No punches pulled in this year’s best jokes

2009-12-24 00:00

DEATH, taxes, religion and marriage. Life’s fundamentals are our most popular source of a giggle if readers’ responses to our recent call for the year’s best e-mailed jokes are any measure.

The most popular submissions by readers were: a message titled “SARS refund” that jokes about getting a rebate from the taxman; “Heaven and Hell” — a joke ostensibly about God that’s really about empty campaign promises by political parties; “Facebook hits government departments”, which pokes fun at civil servants and a joke about an ass that laughs at religion with a clever play on words.

The battle of the sexes was a popular topic with much made of the difference between men’s and women’s experiences of marriage; and Tiger Woods’s marital woes have provided graphic designers with a rich seam of dark humour.

Ethnic humour is an evergreen source of wry observations about how different groups are perceived. Indians appear to be the most willing to laugh at themselves, with several “insider” jokes sent in by them, although a black reader submitted a few pictures pointing out the anomalies sometimes found in township and rural backyards, where a BMW can be found parked next to a humble house.

Witness staffers decided to add their own favourites to the mix. These were: “Is this your Christmas Calendar”, which depicts the giddy drinking and socialising that appears during December; “Christmas Bonus”, which pokes fun at the vulnerability of employee bonuses in recessionary times; “Giving up wine” — a battle-of-the-sexes joke; “Croc spotted in Midmar Dam” — a masterpiece of understated, corny absurdity; “Perception Graphs” — a clever comment on trivial aspects of life like Facebook, laser pens and personal inertia; “For Everyone Who Has Ever Missed a Deadline” and, finally, “Liu Bolin — the Invisible Man”, a gem of startling artistic skill and creativity.

Some of the files that were sent can’t be reproduced in the paper but you can see them on our website at

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