Punny Thanksgiving Jokes

alex atkins bookshelf culture“Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday,” noted comedian and talk show host Johnny Carson. “People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year — and then discover once a year is way too often.” Which is why you need some for of levity to get through the day. Here are some punny jokes to help you get through this emotional, calorie-rich day.

Why did the police arrest the turkey?
They suspected fowl play.

What sound does a turkey’s iPhone make?
Wing, Wing, Wing.

What did the turkey say to the computer?
Google, google, google!

What does Miley Cyrus eat on Thanksgiving?

What did the turkeys sing on Thanksgiving Day?
God save the kin.

What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?
Pumpkin pi.

What did the father say when his family told him to stop telling jokes at Thanksgiving?
“You can’t expect me to quit cold turkey.”

What do you call it when you serve tofu for Thanksgiving.

What do you call the age of a pilgrim?

What happened when the turkey got in a fight?
He got the stuffing knocked out of him.

If you call a large turkey a gobbler, what do you call a little one?
A goblet.

What did one sweet potato say to the other potato?
“I yam excited about Thanksgiving. How about you?”

Why should you never set a turkey next to the dessert?
Because he will gobble it up.

Why can’t a turkey attend church?
They can’t help using fowl language.

Fruit comes from a fruit tree, so where does turkey come from?
A poul-tree.

Why did they let the turkey join the rock band?
He had the drumsticks.

What sound does a turkey that walks with a limp make?
Wobble, wobble.

What’s the best way to stuff a turkey?
Serve him lots of pizza and ice cream.

What does Dracula call Thanksgiving?

What kind of tan does a pilgrim get when they visit the beach?

What would you get if your crossed a turkey with an evil spirit?
A poultry-geist.

What did the mother turkey say to her disobedient children?
“If your father could see you now, he’d be turning over in his gravy!”

What do you get when you cross a turkey with a banjo?
A turkey that can pluck itself.

Why shouldn’t you stare at the turkey dressing?
Because it will make him blush.

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For further reading: http://www.jokes4us.com/holidayjokes/thanksgivingjokes.html


Every Decent Man is Ashamed of the Government He Lives Under

alex atkins bookshelf cultureH. L. Mencken (1880-1956) was a writer, journalist, cultural critic, and scholar of the English language. He was a prolific writer that explored just about every notable topic, including politics, government, literature, music, culture, art, and law. He is best known for the seminal three-volume The American Language, a comprehensive study of English as it developed in America, and for his reporting of the famous trial, The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes (1925), which Mencken famously dubbed the “Scopes Monkey Trial.” Although not a household name, he is regarded as one of the most influential writers and cultural critics of 20th century America. In many reference works, Mencken is one of the most quoted authors, along with other respected names like William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain.

Throughout his writing career, Mencken was extremely critical of representative government which sounded good on paper, but was horribly compromised in its implementation. Mencken believed that man, with all his flaws and vices, could not live up to the ideals of a democracy as envisioned by the classical philosophers. In his work, A Mencken Chrestomathy (1949), Mencken expressed it this way: “Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”

Mencken’s observations about government and politicians are just as relevant today was they were in the early 1900s. Here are some of his keen observations that seem to be written as if could peer into the future, into the Trumpian world:

All government is, in its essence, organized exploitation, and in virtually all of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious and well-disposed man.

The storm center of lawlessness in every American State is the State Capitol.  It is there that the worst crimes are committed; it is there that lawbreaking attains to the estate and dignity of a learned profession; it is there that contempt for the laws is engendered, fostered, and spread broadcast.

A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man.  In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.

The theory behind representative government is that superior men — or at least men not inferior to the average in ability and integrity — are chosen to manage the public business, and that they carry on this work with reasonable intelligence and honest.  There is little support for that theory in known facts.

Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man.  There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, criminal, grasping, and unintelligent.

The natural tendency of every government is to grow steadily worse-that is, to grow more satisfactory to those who constitute it and less satisfactory to those who support it.

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic.  He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched.  He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.

The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself…  Almost inevitably, he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable.

