A Monkey, A Clown and A Crow Walk Into A Bar, Or, The Joke With No Punchline
- US slams North Korea missile test as Kim claims ‘whole US mainland’ in reach, CNN, July 30, 2017
In his kingdom, remote, isolated and desolate, he was considered an enormous man, and, to be fair, compared to his gaunt, emaciated people, he was a giant in girth, as well as power. His hair was magnificent. He thought of himself as the mighty King Kong, a chimp who developed into a fearsome beast, a foe not to be underestimated as he fended off the weaponry of his adversaries, swatted missiles out of the air as if they were gnats, and shook the ground he strode with footsteps that toppled trees. The big man admired the ape, so resolute and stoic, so he collected armaments to lob, like so many coconuts, in the direction of his enemies, clapping his hands with delight and smiling with all his teeth when his arm grew impressive and his aim improved. So enamored was he of King Kong that he patterned his foreign diplomacy on the cinematic simian, but the big man never understood Kong’s motivation: Kong was a victim. He only fought out of self-defense, out of a sense of love, though that turned out to be totally misguided and unrequited. Ah, well, live and learn, Kong. There are worse things to be duped by than love. But I digress.
The monkey-man fought for the sound his fat hands made when they beat his own chest and the joy of smearing his feces in the faces of his enemies. He called this “respect.” He was nuts, coconuts, and he was completely and utterly convinced that he was always right, and that his thoughts, no matter how ill-conceived, harmful or self-destructive, were Actions That Must Be Taken. This afforded him his all precious respect, and this is what made him King.
- Donald Trump vows to answer North Korea nuclear threats with ‘fire and fury’, The Guardian, August 8, 2017
The Clown-magician was not really a clown or a magician, but a lunatic, who could be funny, because he looked like a fool and acted like a baby. He dressed in a fine suit with a fright wig, and made much of pointing out the fine leather of his enormous clown shoes, because you know what they say about a man with big feet. He carried with him, like a scepter, a golden woman. However, his favorite toy was other people’s money, and he juggled it with skill. He mastered sleight of hand, so at one minute you saw the money, felt it fanning your greed-hot cheeks, and then POOF! It disappeared, only to resurface in an unexpected deep pocket, usually hidden close to his vest, or out from behind an old white man’s hairy ear. This confused people, so sometimes they did not know that he was insane, and sometimes they saw the madness as magic. The Clown-magician recognized something in the rolling eyes of Kong; he saw a kindred spirit, and that scared him, the way a scorpion is threatened by, and will therefore strike, its own reflection. Kong had a childish aura about him, which tempted and enraged the Clown-magician; it made him want to set up a homicidal play date. Also, Kong threw an ICBM at the Clown-magician, which was bad, but when the monkey-man clapped with delight and smiled with all of his teeth, the act became totally unforgivable.
Because he saw himself as a magician, he crossed his arms like a petulant genie and began to chant: “with Fury and Fire, Alacazam Kazzee/ The Fat man, that Little Boy/ Shall Cease to be/ I’ll grind that Monkey/Into the Sea/ That’s what he gets/ For Messing with Me!” Because he was a clown, he added some nonsense words: ENO-LAH GAI! Hee-ROHSH! Sheemah! NAW Gaw SAKEE! Sakeetoomee, Sokitoomee!, and sprayed everyone in close range with a jet of liquid from the poison flower in his lapel. Because he was deranged, he meant what he said, whatever it was, and pictured fur flying and huge clown shoes flopping until the main ring of the circus was awash in blood and teeth and the feces of the enemy. “Sock it to me,” he whispered under his breath.
Everyone knows that clowns are scary, magic is smoke and mirrors, and you can’t argue with crazy.
