Chapter 12: Every Joke Has a Great Reason
Are all jokes irrational?
It is not that all jokes are irrational. You cannot even find one joke that is irrational. But the joke has its own psychology and rationality. The psychology of the joke has to be understood and then the rationality of it will be clear.
Man is so repressed that he cannot even speak certain words; he is utterly inhibited. The joke starts with ordinary words, but takes a sudden turn and catches you unawares. And that sudden turn you could not have expected; that’s why all your repressed mind, your inhibitions suddenly explode.
Nobody has used jokes for cleaning your mind. It is a catharsis. The moment you see the point, suddenly you say, “My God, I was going towards a certain rational conclusion..” The joke turns at a point where you would not have expected it. That sudden turn makes you forget all your rationality, all your logic, all your language. In a split moment you are suddenly like a child.
You must have noted, the jokes are only concerned with the repressed parts of your being. It is a revenge - revenge by the powerless against the powerful. They kill you, they destroy you, but you can do it better without weapons, just by a single joke! Jokes have a beauty of their own, because they bring laughter to you. And to me laughter is the moment when the mind stops, time stops and you are suddenly overwhelmed by a new energy, a new delight. These are simple glimpses to prepare you for the ultimate laughter.
It is said about Bodhidharma that the first thing he did after his enlightenment was, he laughed loudly. Again and again it was asked of him why he laughed; there was no visible reason for it.
He said, “I laughed because I was searching myself, and I was going round and round everywhere except within myself. Existence has played a great joke on me.”
Certainly jokes are not irrational.
Just look at the rationality of the jokes:
Bridget, the Irish prostitute, has just finished “servicing” her client, an English gentleman.
She asks him, “Hey, you don’t have that terrible AIDS disease, do you?”
“No,” replies the gentleman, doing up his shoelaces, “I get a medical check each week, I’m definitely clean.”
“Oh good,” replies Bridget. “Thank God for that, I wouldn’t like to be getting that again!”
What did the hurricane say to the palm tree? “Hang on to your nuts, this is no ordinary blow job!”