Anne Notations

Friday, April 28, 2006

"Holy elephants!" Tom said ponderously

Once upon a time - and a more innocent time it was - people loved to pass along funny word games and jokes. Even without the Internet, the latest one-liners seemed to cross state lines at the speed of light.

For example, Tom Swifties. Does anyone do Tom Swifties anymore? Do people under the age of, say, 40 even know what they are? Random House says that a Tom Swifty "relies for its humor on a punning relationship between the way an adverb describes a speaker and at the same time refers significantly to the import of the speaker's statement." A clearer way to define a Tom Swifty is with examples:

"I cut my toenails too far," Tom said quickly.
"There's the Dog Star," Tom said seriously.

These, and others, are on Mark Wutka's Tom Swifties site. You can Google for more. Bet you can come up with some Swifties of your own. Share, please?

Related, in my mind anyway, are the Robin/Batman one-liners in which an exclamation begining with "Holy" is related to the object of the sentence. The only one I can remember is the much-paraphrased "Holy shit, Batman - are we in a mess!" I'm sure there were more. If anyone has more than two brain cells to rub together and can reach back to the 1960s portion of their memory bank, please send examples.

Finally, I have fond memories of another sixties craze, elephant jokes. These share both an absurdist approach and the riddle form with the more recent lightbulb genre ("How many ___ does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"). Elephant jokes are a bit subtler, but just as smartass. "Why did the elephant stand on the marshmallow? So she wouldn't fall in the hot chocolate." Ba-dah-BOOM. "How do you tell if there is an elephant in your bed? The big 'E' on his pajamas." And for the PG-13 crowd: "What does an elephant use for a tampon? A sheep. Why do elephants have long trunks? Because sheep don't come with strings."

Well, I'm outta here - here being cyberspace. "Thank God it's Friday," Anne said weakly. Holy empty refrigerator, Batman - what am I gonna make for supper? I dunno yet, but I hope it includes chocolate and elephants.


  • Oh God, elephant jokes!

    "I drive a Saab," Tom said sadly.

    By Blogger Bozoette, at Mon May 01, 12:49:00 PM EDT  

  • On a beautiful day like today, I need very little to get me to stray from the day's list of work. Now look what you made me go and find: a wiki quotations site:

    By Blogger tjs, at Fri May 05, 03:47:00 PM EDT  

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