grow up to become a joke murderer.

Joke murderers aren’t bad people; they’re just decent people that most other people will never, ever want to spend any time with. They are usually found in your MSN or Facebook friends list, categorised under “Co-workers” or “Other”. If they aren’t your co-worker, chances are you don’t know why you know them, and probably don’t remember their name when they show up in person at random events. It’s not your fault: your brain’s defence mechanism when it is confronted with a joke murderer is to forget them as quickly and completely as it can.

But joke murderers aren’t simply a wart on the sole of society’s foot. They do serve a purpose; as with any negative, they are there to highlight, to emphasise the positive against which they are contrasted. If it weren’t for joke murderers, we would too easily forget the importance of humour in our everyday lives. Funny situations would be left unpersued, puns unpunned, laughs unlaughed, sarcasm uncasmed. We wouldn’t be completely without humour, but the world of comedy would be just a little bit dimmer.

So, Herr Gráinne, as annoying as it may be, keep in mind that every joke murdered leads to the birth of a new one at least six times as funny. Like Optimus Prime, joke murderers add up to the sickening armpit stench of society without which we could not be considered humans. And while you may have no interest in being considered human, I happen to find it a most convenient species to be identified as. I shall, yet again, restrain my arm from unleashing a fatal blow upon one of these most unfortunate of people. They should be pitied and cared for, and not beaten and ritually cannibalised.

They may have lower stress, but they’ll never get to enjoy the sleepless nights and extensive hair loss that are bestowed upon winners like ourselves. Losers.

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