Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bumper Stickers

A Chinese student in our lab asked me what a bumper sticker was. The explanation had to include what a bumper was (she doesn't have a car). She then told me she wanted to get a gift for a friend who was going to be a journalist. She had found a bumper sticker that said, "Do it with a journalist and feel the power of the press." I started laughing. She said,

"I don't get it, is it funny?"

Oh dear. Why do I always get stuck explaining these things to people? You know when you have to explain these things you try to be a little bit vague hoping that they will get it without going too much in depth? A few years back I had to explain a rather crude joke to my roommate, who, upon explanation, still didn't get it (I believe he said, "Okay, but what does that get you?" In his defense, it dealt with female anatomy and positioning and being gay he really never thought about those sorts of things). I then had to explain exactly what was going on and why it would be desirable. It was a tad embarassing. I believe his reply was, "Oh." Jokes really aren't very funny if they have to be explained in that kind of depth.

Today, fortunately, once explaining that "it" was sex, I didn't have to go any further, although I think maybe she didn't think it was as funny as I thought it was. I guess her sense of humor is a little different from mine.


  1. Yeah, humor doesn't translate, especially when it involves puns. Voice of experience. I symapthize!

  2. *snicker* But that is a really funny bumper sticker.

    When I was young I was in the car with my parents and saw a bumper sticker that said "Save a tree, eat a [mammal known for building dams out of trees]." I was outraged that someone would advocate killing poor, defenseless animals, and expressed as much to my parents. That was a long, awkward silence that I didn't understand until many years later.