Photo By Jools Thatcher

Photo By Jools Thatcher

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Funny”

Ed Bates is once again on guitar duties this week



Humour, like wine, is a matter of taste
Subtle – or straight from the drain
Some like it dry, some with a sparkle
While others prefer to abstain

What’s funny to one is torture to others
Drivel or hilarious skit
Smacked in the face by a garish one liner
Or courted by more muted wit

Slapstick, Improvised, Stand Up or Sketch
Satire, burlesque or sardonic
The trouble these days, from beauticians to butchers
Everyone thinks they’re a comic

TV’s awash with American sit-coms
Which I personally find an emetic
If forced into watching re-runs of ‘The Nanny’
I’d choose castration without anaesthetic

I could tell you a joke and maybe you’d chuckle
More out of politeness than mirth
But in the hands of an artist – someone like Ed
They could milk it for all it was worth

It was funny the first time Ed
Ed – that’s enough mate
Shut up Ed!

When qualified with “It’s only a joke”
Everything becomes fair game
A Trojan horse to veil bigotry?
Or endearment in humours name

There’s no race, religion, or distinguishing feature
That a joke hasn’t mocked or defiled
A joke in the hands of someone unskilled
Is like a gun in the hands of a child

The Italians and Scots, the French and the Jews
Catholics, Arabs, and Sikhs
The same jokes Australians tell targeting Kiwis
The Turks just substitute Greeks

The Poms mock the Welsh, the Yanks tease the Poles
While the Irish even have their own book
Australia cops not one, but two smoking barrels
Indigenous and post Captain Cook

Stutterers, blondes, dwarves and the aged
Those who suffer Alzheimer’s or a tumour
The deaf, the obese, the visually impaired
Lampooned on the altar of humour

Jokes at other peoples expense
Tawdry and generally not funny
Except for those about drummers and accordion players
By and large they’re right on the money

Humour, I’m told, serves no evolutionary purpose
But it’s in us from our very first breath
There’s a theory it counters our fear of dying
And endures, beyond even death

The Dentist, whose headstone declares with relief
“Thank God it was only a filling”
Or the British Actor, no longer the co-star
“At last I get top billing”

The gravestone of Jedediah Goodwin
Proves in death, humour lives on
“An auctioneer” his epitaph states
“Going! Going! Gone!”

© Copyright 2009 Ian Bland

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