My Best Jokes
I have always enjoyed a good joke, but there are many others who laugh heartily at a joke. What makes me different from them is, that I remember most of the jokes I hear and when it comes to story-swapping time, I can retell them to a new audience, sort of spreading the good word. In my 70 or so years, I have heard many a good joke (and even more bad ones). I really think that telling bad jokes, or rather telling good jokes badly, should be declared a federal offense. I just hope that you, the reader, will not accuse me of committing the very same offense.
On occasion, when I have told a few jokes at the office or at home to friends, I was asked about the number of jokes I remember. All I could answer was that I remember a great many jokes, but I didn't realize how many until at the suggestion of Rosie, my co-worker at the office, I sat down at my computer and started to write them down. I wondered whether I would dry out like a well in the desert after remembering a few dozen jokes. Happily, the jokes kept popping up and voilá here is a book full of them.
I did not include in this collection all the jokes I know. I tried to exclude those, which - in my opinion - are in poor taste, or just plain bad. Other jokes, some of them quite excellent, in the various foreign languages that I speak, or understand, do not translate well. Still others are no longer funny due to the passing of time, changes in mentality, morality, taste, age, advancing technology, etc.
For example, in the "FOR YOUR KIDS" category there is a joke about prosthetics, that made me laugh my head off as a young boy. Today, I no longer find it that funny, but I decided to include it anyway. I find it improbable that the Education Department would classify this book as Recommended for Youth, but children being who they are, they will happen on it and will probably find the above joke and maybe some others in this category, the best of the lot.
Still other jokes never tickled my funny bone - like everything else, humor is a matter of taste. My 28 year old son thinks that most of the jokes recounted at our dinner table are not funny at all. Therefore, I hereby categorically state that this collection is made up of jokes that reflect my personal preferences, which may differ from yours. I hope most of the items in the collection are new to you, on the other hand, many a good, old joke may be enjoyed over and over. I sincerely hope that you will like them, but should you not find them funny, then you may have opened the wrong book!
In my opinion a book of funny stories is not like any other piece of fiction, to be read continuously. Jokes, like good food, lose their taste when consumed too hastily. A collection of funny stories is more like anti-depressant medicine, to be taken a few sips at a time, when your spirits are particularly low. Alternatively, jokes can be used as a reference material, which you leave (after you have found the item you were looking for) on your bedside table, or some other convenient location, (the Dutch have a delightful habit of putting a book of jokes in the loo!) ready for the next opportunity.
To enable the reader to find the type of joke best suited to his whim at the moment, or to the specific occasion, I tried to categorize them - even though in some cases there are only a few jokes in a particular category, or conversely, some jokes belong to more than one category. Some people are of the opinion that the best jokes deal invariably with sex, others love scatological, mother-in-law, absent-minded professor or ethnic jokes, which poke fun at the presumed idiosyncrasies of other nationalities. Many stories are of the latter type and I truly hope, that my readers' sensibilities will not be offended - as no insult was intended. Personally, I love Jewish anecdotes, provided they are not malicious. I also included a category called "THE MIDDLE EAST" I don't mind if you have a hearty laugh at our expense, if you permit me to laugh at your expense. After all, it is said that laughter is good for your health.
At last, some acknowledgements. First of all I want to thank Rosie Solomon, at whose exhortation I started writing this book and who was the first to laugh at many of the jokes included in it (and a most hearty laughter she has!). Special thanks are due to my good friend Judy Paz, who performed some of the very necessary editing on the first version of the manuscript. Other friends to be thanked are Shlomo Barnea, a seemingly inexhaustible source for new jokes and different versions/new punch-lines for old ones. Then there are those who e-mailed me some stuff, Deganith Greier and Yehoshua Solomon of Israel, Philippe Boucher of Canada and Francine Bramble of the USA.
This Word 2007 file is Freeware, recently updated as of January 17, 2012. Click on the title below; you may download, print it out and use it freely. From time to time I'll revise it, adding and deleting jokes, as the case may be. Have good laugh! You deserve to, everybody deserves to.