Which side of me will win?

10 jokes that actually were real


Having written a rather well-received piece about thousands of people thinking that a Photoshopped Tweet posted as a joke was actually real, I thought I ought to balance things out by showing how some well-known jokes are actually based on fact. I shall be detailing the jokes, the photographic proof and, mostly importantly, the facts.

WARNING: This actually gets quite a lot more graphic than you might think. It’s worksafe, but it’s graphic. That’s all.

The Joke:
Q: What do you call a man with no arms and no legs floating in the sea?
A: Bob

The Proof:


The Facts:
This is Philippe ‘Bob’ Croizon and he’s the kind of person that makes you think that perhaps you’re not trying as hard as you should in life. He lost all four of his limbs in a horrific electrical accident back in 1994, but has since swum across not only the English Channel, but also ‘around the world’ for his Swimming Beyond Borders challenge, which consisted of swims between Papau New Guinea and Indonesia, Europe and Africa, Africa and Asia, and North America and Asia. I have a complete, fully functioning set of arms and legs and I take the lift to get to and from my 10th floor flat.

The Joke:
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To get to the other side.

The Proof:


The Facts:
When chickens get loose they tend to want to get away from wherever they were held captive and it’s often the case that ‘away’ is on the other side of a road – possibly even several roads. It happens all the time, but goes largely unreported. The whole point of the joke, of course, is that it isn’t really a joke. The answer is the most plain and obvious response possible.

The Joke:
A: My dog’s got no nose.
B: Really? How does she smell?
A: Awful!

The Proof:


The Facts:
Speaking of crossing roads, this is Kabang. In December 2011, she was with her owner, his nine-year old daughter and her three-year old cousin, when the two little girls attempted to cross a busy road without noticing an oncoming motorcycle. Kabang did notice the motorcycle, and jumped into its path (with a loud “KABANG!” presumably), knocking it over and causing only minor injuries to the two girls and the bike’s rider. Kabang, however, had her nose crushed in bike’s front wheel. The family couldn’t bring themelves to have their heroic pooch put down, but her wound needed expensive treatment that her family could not afford. Fortunately though, thanks to the power of social media, the Care For Kabang campaign raised enough money – some $27,000 – to have the hapless hound flown over to the USA for life-saving surgery and treatment. This is a beautiful story, but that doesn’t change the fact that Kabang is a dog and therefore does indeed smell awful.

The Joke:
Q: What do you call a man with a spade in his head?
A: Doug

The Proof:


The Facts:
I didn’t think I’d find proof of this one, but there it is. This guy is a ‘ma song’ (‘horse of the gods’) participating in the Taoist Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, Thailand, and has that spade in his face to absorb bad energy, so he’d probably try and tell you (after he’s taken it out, of course). But this kind of ritualistic face piercing isn’t even a Taoist tradition. It was pinched off the Hindus and, while it used to be just about spikes and skewers, the last few decades have seen increasingly large and absurd objects sticking in and out of revelers’ mugs. Absorbing bad energy, my arse. I know a bunch of show offs when I see one.

The Joke:
A horse walks into a bar. The barman says, “Why the long face?”

The Proof:


The Facts:
The facts surrounding this one are hazy, given the the story that originally accompanied this picture claimed that the horse was nine years old and had been drinking in the pub for ten. However, this is still a real, non-Photoshopped picture of a horse at a bar, and it’s not the only one knocking about either. Therefore, horses do walk into bars and it thus follows that at least one barman will, at some point, had quick enough wits to enquire as to the reasoning behind the said animal’s elongated countenance.

The Joke:
Q: What do you call a man with a seagull on his head?
A: Cliff.

The Proof:


The Facts:
If this man’s name wasn’t Cliff before – and given that this photo was taken in Germany, it probably wasn’t – then it is now.

The Joke:
A: Knock knock!
B: Who’s there?
A: Doctor.
B: Doctor who?
A: Correct.

The Proof:

The Facts:
Presumably every single actor who’s ever played Doctor Who has made this joke ad infinitum with his family, friends and colleagues. I know I would.

The Joke:
Patient: Doctor! Doctor! I get an intense pain in my eye whenever I take a sip of tea.
Doctor: Try taking the spoon out first.

The Proof:


The Facts:
I don’t actually remember how or where I found this picture, but I didn’t stage it myself, I promise you. I’m not a tea drinker myself, but I imagine this actually happens quite a lot.

The Joke:
An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman…

The Proof:


The Facts:
Much like chickens crossing roads, Englishmen, Irishmen and Scotsmen getting up to assorted antics and shenanigans together is actually quite commonplace. Those shenanigans often involve fighting in and around pubs, but don’t necessarily. The trio in this picture was supposedly brought together for a Foster’s lager advert, but seeing as I can find no evidence of any such advert existing outside of the decidedly sketchy homepage of the actor playing the Englishman, I think he might just have made the whole thing up.

The Joke:
Q: What’s brown and sticky?
A: A stick

The Proof:


The Facts:


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