During an otherwise pleasant conversation, I once mentioned to an elderly professorial gentleman that I enjoyed listening to Garrison Keillor's weekly radio show, Prairie Home Companion. My acquaintance scrutinized me over the bridge of his reading glasses and declared, barely concealing his distaste, "It's cornball," enunciating the word so emphatically that I actually conjured up the image of a big ball of popped corn, sticky with caramel.
So sue me. Every once in a while, a little corn tastes pretty darn good, and I experienced no regret when I resumed slumming around the FM radio band. I have a particular louche fondness for PHC's annual joke show--two hours of more or less nonstop cornball, from blonde jokes to knock-knock jokes to a-priest-a-minister-and-a-rabbi jokes.
And then there are the linguistic jokes, a rarer breed. Here are two from last weekend's show:
A pregnant woman went into labor and began to yell: "Couldn't! Wouldn't! Shouldn't! Didn't! Can't!"
She was having contractions.
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Q: If H2O is on the inside of a fire hydrant, what's on the outside?
And an even rarer religion-math-linguistics joke:
Jesus and his disciples were walking around one day, when Jesus said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like 3x squared plus 8x minus 9." The disciples looked very puzzled, and finally asked Peter, "What on earth does Jesus mean -- the Kingdom of Heaven is like 3x squared plus 8x minus 9? Peter said, "Don't worry. It's just another one of his parabolas."