Monday, 30 March 2009

Manuel doesn't do jokes......anymore.

I don't tell a lot of jokes, I'm not very good at telling jokes. I get all tongue twisted, confused and if I am being honest a little frightened too. I make a mess of it every time and not just by giving away the punch line at the start.

You know how it goes - a small group gathers round to be amused and chortle at my cheerful monkeyshine but as they fall silent my tongue swells, my face goes red and I end up insulting the women and fending off threats of violence from the chaps. I wouldn't mind but it was just a simple little witticism about Gordon Brown, a monkey and Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant but somehow I managed to mention Josef Fritzl, the late Jade Goody and the never ever funny subject of euthanasia.

it's a whisky business

On the soul of the great Emo Phillips I have committed never to make people laugh again, a vow Emo himself took just before he started in comedy.

I just cant tell jokes, but not that I let that stop me......

It was Thursday night and I was in peppy and playful form. All my tables were finished or nearly finished and being pay day I was dandering about the restaurant with the swagger of a Texan billionaire. This swagger made me more confident than I really should have been. I was chatting with the guests as I wandered and giving it a bit of the old, "How you doing tonight?" sort of palaver complete with cheesy winks and flirtatious salutes.

I happened upon one of my more regular tables, three older women and their male work colleague. Good people if a little dull. Nowt wrong with being a little dull in fact we could all benefit from a little dullness from time to time. Anyway I sidled up beside them and had a quick chat with them about life and work and the crunchiness of their credit and all that jazz. We were laughing away at this that and nothing so I thought I would throw a little joke into the mix.

I never learn, really, I never do.

"So did you hear about Jonathan Ross?", I asked whilst trying not to laugh. For those of you who don't know Mr Ross is a British chat show host who cannot pronounce his "R's". It's important that you know this.

"No, what's thon fella been up 'til now?", replies Maggie with a disparaging look in her eyes. I don't know if she is called Maggie or not but she looks a touch like our late Prime Minister Mrs Thatcher. Is she late? I mean has she actually died yet? Is it wrong to say, I hope so? I really do, as I did not care for her or her nasty politics. Did not care for her at all, frightful woman.

"He's been caught shoplifting! Eh what ya think of that?", says I all gossipy and dramatic.

"Shapliftin? Him? Shapliftin? On his wages? Well that there is a disgrace so it is" says Maggies wee mate.

"That's right shoplifting....in Debenhams no less."

"Debenhams? I shap in Debenhams...", says Maggie clasping her bag closer to her chest just in case Jonathan Ross tried to make a move on it, "I was there the other day Shirley, for thon blue cross sale. Got some new tarls [towels] for the bathroom"

I was thinking that I may not have to ruin this joke all on my own as Maggie was doing it for me with her mid joke chit chat with Shirley.

"Aye..", says I trying to regain hold of my joke "....he was caught shoplifting and they arrested in the kitchen section"

They looked up at me with shocked faces that I was sure would crack with laughter when I confidently delivered the punch line....

"He said it was worth the whisk!" I stood back beaming from ear to ear and waited for the laughter to come.

The laughter did not come.

"He stole a whisk? Sake and him on those wages....it's just tarrible so it is." I agreed that it was indeed terrible and slowly backed away vowing never ever to tell a joke again in my life. The problem was that I was too far down the line to tell them it was a joke. I would have made them feel bad and that had not been my intention at all. So I just let them think that one of Britain's most loved and highly paid celebrities was a seedy little shoplifter. Sorry about that Mr Ross.

Well what was I to do? And for the record the joke is funny, just don't have me tell it to you.

31 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

ninetyninewords said...

If it wasn't for Maggie we'd never have had that period of prosperity (before CC), we'd never have had New Labour. We'd still be on the IMF life support Wilson had to dip into because they'd have let the unions win when they blackmailed the country for the umpteenth time. We'd have ended up with that useless cunt Kinnock, the Welsh windbag who spoke plenty but said nothing.
And we wouldn't have had the Mark Thatcher jokes. Even the ones you could tell.

Belfast Plate Carrier said...

It's not as good as the classic 'What's the soup today?
"Oasis Soup"
"Oasis Soup?"
"Yeah, you get a roll with it"

Manuel said...

99 words: and we wouldn't have had communities ripped apart and the poll tax and new labour and the thatcher chicken that are coming home to roost now and a larger gulf between the rich and the poor and workers with fewer rights and the inability to withdraw labour with the fear of losing their homes and we wouldn't have the Thatcher revisionists....."the kind people have a wonderful dream, Margaret on the guillotine...."

Manuel said...

bpc: terrible....oh and I owe you for that crack the other day....about the difficulty in going upstairs in a long apron.....I'll get ya for that....maybe on wednesday....

