Thursday, October 12, 2006

Jokes Might Kill

I want to make a few jokes. But before that, let's read what happenned to the barber in Baghdad who made some jokes. Blogging Baghdad tells us the story of a barber who made a wrong joke aout the wrong man at the wrong time at the wrong place. Although the blog claims so, I cannot verify its claims. The story goes like this:

"So Muqtada al-Sadr goes to Japan…" the barber tells his customer who was already smiling, bracing himself in the chair for a laugh. The barber tells the best jokes in Baghdad.

"So Muqtada is in Tokyo and meeting with officials and all of the top Japanese people and it’s a very big deal," the barber continues, as the customer’s hair falls on the floor in tufts.

"So Muqtada asks for a meeting, you know with who? No, you don’t know," he says. "It wasn’t with Japanese arms merchants or the army, but with the Toyota company. Do you know why?

"No," says the customer, ready for the big punch line.

"Because he wanted them to make the trunks of their cars bigger."

Like a good comedian, the barber laughs, enticing the customer to laugh even harder.

Toyotas are very common in Baghdad, and especially popular with Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. They often stuff bodies in the trunks.

No laughing matter
But another customer in the barbershop didn’t laugh. He was quietly having a haircut in another chair. He was one of those Mahdi Army men who kills people and stuffs them in the trunks of Toyotas.

The next day he went to visit the barbers and his customers to discuss their "inappropriate humor."

The conversations went like this:

The Mahdi army fighter tied the barber up, took a knife and plucked out both of his eyes. He was only left alive because he was Shiite, like the Mahdi Army.

The customer who laughed at the joke, a Sunni, was killed and stuffed in the trunk of a car, although the friend of the barber who told me the story this morning didn’t know if the car was a Toyota.

I have doubts about the credibility of this story. But won't the same thing happen if I happen to make a joke about Modi in Gujarat, or Thackrey in Mumbai, or Salahuddin in Kashmir? The barber was blinded because he dared to say that Sadr's army kills, and the other fellow was killed because he laughed at the fact that Sadr's army kills. I am a hindu, hence I can make a joke on Modi in Gujarat. But if the listener is a muslim, he is not allowed to laugh.


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