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» Ship of Fools   » Things we did   » The Laugh Judgment   » Sitting next to the Pope

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Sitting next to the Pope

# 1

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Joke submitted by Jeff Anderson:

A shy gentleman was preparing to board a plane when he heard that the Pope was on the same flight. "This is exciting," thought the gentleman. "I've always been a big fan of the Pope. Perhaps I'll be able to see him in person."

Imagine his surprise when the Pope sat down in the seat next to him for the flight. Still, the gentleman was too shy to speak to the Pontiff.

Shortly after takeoff, the Pope began a crossword puzzle. "This is fantastic," thought the gentleman. "I'm really good at crosswords. Perhaps, if the Pope gets stuck, he'll ask me for assistance."

Almost immediately, the Pope turned to the gentleman and said, "Excuse me, but do you know a four letter word referring to a woman that ends in 'unt'?"

Only one word leapt to mind. "My goodness," thought the gentleman, "I can't tell the Pope that. There must be another."

He thought for quite a while, then it hit him. Turning to the Pope, the gentleman said, "I think you're looking for the word 'aunt'."

"Of course," said the Pope. "Do you have an eraser?"

[ 05. August 2005, 09:43: Message edited by: Simon ]

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Eternal memory

Posts: 3787 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged

Ship's Mother Hen
# 9541

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This is the first one I've actually laughed out loud at. I'm not sure why - possibly because the profanity is only implied rather than being outrightly obscene.
Didn't find it offensive at all.


Never stand behind satan in a Post Office queue: the devil takes many forms.

Posts: 925 | From: The Henhouse, Beside The Seaside, Kent | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
The Scrumpmeister
Ship’s Taverner
# 5638

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Same here. Things are slow at work and I've just had to explain my laughter and share the joke with everyone.

If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

Posts: 14741 | From: Greater Manchester, UK | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
# 3238

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Hilarious! See? The punchline is set up by the introduction of the crossword puzzle. This is one joke I have to remember.

"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

Posts: 11102 | From: Left coast of Wonderland, by the rabbit hole | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
# 566

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I smiled, but I didn't laugh. It's a very well-constructed joke and demonstrates some very good joke-telling techniques, but it fell flat for me because in my dialect, the only rude four-letter word that ends in "unt" is used to describe either female genitalia or men -- never women. I probably shouldn't have been thinking quite so hard, I might have found the joke a lot funnier.

The latest from the world of rewboss

Posts: 1334 | From: Lower Franconia, Germany | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged

Have candles, will pray
# 5557

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Oh, that was funny...

I think part of the reason it's not offensive (to me, and so far, to anyone) is because it's so absurd - not only that the Holy Father would be on a plane sitting next to an ordinary Joe and doing a crossword puzzle, but also that he'd be doing it in English. So it's not trying to poke fun at the way things "really are" (in the perspective of the joke teller), if that makes sense. Plus it doesn't name the Pope, so it's not really aimed at anyone in particular.

I reserve the right to change my mind.

My article on the Virgin of Vladimir

Posts: 7773 | From: Detroit | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged

Anchoress of St Expedite
# 9887

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Originally posted by rewboss:
but it fell flat for me because in my dialect, the only rude four-letter word that ends in "unt" is used to describe either female genitalia or men -- never women.

I submit that in the less desirable parts of London that word is definitely used to insult women on the street as well as men.

I did like the way this one got me thinking "what OTHER word is there?"

"I want to be an artist when I grow up." "Well you can't do both!"
further quarkiness

Posts: 1025 | From: The Book Depository | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sir Kevin
Ship's Gaffer
# 3492

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This is the funniest joke I've ever read on these boards. The whole thing calls for a suspension of disbelief; the only thing I could see in real life is waiting for His Holiness to speak first. Also, I don't fancy he'd do crosswords in English nor would he board an ordinary jetliner, anymore than he'd ride the bus or drive himself these days, although he allegedly drove a VW Golf as recently as 6 years ago...

I only wish I had the comedic skills to retell it; bt who to? I'll read it to my wife when she calls from work in a few minutes.

If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Writing is currently my hobby, not yet my profession.

Posts: 30517 | From: White Hart Lane | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Kepler's Puppet
# 4011

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I found this one hilarious because it was a bit juvenile but, unlike the usual wee-wee jokes or jokes about coming (which are quite predictable), this one is put together so well. I didn't expect the ending, and the unexpected often makes a joke funny.

