Who knows why one particular joke makes you laugh more than another? This is not my favorite joke, not by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I hate it. And yet when it was told to me, I laughed harder than I’ve ever laughed at the standard variety of guy-walks-into-a-bar, setup-punchline joke. It’s lousy, but it did it to me. Maybe it’s all in the performance of the telling; maybe it won’t work in writing. In any case, here it is…
This young woman is at the supermarket checkout, and a young man scans her groceries. Microwave dinners for one, single-serving snack packs, a paperback romance novel.
He smiles at her; “Let me guess — you’re single, right?”
She blushes, and smiles. “Yeah,” she answers, looking down at her groceries. “How could you tell?”
“Because you’re fucking ugly.”
UPDATE 1/15/2013! I was just having drinks with some people and we got to telling “jokes” (old-school, setup/punchline, storytelling JOKES) and I seized on the chance to experiment with telling this joke with the genders reversed. Checkout girl, customer boy, with her telling him “Because you’re fucking ugly.” For a joke that’s predicated on humiliating a woman, the gender-swapped variation got big laughs!