22 Comments

  1. It’s a CIDU for me. I know what Tantric yoga is, and that looks like it might be the New Yorker, but I just don’t see a joke here at all.

  2. I expect it is about tantric sex, a slow form of sex that is supposed to lead to a better, er, end result. In this case though the chap doesn’t seem to be experiencing mind-blowing humour release; he just “got” the joke after a long time, a delay that did not seem to improve his enjoyment. In fact he seems quite depressed.

  3. The bunny rabbit (no doubt some coded reference to fertility) on the wall, however, seems to be having a great time.

  4. I’ll display my ignorance here, and say that I think there’s a Zen technique where you’re supposed to concentrate on a single object until you “understand” the object in all its complexity. I don’t know what it’s called, though.

  5. @ DemetriosX & Bob Peters – I do not understand what “The New Yorker” has to do with this at all, nor which publication is supposed to be “British”.

  6. P.S. I suppose the magazine that the guy is holding in the comic is the most likely answer to the second question, but I see no reason why it’s supposed to be “British”, unless it’s because he’s thumbing through the left side of the page.

  7. I assume the British comment has to do with this old joke:

    “Why don’t you tell an Englishman a joke on Thursday?” “Because you don’t want him bursting out laughing in church on Sunday.”

  8. Arthur – I don’t get it. But as it is Thursday and I am British, I shall take care on Sunday not to spray anyone with droplets when I do finally get it and burst with joy.

  9. The bunny rabbit (no doubt some coded reference to fertility) on the wall, however, seems to be having a great time.

    Of the traditional Bizarro icons, I guess the firecracker/dynamite (here made part of the bedside lamp) is closest to bringing some thematic bearing.

  10. The English joke reminds me of a similar joke to take down two maligned rival [towns, regions, ethnicities] at once: Rival A and Rival B are playing a football match; a train goes by, blowing it’s whistle; Rival A goes home, thinking the match is over; half an hour later, rival B scores its first goal…

  11. British? I heard it as German!

    A German laughs at a joke three times:
    – once when he first hears it
    – again when he retells it
    – later, when he gets it

    Having grown up in Kitchener, Ontario (formerly Berlin; allegedly has largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany; our high school janitor had fought on the Eastern Front for the Nazis, came and talked to our class about it; tons of other elderly Germans), I can appreciate this joke, even though I know it’s probably not actually representative.

  12. @ narmitaj, I was referring to the cliche that British humor is reputed to take a few minutes to figure out the joke, but once you get it it’s hilarious.

    Growing up watching “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and then my early adulthood watching “The Benny Hill Show” debunk this, but it’s still a running joke.

  13. @ Phil Smith – There were pre-unification (East German) versions of that joke that insulted progressively at multiple levels. It can be used on nationalities or politicians, but for demonstration purposes here, I‘ll use army ranks:

    – A private laughs at a joke once, when he hears it.
    – A corporal laughs at a joke twice: once when he hears it, and again when it is explained to him.
    – A sergeant laughs at a joke three times: once when he hears it, once when it is explained to him, and again when he understands it.
    – An officer laughs at a joke only once: nobody will dare explain it to him, and try as he might, he will never understand it.

  14. Here is Piraro’s comment on this one, from his blog/newsletter:

    “I lived in New York for ten years and even know a handful of New Yorker cartoonists personally, and I can tell you that even New Yorkers don’t understand all of the cartoons in every issue of The New Yorker. Making folks outside of New York feel inadequate is kind of a New York thing.”

  15. Meryl A — Fer sher! Locals spend the week at home, sort of like now, only to avoid the drunks. I’m too old to enjoy it now even if I lived there, but when you’re young, it’s a blast!

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