Anatomy of a Joke

It’s the careless use of the English language that always warrants a gut-wrenching chuckle from me. I am too preoccupied with pretense, too superficial on structure, and too adamant on agreement to loosen up a little. But when someone much carelessly funnier than I links two unalike words together, my stomach writhes in uncontrollable giggling.

My favorite example of this is the Trebuchet. A LegalAdvice reddit post, asking about the laws concerning medieval siege in Indiana. User has a father, who has since purchased plenty of lumber for a small serfdom. The joke here, with such carelessness, is that the Dad refers to all points north of his property (including a neighbor and church) as “downrange.” That word, which we comfortably reserve for military and safety structure, casually thrown into a domestic setting.

The “Well There’s Your Problem” Podcast does this to an incredible amount too. Not that I can explain the jokes without fear of dissection, but their hallmark includes calling well-known characitures of 20th-century safety ne’er-do-wells “friends of the podcast.” It’s some level of inside joke I get, and some fascination with the forced plastic structure of English that I relish in seeing demolished.