Read related posts: Words Related to Trump
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For further reading: The American Language by H. L. Mencken
A Mencken Chrestomathy: His Own Selection of His Choicest Writings by H. L. Mencken


Why Does Evil Exist in the World?

alex atkins bookshelf quotations“The root of humanly caused evil is not man’s animal nature, not territorial aggression, or innate selfishness, but our need to gain self-esteem, deny our mortality, and achieve a heroic self-image. Our desire for the best is [paradoxically] the cause of the worst.”

Sam Keen — American author, philosopher, and former contributing editor at Psychology Today — from his foreword to Ernest Becker’s seminal work, The Denial of Death, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction in 1974.

What Do Famous Literary Characters Actually Look Like?

alex atkins bookshelf literatureOne of the best aspects of reading is that your imagination gets to play casting director for all the characters in a novel. Sure, the author provides some details, but ultimately, it is your imagination that is the brush that paints the canvas. Each reader gets to come up with their own notion of what Jay Gatsby, Holden Caulfield, Juliet Capulet, Ebenezer Scrooge, Elizabeth Bennett, Captain Ahab, and Anna Karenina looks like. And that assumes that your virtual central casting has not been influenced by watching the films and television adaptations of the famous books that introduced their characters.

Enter New Yorker Brian Davis, a filmmaker and digital artist, who uses commercially available law enforcement software to create accurate portraits of literary characters based on the actual descriptions found in their respective novels. The software, which is used to create portraits of perpetrators based on eyewitness descriptions, taps into a large database of facial features — adding them one at a time to build a composite portrait. In an interview, Davis explains his inspiration for the literary character series, The Composites: “The series started when when I wondered if I could buy law enforcement sketch software and discovered that I could. From there I decided to do literary portraits based on text descriptions from novels, focusing on more ‘infamous’ characters who may be deserving of a police sketch.” In many cases Davis’ portraits match up with how a director has cast that character in a film; examples include, Javert (Les Miserables), Lisbeth (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Emma Bovary (Madame Bovary), Constance Chatterley (Lady Chatterley’s Lover), Captain Ahab (Moby Dick) and Jack Torrance (The Shining). Other times, it is clear when directors cast against a character’s description in a novel. For example, in Robert Bloch’s novel Psycho, Norman Bates wears glasses, has sandy hair, and is plump. Anthony Perkins, who was cast as Bates, does not wear glasses, has dark hair, and is very slim. Another example is Frankenstein from Mary Shelley’s novel of the same name. In the novel, Frankenstein looks more like a man than a halloween mask — he has wavy, wispy hair, high check bones, normal forehead and facial features — and no scars along the top of his forehead, nor bolts extruding from his neck.

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For further reading: http://thecomposites.tumblr.com

Funniest Car Bumper Stickers

alex atkins bookshelf cultureAccording to a 2016 survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers in the U.S. spend more than 294 hours behind the wheel each year — the equivalent of seven 40-hour weeks at the office. During that time, the average driver covers 10,900 miles. Assuming that the average person begins driving at the age of 17, over a lifetime, he or she will drive more than 37,935 hours (1,580 days or 4.32 years), covering more than 798,000 miles. That’s a lot of driving — and if you live in traffic congested cities, that can drive you crazy. That’s where witty car bumper stickers come in. Not only do they make a statement about society, they do it in such a clever way to make you laugh out loud, or at least crack a smile if you are having a really bad day. The key to a really great bumper sticker is that the joke has to deliver a punchline in less than six to ten words. Not always an easy task. Here are some of the funniest car bumper stickers:

Caution: I drive just like you!

Don’t drink and drive — you might spill some!

Be careful — 90% of people are caused by accidents

I took an IQ test and the results were negative

If you lived in your car, you’d be home by now

Learn from your parents’ mistakes — use birth control

You! Out of the gene pool!

How many roads must a man travel down before he admits he is lost?

I’m not a complete idiot — some parts are missing

Instant asshole, just add alcohol

If I’m ever on life support, unplug me, then plug me back in. See if that works.

