Today, like every alternate morning, I received one of those husband-wife jokes on my WhatsApp.
Wife: Do you want dinner?
Husband: Sure, what are my choices?
Wife: Yes and No
A few of these pop up in my Whatsapp inbox and every time, I delete them without even smiling.
I know what you are going to say – “Stop taking them seriously, woman! Grow some sense of humour!” Believe me, I tried! I even cracked a similar joke, see?
Wife: I need a soundproof purse.
Wife: Why, to spend all the coins you earned as salary.
To know if it worked, I showed it to my husband. His response was –
“Hahaha, are you done?” Basically, he meant to say that it was not funny.
That’s when I thought I was missing something. Maybe I didn’t understand husband-wife humour. Maybe I didn’t understand humour at all. Before I could arrive at nastier conclusions, I tried to find the answer.
I took all the jokes I had received and started finding trends. Fortunately, that was easy. More than 90% of those jokes were on the ladies. Broadly, they talked about how wives looked ugly, cooked horrible food, bossed over husbands, spent the husband’s money, made his life miserable and otherwise broke the wishful harmony that marriage could be or
worse his ‘head’.
While the categorization was uncanny, it didn’t help me. I went over to the husband again and asked him to throw light on this. But he didn’t seem to think it was such a big problem. “They are just for fun, sweetie! Don’t take them seriously. They are not that important.”
Well, it was sort of important. You see, I gathered the most popular h/w jokes I knew, and flipped them around. On the husbands.
Here’s what I found.
Wife beating husband with belan – funny.
Husband beating wife with something manly (definitely not belan) – not funny
Wife making the husband wash utensils with scotch brite – funny
Husband making the wife wash utensils with scotch brite – not funny
Huge fat ugly wife bossing over the husband – funny
Huge fat ugly husbands bossing over the wife – not funny.
Wife talking all the time, husband having no say in the family – funny
Husband talking all the time, wife having no say in the family – not funny
As you can imagine, I was flummoxed. As always, I went to my husband and asked him what this meant. You should know that unlike me, he is a man of varied talents and possess a good sense of humor.
With a grave face, he looked at all my findings and commented – “I am not surprised.”
“You’re not?” I asked, confused. But why? Don’t you see – none of the men jokes are funny! Only women jokes are funny!”
“I know.” He said, wisely. “Because all the men jokes are true.”
“What do you mean – they are true?”
“Yeah. Don’t you see – women don’t really beat their men with belan. But men sometimes beat their wives – it’s called household abuse or violence.
“Husbands almost never wash utensils here only wives do. Husbands also boss over their wives a lot. And didn’t you have a maid who had an unemployed, lazy and useless husband? And men do often take the more important decisions of the house here”.
“That is true!” I exclaimed.
“Yes,” said my husband smiling. “And that’s why it’s not funny. True things show you the truth, they unfold the reality so they are not funny.”
I, of course, found that sentence too complex. All I could understand was –
“False things are funny.”
“Not really. No such rule.” He said, his brow furrowed.
“But all the women jokes are false! You just said so!” As you can imagine, I was overwhelmingly confused now.
Even the husband was silent for a minute, before he said, “There’s something else to ponder”.
“Like what?” I asked.
“Perhaps it is human tendency to cover uncomfortable truths under a veil of humour. It’s a psychological thing – they say that the funniest joker is quiet and sad in real life”.
People say that my husband’s discovery is more interesting than the joke itself. They are praising him for his find. On the other hand, I of course, have no idea why. I’m still trying my luck to understand the philosophy.