Judge This Joke By Its Size, Do You?
Most everyone knows the classic 7-8-9 joke:
What is 6 afraid of 7?
Because 7 8 9.
I recently heard a Star Wars variation:
According to Yoda, why is 5 afraid of 7?
Because 6 7 8.
This joke isn’t funny unless you understand the syntax often used by Yoda, which involves inverting the word order. See www.yodaquotes.net for some examples.
Why don’t jokes work in base 8?
Because 7 10 11.
When I told this joke to my seven-year-old son, he said, “I don’t get it.” I asked him how 7, 10, and 11 would be represented in base 8. He thought for a second then said, “7… 8… oh, yeah… yeah, that works.”
That’s why I call this version a joke grenade. You pull the pin, and five seconds later, people laugh. Well, some people will laugh. Not everyone. I estimate that 5% of the population would understand this joke, and only about 1% would find it funny.
The last variation is multicultural:
What is ε afraid of ζ?
Because ζ η θ.
If you’re thinking, “That’s all Greek to me,” you’re right. The translation is, “Why is epsilon afraid of zeta? Because zeta eta theta.” The Greek alphabet proceeds, in part, as, “…δ (delta), ε (epsilon) ζ (zeta), η (eta), θ (theta), ι (iota)….” But as with all jokes, if it has to be explained to you, then you’re probably not going to find it funny.