Still, the other day it occurred to me how much a part alcohol (and the bars where we consume it) plays in our comedy, so I thought I’d put together a blog post related to booze and bar humor. I’m sure that I haven’t even scratched the surface, but here are some examples of what I found.
From The Tragedy of Macbeth: II, iii; (a.k.a. “The Scottish Play” because theatre people are concerned about the curse on that play, with which I am entirely too familiar):
MACDUFF. What three things does drink especially provoke?
PORTER. Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir,
it provokes and unprovokes: it provokes the desire, but it takes
away the performance. Therefore, much drink may be said to be an
equivocator with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him; it sets
him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him and disheartens
him; makes him stand to and not stand to; in conclusion,
equivocates him in a sleep, and giving him the lie, leaves him.
On the subject of drinking humor, for some reason the Irish always seem to play a major role. I suspect that this is due to the evils (laziness, drunkenness, lechery, stupidity, etc.) projected on the Irish people by King Billy’s folk. The similarities to the bigoted prejudices against “Jim Crow” are striking, but I guess you can tell that my heritage includes a good deal of the Irish. Of course, there have been similar statements about most (probably all) of the groups which have been singled out for discrimination, but it seems to have stuck on the Irish more than most of the others.
In any event, there are a lot of alcohol-related jokes which involve the Irish, some of which are pretty good. I confess that I do like this advice from a dying nun:
The wise old Mother Superior from County Tipperary was dying.
The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her comfortable.
They gave her some warm milk to drink, but she refused it. One of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen.
Remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened it and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.
Back at Mother Superior's bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother Superior drank a little, then a little more. Before they knew it, she had drunk the whole glass down to the last drop.
"Mother," the nuns pleaded, "Please give us some wisdom before you pass."
She raised herself up in bed with a pious look on her face and said: "Don't sell that cow."
I also like this one a good deal:
Two men were sitting next to each other at O’Reilly’s Pub in London. After a while, one bloke looks at the other and says, “I can’t help but think, from listening to you, that you’re from Ireland.”
The other bloke responds proudly, “Yes, that I am!”
The first one says, “So am I! And where about from Ireland might you be?”
The other bloke answers, “I’m from Dublin, I am.”
The first one responds, “So am I!” “Mother Mary, faith and begorrah. And what street did you live on in Dublin?”
The other bloke says, “A lovely little area it was. I lived on McCleary Street in the old central part of town.”
The first one says, “And it’s a small world, isn’t it. So did I! So did I! And to what school would you have been going?”
The other bloke answers, “Well now, I went to St. Mary’s, of course.” The first one gets really excited and says, “And so did I. Tell me, what year did you graduate?”
The other bloke answers, “Well, now, let’s see. I graduated in 1964.”
The first one exclaims, “The Good Lord must be smiling down upon us! I can hardly believe our good luck at winding up in the same place tonight. Can you believe it, I graduated from St. Mary’s in 1964 my own self!”
About this time, Vicky, a regular patron walks up to the bar, sits down and orders a drink. Brian, the barman, walks over to her, shaking his head and mutters, “It’s going to be a long night tonight.”
She asks, “Why do you say that, Brian?”
“The Murphy twins are drunk again.”
Still, not all bar/drinking humor is Irish-related. I like this story of changing needs as we grow older…
A 77-year-old man is having a drink in a Chicago bar. Suddenly a gorgeous girl enters and sits down a few seats away. The girl is so attractive that he just can't take his eyes off her. After a short while, the girl notices him staring, and approaches him.
Before the man has time to apologize, the girl looks him deep in the eyes and says to him in a sultry tone: "I'll do anything you'd like. Anything you can imagine in your wildest dreams, it doesn't matter how extreme or unusual it is, I'm game. I want $100, and there's another condition."
Completely stunned by the sudden turn of events, the man asks her what her condition is.
"You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three words.”
The man takes a moment to consider the offer from the beautiful woman. He whips out his wallet and puts $100 dollars in her hand... then looks her square in the eyes and says slowly and clearly: "Paint my house."
I ran across this the other day from one of my “usual sources” of humor, and I liked it enough that I thought I’d include it.
A guy was sitting at the bar, staring at his drink when a large, trouble-making biker steps up next to him, grabs his drink and gulps it down in one swig.
"Well, whatcha' gonna do about it?" he said, menacingly, as the guy burst into tears. "Come on, man," the biker says, "I didn't think you'd cry. I can't stand to see a man cry."
"This is the worst day of my life," the man said. "I'm a complete failure. I was late to a meeting and my boss fired me. When I went to the parking lot, I found my car had been stolen and I don't have any insurance. I left my wallet in the cab I took home. I found my wife with another man ... and then my dog bit me."
"So, I came to this bar to work up the courage to put an end to it all. I buy a drink, I drop a capsule in it and sit here watching the poison dissolve. Then you show up and drink the whole damn thing!”
“But, Hell, enough about me, how are you doing?"
Here's another that I have enjoyed:
A man walks into a bar and says, “Give me a beer before the problems start!”
He drinks the beer and then orders another saying, “Give me a beer before the problems start!”
The bartender looks confused. This goes on for a while, and after the fifth beer the bartender is totally confused and asks the man “When are you going to pay for these beers?”
The man answers, “Now the problems start!”
DKJ, my brother-in-law knows that I like language humor, so he sent these to me a while back. I noted at the time that they all seemed “bar/booze” related, so I kept them for some future need (like now). Anyway, he says that he got them from a friend, who got them from a friend, etc. …. In any case, enjoy!
A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.
A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.
A bar was walked into by the passive voice.
An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.
Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.”
Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything.
A question mark walks into a bar?
A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly.
Papyrus, Helvetica and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Get out -- we don't serve your type."
A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud.
A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.
Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart.
A synonym strolls into a tavern.
At the end of the day, a cliché walks into a bar -- fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack.
A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment.
Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor.
A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered.
An allusion walks into a bar, despite the fact that alcohol is its Achilles heel.
The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known.
A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned by a man with a glass eye named Ralph.
The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.
A dyslexic walks into a bra.
A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines.
An Oxford comma walks into a bar, where it spends the evening watching the television getting drunk and smoking cigars.
A simile walks into a bar, as parched as a desert.
A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget.
A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar and the bartender nearly chokes on the irony.
Anyway, I hope these gave you a smile, or two.