Dislexics are teople poo

I’m speeding cause I really have to poop

Nobody cares about your stick family

I’m having an out-of-money experience

I saw that… — Karma

Watch out for the idiot behind me

Don’t believe everything you think

Trust me that squirrel was an asshole

Do you follow Jesus this closely?

I’m new at this, what’s your excuse?

Well behaved women rarely make history

Buckle up… it makes it harder for aliens to suck you out of your car

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For further reading: http://newsroom.aaa.com/2016/09/americans-spend-average-17600-minutes-driving-year/

Seeing the Words Fly About the Room in All Directions

alex atkins bookshelf literatureIf you are a fan of poetry, you may not recognize the name Henry Crabb Robinson (1775-1867), a British lawyer who published his diary in 1869. What is significant about that work, titled Diary, Reminiscences and Correspondence, was that it provided a window into the minds and daily lives of the key figures of the English romantic movement — William Blake, Coleridge, Charles Lamb, and William Wordsworth. Poet and critic Algernon Charles Swinburne who wrote extensively about Blake noted: “Of all the records of these his latter years, the most valuable, perhaps, are those furnished by Mr. Crabb Robinson, whose cautious and vivid transcription of Blake’s actual speech is worth more than much vague remark, or than any commentary now possible to give.” Here is an excerpt of Robinson interviewing Blake about his writing process and philosophy:

“I enquired about his writings. ‘I have written more than Voltaire or Rousseau—six or seven epic poems as long as Homer, and 20 tragedies as long as Macbeth.’ He showed me his Vision (for so it may be called) of Genesis—’as understood by a Christian Visionary,’ in which in a style resembling the Bible the spirit is given. He read a passage at random. It was striking. He will not print any more. ‘I write,’ he says, ‘when commanded by the spirits, and the moment I have written I see the words fly about the room in all directions. It is then published, and the spirits can read. My MSS. of no further use. I have been tempted to burn my MSS., but my wife won’t let me.’ She is right, said I—and you have written these, not from yourself, but by a higher order. The MSS. are theirs and your property. You cannot tell what purpose they may answer unforeseen to you. He liked this, and said he would not destroy them. His philosophy he repeated—denying causation, asserting everything to be the work of God or the Devil—that there is a constant falling off from God—angels becoming devils. Every man has a devil in him, and the conflict is eternal between a man’s self and God, etc. etc. etc. He told me my copy of his songs would be 5 guineas, and was pleased by my manner of receiving this information. He spoke of his horror of money—of his turning pale when money had been offered him, etc.”

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For further reading: Diary, Reminiscences and Correspondence by Henry Crabb Robinson
William Blake: A Critical Essay by Algernon Charles Swinburne

The Proust Questionnaire: Deepak Chopra

alex atkins bookshelf quotationsDuring the late 1800s, a fascinating parlor game arose in Paris. The game consisted of about three dozen probing questions that were believed to reveal a person’s true nature. The game was popularized by Antoinette Faure, daughter of the French president at the time, Felix Faure. One of the individuals that Faure presented the set of questions was the famous French writer and critic Marcel Proust. When published in 1892, Proust’s answers to the questions became quite famous; henceforth, the set of questions became known as the Proust Questionnaire. Fast forward to 1993 — the editors of Vanity Fair decided to adopt the Proust Questionnaire as one of their regular features. In 2009, a collection of the best of those interviews were published the insightful and beautifully illustrated book Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire: 101 Luminaries Ponder Love, Death, and the Meaning of Life. Deepak Chopra (born 1946) is a well-known alternative medicine advocate, prolific author, and public speaker. Here are some of his answers to the Proust Questionnaire:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
It does not exist. If it did, we’d all be doomed to eternal senility.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

What is your greatest regret?
That I have no regrets to talk about or be nostalgic about.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
My children.

What do you regard the lowest depth of misery?
The hypnosis of social conditioning.

Who are your favorite writers?
Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling, T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw, William Shakespeare

How would you like to die?
In meditation.

What is your motto?
“Don’t take yourself seriously.”

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The Wisdom of Yoda
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The Wisdom of Saint-Exupery
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For further reading: Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire: 101 Luminaries Ponder Love, Death, and the Meaning of Life edited by Graydon Carter

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