Punch line

Sermonic joke telling is a precarious business
One of the ways to divide the human race, I have concluded, is between those who can tell a good joke and those who cannot. Some people are joke-telling experts. They have jokes filed away in their memory and can pull them out at just the right moment and reel them off with perfect inflection and timing. It’s a life skill.

During a recent visit to my hometown I met up with Paul, whom I’ve known since junior high school days. He worked as a barber while in high school and college, and along the way became a world-class joke teller. People used to go to Paul for haircuts just to hear his latest jokes. After we greeted each other he said, as usual, “Have you heard the one about . . .” It’s his relationship methodology. Over the years Paul has made a lot of people laugh—which is not a bad legacy.


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