Most Likely Lurking

Posts: 1447 | From: Dixie Land | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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Having been a Preachers Kid this is so true to life. There were an awful lot of children at my school who would not swear in my presence. The irony was that my father could out do them if he was even slightly annoyed and regularly did within the privacy of the family. Once when driving my father in my twenties someone almost bashed me. The language he used was so bad I almost told him he was walking home! That is the only time I have ever felt it necessary to object to swearing.


"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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Posts: 20894 | From: city of steel, butterflies and rainbows | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Atmospheric Skull

Antlered Bone-Visage
# 4513

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I'd heard a variant before -- The Two Ronnies did a sketch on a train, with two businessmen and an innocent-seeming nun all doing the same crossword. The clue was "Often found at the bottom of a birdcage" -- four letters ending "IT". The answer being, as it turned out, "GRIT".

Having seen the formula deployed for a less clever joke made this one less funny than it would otherwise have been. (So did speaking British English, a bit.) It's a good formula, though, and I think it's still a funny joke.

It's only offensive if implied C-words offend you. My mother wouldn't like it, certainly.

Surrealistic Mystic.

Posts: 371 | From: Bristol, UK | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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That for me is the beauty of the joke, that it does not mention the C word. And if you laugh you think (at some level) use of the C word funny. Great Joke.


It is better to be Kind than right.

Posts: 9778 | From: The Dark Tower | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
# 5362

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Hmmm,it's certainly well constructed. But it's still one of those "the pope saying rude words" jokes that doesn't really work for me.
Posts: 107 | From: Sheffield/Leeds | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
# 9740

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This one really worked for me. One of the few on this board that has caused me to make an audible laughing sound. Probably would best be described as a chortle (as if you care).
The only I could see this being offensive is if the reader was offended by having to think of the C-word. And if that's the case, it was their own fault they couldn't think of Aunt themselves. Clever and well told.


"All Christians should be tools in the hand of God, but some are bigger tools than others." -Anonymous (Hope I didn't see this one on SoF)

Posts: 21 | From: Siloam Springs, AR, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Newman's Own
# 420

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I enjoyed this one immensely - though I am quite embarrassed to admit that the 'c word' was what I thought would be the answer to the puzzle as well - I suppose I'm in good company. (That, of course, is what I see as very clever in the joke. Did anyone think of 'aunt'?)

The situation is totally improbable, of course, yet it left me with a very funny mental picture. (Never sat next to the pope, but I've had occasions where I had odd 'seat mates' on flights.)

Others on this thread (Sir Kevin and Pyx-e among them) described elements which I fully agree give the joke its impact. It surely is one of the best on this board.

“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

Posts: 6740 | From: Library or pub | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged

Ship's token UK Mennonite
# 582

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I felt the real punch of the joke was the thought that even for the Pope, 'aunt' would not be the first word that came to mind.

Some might be offended at this implication, but I wasn't - but then I'm an Anabaptist, so I wouldn't be very precious about the Pope, would I?

I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.


Posts: 17415 | From: A small island nobody pays any attention to | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jonah the Whale

Ship's pet cetacean
# 1244

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I heard a simple version of this joke about thirty-odd years ago. It was just a puerile "Name a four letter word relating to women, ending in unt". So I was expecting this to be pretty much the same.

But this joke is much better. The scene is nicely set and the extra punchline at the end really makes it work for me.

I'd also like to add, as an avid cruciverbalist, that it takes some lateral thinking to put a vowel there before -unt, so even pure-minded folks are likely to go "oh yeah" when they realise the alternative.


Posts: 2799 | From: Nether Regions | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ship's Inquirer
# 3271

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I told this to a gathering of mostly old ladies, and they roared. And I didn't even tell it quite as well as it appeared here. Anybody over the age of 7 or 8 has likely heard this word, especially if they went to public school(state schools in the UK).

No longer the Bishop of Durham
If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it? --Benjamin Franklin

Posts: 5259 | From: Deep in the American desert | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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Funny and offensive in one go. Isn't it wonderful how people fail to see the offence when the joke is actually funny.

Last ever sig ...


Posts: 9049 | From: Hen Ogledd | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged

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