Friday, August 1, 2008

Baffle of the sexes

Note to gag cartoonists: If you're out of ideas, always go with the differences between men and women. Especially married men and women. There are some very basic jokes about that situation that any cartoonist, with a little twisting, a little turning, can make funny. There are jokes about newlyweds, about weddings (the bride left standing at the altar, always killer), or even jokes about the honeymoon being over. There are jokes about middle-aged couples. Always good for a laugh. The middle-aged couples have been married a long time and have long-standing differences, so you can play those up: the wife talks too much, the wife disapproves of the husband's drinking (never the other way around, that's a taboo), the husband sneaks in after a night of carousing. And what has he been doing while carousing? That's part of what's funny! We know these cartoon situations so well our brain supplies us with the answer: he's been out drinking, or he's been out chasing younger women, because he knows he's coming home to a battle-ax. And so on, and so forth...

From I MEET SUCH PEOPLE, ©1946, by Gurney Williams

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