SyrPer says Germans love a good joke and we can prove it. Mark the Brit pooh-poohs the idea and says we cannot. This disagreement occurred yesterday while discussing humor, light opera and the like. Mark took a typically British position distinguishing the two kindred peoples by looking at the cultural affection for or aversion to “humor”. I told him that I would take up any challenge by asking my over 1,000 readers in Germany to contribute proof to my position.
A German youth tries to conceal laughter as though it were some evidence of cultural inferiority. We think not.
Here’s the deal: During the next seven days I am inviting all Germans to contribute a clean joke which illustrates the Teutonic love for comedy and wit. Jokes cannot be vulgar because our blogsite eschews any resort to demotic language or off-color expressions. The jokes should be exemplaristic of German culture and peculiarities. We prefer the jokes to be in English but can translate any joke as long as it is not in Mitteldeutsch. Ziad won the German Achievement Award at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School in 1968 and continued to study German into his graduate program at the University of Michigan. At UoM’s Dept. of Near Eastern Studies there was a running gag about German being the most important Semitic language. The kicker in the joke is that while German is not a member of the Semitic language family, it was absolutely necessary to learn it in order to read the great works of German philologists like Ignaz Goldziher, Wellhausen and the like.
Feel free to submit great German jokes without recourse to crude language or street-based vulgarisms. Let me give you an example of a good German joke or a good joke about Germans:
“Four men sat at a table – an Englishman, a Frenchman, a Damascene Arab and a German-Prussian gentleman. Each was notable for the level of pedantry he exhibited coupled with an obvious distaste for anyone but a member of his own ethnic group.
The Frenchman commented: ‘You know, the French language is the most beautiful in the world’. The others grumbled defiantly. ‘Well, look at the English word for butterfly. In French it is so much prettier: Papillon! Papillon! Papillon? It is very clear to me.” (The German began to seethe).
The Englishman treated the French man’s comments with typical Anglican contempt: “The very word you used ‘butterfly‘ is so elegant, it far surpasses the anemic, effeminate sound of something used to describe a man’s tie. Butterfly! Butterfly! Butterfly! Why it’s obviously more beautiful.” (The German began to seethe visibly).
The Arab from Damascus was imbued with millennia of urban arrogance and looked upon all his companions as nothing more than newcomers to the world of good taste. “Don’t lets argue too much on this. The Arabic language delivers the best sounds for creatures as beautiful as the butterfly. Listen to how you can hear the butterfly flap its wings: Farrrrrrraaasha! Farrrrrraaaaasha! Farrrrrraaaasha! Why it’s gorgeous. The trilling of the r is so demonstrative.” (The German was turning a bright, beet red; his eyebrows dislocating his forehead).
The German stood up and stomped his right Prussian foot down and said: “Was do you know about lengvage? You are dummkopffs!! Zeh Deutsche Sprache is zeh most beautiful in Der Welt!! Listen to our verd for butterfly: SCHMETTERLING!! SCHMETTERLING! SCHMETTERLING!”
The other companions looked at one another sheepishly.
AND SO, I INVITE MY GERMAN FRIENDS TO SUBMIT THEIR FAVORITE JOKES THROUGH THE COMMENT SECTION. A WINNING JOKE WILL BE SELECTED AND THE WINNER WILL BE GRACIOUSLY INVITED TO DINNER WITH ZIAD WHENEVER THAT INDIVIDUAL HAS THE MISFORTUNE TO VISIT THE DETROIT AREA. NEEDLESS TO SAY, WE WILL GO OUT TO DINNER (pardon the expression) DUTCH!!