A Dying Art

Thanks to one jolly jester, the weekly joke lives on

Illustration by Brad Fitzpatrick

Now before you go all Joe Pesci on me (if you don’t know what that means, see “Goodfellas” and come back to me), just hear me out. I’ve been in sales for the last couple decades, which meant keeping in touch with folks around the US as I worked from my home office here in the best place on Earth. To do that, I decided way back in 1999 that I’d send a weekly email with a joke, a funny quote and a cartoon. Remember when you used to get jokes by email?

I would travel pretty extensively around the country, invariably meeting a bunch of people and offering to add some (who had a sense of humor) to the Tuesday Joke List. Conversations from there would bounce into where I was from, and while I’d always say “New Hampshire,” it was often easier to say New England because many (especially out West) didn’t know exactly where the Granite State was. Replies from those were often “that’s funny” with some form of personal anecdote.

I’d then regale them with our proximity to the ocean, lakes, mountains, Boston, etc., and lament that we’d usually meet their president before they did. I’d mention it’s the home state of Adam Sandler, Seth Meyers, Sarah Silverman. Again they’d say that’s funny … with something to the effect of “one of the little states in the Northeast.”

I travel a lot less frequently now and haven’t really offered the joke email often. What was once a few thousand on the list has dwindled to just a few hundred. I’m not much for social media, and don’t think the list translates well there, so it’s dying a natural death. And there certainly don’t seem to be as many jokes floating around, so content is limited. Which is sad. Everyone could use a lot more humor these days.

So here’s one:
After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, New York scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion that early New Yorkers already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, a Massachusetts archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet and shortly after, a story in The Boston Globe read: “A Massachusetts archaeologist, finding a 200-year-old copper wire, has concluded that early Bostonians already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers.”

One week later, a local newspaper in New Hampshire reported the following: “After digging as deep as 30 feet in his pasture near Weare, New Hampshire, Buster, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he had found absolutely nothing. Buster has therefore concluded that, as early as 300 years ago, New Hampshire had already gone wireless.”

Here’s to the legacy of ye olde email joke. If you’d like one, you can sign up at tuesdayjokelist.blogspot.com. They’re mostly rehashed humor now, but even that is likely better than most of the email you get these days.

Categories: Humor