MJ said...

Jonathan Ross talks like Elmer Fudd?

Manuel said...

mj: yes, yes he does in a way.....never been known to shoot a wabbit though....

ninetyninewords said...

Poll tax? Much fairer system than the rates system you and I have. Why should a household OF 10 pay the same as a household of 1?
The increasing gap between rich and poor has to be squarely laid at the doors of Messrs Blair and Brown, moreso Brown, who has increased the proportion of indirect taxation (such as VAT, fuel tax, airport tax etc) and reduced direct taxes to levels below the Thatcher era. Indirect taxation has a more penal effect on those with smaller incomes because they're largely unavoidable.
She didn't get everything right but overall was the right person for the time and got more right than wrong. Conversely these clowns have signed us up for invading Iraq based on a lie, allowed an economy to become sustainable only with the support of fickle foreign wholesale credit and too dependent on property and consumer spending and fuck all else.
If you wish Maggie dead for her contribution you must have something pretty horrific lined up for Blair and Brown.

Manuel said...

99 words: it's so late for this but believe me I have no love for el gordo or bliar either.....and wish them all nothing but days spent dribbling into their sleeves and sleepless nights filled with poo and pish....mainly but not exclusively their own....

ninetyninewords said...

I met a guy once for a business meeting. First time. Getting on OK. I was a bit nervous so my speech was a bit hesitant every now and then. He made a jokey stammer back when I'd got a bit tongue tied complete with rocking head movements and rolling eyes. I got his "joke" and aped him back. You know the punchline.

Manuel said...

99 words: [sharp intake of breath] ooooh rough for ya...

daisyfae said...

shame that your table of regulars didn't catch it. it was a "snort", if not a "knee slapper", for sure.

expect they'll get to telling their friends about that horrible mr. ross, the tabloids will pick up the rumor, and pretty soon, he'll be tracking you down for spreading wumors...

Boxer said...

even with your accent, I would have gotten the joke.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

I thought it quite good the joke but these people who you were telling it to couldn't spend 5 seconds listening to anything without hearing the sound of their own voices first. That dooms a storytelling joke to not get a good response. If they would just shut their beaks for a second...There was nothing wrong with your delivery as I can see.I would not give up the jokes if I were you.

Mel said...

You might be crap at joke telling but I think in this case, it was the people hearing it, not your delivery!

I'm crap at telling jokes as well so just don't. I usually can't remember them as it is.

But hey, you don't need to be able to tell jokes, your writing usually has me in stitches!

Old Knudsen said...

In the world of show business where do you think Jonathan Ross ranks?

In the bathroom!

I made that up in case you didn't know and it was still more funny than yon joke you told, I own a book about the x-files his wife wrote, I know you don't care.

Anto said...

Always stick to the simple two line format, that's my suggestion.

- How does a monkey make cheese and toast?
- Sticks it under the G'rilla

or

- What kind of biscuits can fly?
- Wee plane ones

PRyin said...

Old K, nice, I liked it.

Manuel, you need to do the old Les Dawson cheesy smiled stamp and single jazz-hand move on the punchline.

There's a classic in the middle of this clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSTH68lA4lc

Dear oh dear.
(Note: do close the window immediately before the Roly Polys come on.)

Red Leeroy said...

groan.....chuckle........groan again.

Manuel said...

daisy: wumours....hee hee hee

boxer: i did deliver it with all the excellence of a classically trained actor too.....

steve: no....no my career as a comedian is over.....

mel: awh shucks cheers...

old k: boom boom.....i never care.....

anto: yes that is indeed correct and why my cheese horse joke from xmas went down so well.....

Manuel said...

PRyin: oh my! the roly polys......don't think you would get away with that any more.....

red leeroy: have I served you before? hahahaha

Jill said...

Jonathan Ross is a big guy. Just saying.

Crispy said...

I laughed, but I'm not the best at telling jokes either. I think it's in our genes brother dearest.

Manuel said...

crispy: it's a wonder all things considered.....

Le Nord said...

Awww Manuel. If it makes you feel better, I laughed! You are funny in text :)

wendy said...

I love the fact that you tell a joke and it turns into some political banter bullshit from forever ago.. Fuck Maggie..and all her friends too...even on this side of the pond.

Cheers. Loved the joke.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

I like emos observation that people are scared of heights although emo was scared of floors..as emo said its the floors that kill you..
ha ha ha

Jimmy Bastard said...

Are you available for weddings?

B said...

ah now, there's worse than poor emo

Medbh said...

Good one, Manuel.

Manuel said...

medbh: phew.....was wondering where you'd got to.....

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