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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oldest Joke in the World: Not Funny

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 3:54 PM

hieroglyphics.jpgHa! Ha! Ha!

A post on MetaFilter today cites an article in Smithsonian Magazine from February 2008.

"Found: the oldest joke in the world," read the headline in the Sunday Times of London on June 29, 1997. Inscribed on a roll of papyrus, the hoary jape could be translated as a riddle: "How do you entertain a bored pharaoh? You sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile and urge the pharaoh to go catch a fish."
Uh... I don't get it?
I guess you had to be there (in 2600 b.c., when King Snefru received this wink-wink nudge-nudge advice from the court magician Djadjamankh.) Or perhaps it was funnier in the original hieroglyphic. (Asp jackal ibis? Wiggly line, ankh, feather!)
Anyway, MetaFilter goes on to mention a bunch of other websites with crusty, old, historic jokes from bygone days.

So, on that note, I should like to share with you my personal oldest joke, a hilarious riddle I composed at the age of five:

Why did the chicken cross the road only halfway?
Because he was a crossing guard.
Yep. Made it up myself.

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