- ‘God has given Authority to take out Kim Jong-Un’, evangelical adviser says, Washington Post, August 9, 2017
The man in the black robes did not know who he was, and so he read a book that told him how to be. Still, the not knowing vexed him. He wanted to be sure. Perhaps he was a priest, or a pastor, or maybe a judge. Was there a difference? He decided to be a crow, cawing loudly to his flock, who flew in circles or plummeted beak-first to the ground, unless he instructed them on the proper methods and techniques of flapping. They were angry about how far King Kong could fling his feces and bombs, and they worried Kong could slap down their own weapons like gnats. The flock squawked and hopped when they heard the words of the Clown-magician. They found them remarkably stirring, and more importantly, easy to repeat. “Fire and Fury, Ca- Caw! Fury and Fire, Braaaak!” There was much hullaballoo and ruffling of feathers, cut short only because one of the flock, a big bald eagle-ish fellow, spread himself to the full span of his wings and shouted, “Wait! Fire and Fury? What are you even talking about? That is not how we do things! Fire and fury tears nests apart- think about the families! It singes feathers- consider all the missed opportunities! Fire and Fury scorches the earth and sends clouds of smoke so high that nobody can fly anywhere, and there is no place to land! Fire and Fury SUFFOCATES LIFE! What gives us the right to grind anybody, even monkeys, into the sea? Sea monkeys? They aren’t real! They are just what we all are- dried up shrimp, worms trying to wriggle their way into existence. Who are we to stop them?”
All beady bird eyes turned eagerly to the man in black robes, who suddenly found his calling. It felt good to be called, and so he picked up the phone. Jesus was on the line. “Uh-huh. Yes sir. And this comes straight from the Big Guy, does it? No, no, I’m not questioning! No, I believe…Oh yeah, huge honor, huge! Yeah, I get it. No, I’ll say it good. I will! All right, then. Thanks a lot. You can count on me. Amen to you, too.”
He dropped to his knees as if struck by lightning. He babbled in tongues for awhile until he had everyone’s attention and the cawing and hooting became muted twitters and tweets. His voice took on honeyed tones reminiscent of Magnolia trees and Jack Daniels. The slow, Southern drawl practically holy rolled right out of his throat. He swirled his robes around him, and the flock settled on their perches.
“We are not animals, brothers and sisters. We are God’s creatures. God compels us to fly towards glory, to soar in our faith, for we are descended from the Divine. From Light. God is Light, and we always fly towards the Light. Light lives matter.
Apes, even in human skin, are animals. Hairy, filthy, black beasts with blood under their fingernails and bone gristle in their teeth. Dark and Evil, they mock us, and they mock God, pretending that because they walk upright, they are in God’s image. God hates apes. God hates Kong. We live for God, for God is King. King of Kong. But Kong rises up, Dark against the Light. We always fly toward the Light, and therefore,we matter! God as King says “Kill King Kong!” I say Kingdom Come welcome Kong Killers. All Kongs. This I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, because I am of the Light. Follow the Clown-Magician into the Light! Amen and Amen! Because it is God’s will, we will kill!”
“Ca-Caw!” shrieked the flock. They were whipped up to a frenzy. “Braaaaackkkkk!”
The Bald Eagle was going to ask how the Crow was so sure of what God wanted, but he knew what the Crow would say, and anyway, it was already too late. The flock was already practicing dive bombing.
- “It’s common for something to sound way better in your head than when you actually say it out loud. A refined idea has better odds of making people laugh (or at least not making them cringe) than a raw one. But before you speak, ask yourself:
Can you explain it concisely?
Will appeal to the people you’re speaking to?
Is the timing appropriate?
Sometimes, your joke or funny thought requires too many mental steps. You might need to properly set it up in order to explain it properly, which might take way too long or cause people to grow disinterested. Alternatively, it could also just go right over people’s heads. On a similar note, you may observe something funny, but just not yet figured out the best way to present it or phrase it. That’s okay. Shut up and let it marinate. You may get another chance at it later, and it isn’t worth saying now if it’ll fall flat.” – From “Five Common Mistakes People Make When Telling Jokes”, February 27, 2015, Lifehacker.com
So, what did you expect? I told you there wasn’t a punchline. In fact, it’s not even funny. Even I don’t get it. It is not concise- that was an awful lot of build up for no pay-off; I can’t imagine who will find this story appealing; and while the timing is appropriate, as far as topicality, it’s way too long to remember, even though, without the specifics, it’s an age old story about the insanity of war, and the short-sightedness of humanity. Also, a not-so-subtle dig at certain preachers, and a clever revelation regarding the truth about sea monkeys. It’s ridiculous. Preposterous. Nutso. Since I don’t know what happens next, I should probably shut up and let it marinate. But I can’t. Shut up, I mean. I’m a talker. You knew this about me. I don’t know where I was going with this. I don’t know how to wrap it up. I only know what I fear – that this jokes is going to be on us. And like I said – it’s not funny.