This evening I decided to lazy-research (aka googling) Anabaptist humor. It turn’s out we don’t have any. According to the first result for Anabaptist humor on Google:
[Anabaptist] interpretation of the New Testament, especially Ephesians 5:4, did not allow for jesting or joking. The Christian was expected to prune the heart and mouth of all unbecoming thoughts, words, and actions. Unseemly light-hearted behavior was often summed up in the word “levity.” In addition, the Mennonites were concerned that houses of prayer and worship not be turned into houses of entertainment and mirth through humorous allusions and stories.
This serious mien was reinforced by the long period of intense persecution in the early development of Anabaptism.
So how bad is our serious mien? The second google result for “Anabaptist humor” is an article an utterly unfunny Anabaptist history headed by a picture of a mass Anabaptist burning and the is an address by a college president about environmentalism in which he assures his audience that there’s nothing humorous about global warming. The fourth is a post right here on our very own blog.
Maybe our problem is our search terms. What about Mennonite humor? The first result involves beer, fishing and the inability of Mennonite young people to express their attraction for one another. I’ll spare you the details. The second is this youtube video:
I rest my case.
WHOA, HOLD UP THERE A MINUTE, BUDDY!!! HAVE I FALLEN ON DEAF EARS AS OF LATE?!?! I seem to remember several posts by yours truely that are funny. There is my very funny Blueprint for Change, which was hailed in certain circles as “A blog that had nothing to do with either blueprints or spare change but none-the-less is something both architects and the homeless would find amusing.” Wasting Votes was declared the funniest post of the election season by Mennonite Soldiers Weekly. What Men Want: a Valentine’s Day Primer and Quiz Show failed to be noticed by any reputable organization but did make the blog roll of a neo-nazi group in Wisconsin that declared the post “gave utmost proof that hispanics are the inferior race because they don’t appear in any movies worth a damn.” It’s not much, but it’s something, I guess.
Look, there aren’t a bunch of funny mennonites. Half us are ultra conservative and their senses of humor have been dulled due to a rigid lifestyle of butter churning. And the other half are ultra-liberal and their senses of humor go through filters like: Does the joke make fun of minorities, people of other nationalities, those of differing lifestyle choices, or different religions.” There’s not a lot of jokes after that. You get chicken/road jokes and maybe the occasional joke about beastiality.
*Was there some sort of gay sex in that video, Tim?*
I have “Menno-Lite” and “The Muppie Manual,” which are both Mennonite joke/humor books.
Someone sent this to me a few weeks ago….
With apologies to Mennonites everywhere…
YA SURE, YA BETCHA, DIS IS DA LATEST AIR SERVICE TO SPROUT UP IN MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN, ALBERTA, B.C. AND ONTARIO…..TRY IT, YOU VILL LIKE IT!!
If you are traveling soon, consider Menno Air, da no-frills airline.
You’re all in da same boat on Menno Air, vhere flying is an uplifting experience. Der is no First Class on any Menno Air flight. Meals are potluck. Rows 1-6, bring rolls, 7-15 bring a salad, 16-21 a main dish, and 22-30 a dessert. Basses and tenors please sit in da rear of da aircraft
Everyone is responsible for his or her own baggage. All fares are by freevill offering and da plane vill not land until da budget is> met. Pay attention to your flight attendant, who vill acqvuaint you vith da safety system aboard dis Menno Air 599.
Okay den, listen up: I’m only gonna say dis yust once. In da event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, I am frankly going to be real surprised and so vill Captain Wiebe and Co-captain Penner because ve fly right around 2000 feet, so loss of cabin pressure vould probably indicate da Second Coming or something of dat nature, and I vouldn’t bother with dose little masks on da rubber tubes. You’re gonna have bigger tings to worry about den dat. Yust stuff dose back up in der little holes. Probably da masks fell out because of turbulence vhich, to be honest vith ya, ve’re going to have quite a bit of at 2000 feet…sort of like driving across a plowed field, but after a vhile ya get used to it. In da event of a vater landing, I’d say forget it. Start saying da Lord’s Prayer and yust hope ya get to da part about forgive us our sins as ve forgive dose who sin against us, vhich some people say “trespass against us,” vhich isn’t right, but vat can ya do? Da use of cell phones on da plane is strictly forbidden, not because dey may interfere vith the plane’s navigational system, vhich is seat of da pants all da vay… no, it’s because cell phones are a pain in the vazoo and if God meant ya to use a cell phone, He vould have put your mouth on da side of your head. Ve’re going to start lunch right about noon and it’s buffet style vith the coffee pot up front.
Den ve have da hymn sing… hymnals in da seat pocket in front of you. Don’t take yours vith you vhen ya go or I am going to be real upset and I am not kidding! Right now I’ll say Grace…”Come Lord Jesus be our guest and let dese gifts to us be blest. Father, Son and Holy Ghost, may ve land in Vancouver or pretty close. Amen”
Skylark, I’m afraid that violates the #1 rule of lazy-research: if it’s not in the first four or five google results, it’s not relevant to the topic.
Amy, that reminds me of my third grade teacher at a Mennonite elementary school who told us that we shouldn’t support space exploration because if God had want us in space, God would have put us there in the first place.
I go to a very progressive mennonite church. A few weeks back I’m playing guitar at church with one of our youth. She’s about 14 or so and we’re practicing for worship. There’s two ladies watching us practice. Anyhoo, I need to get up for something or other and ask this young girl to hold my guitar. “Hey, honey, can you hold this a minute?” I ask, handing her my guitar. All of a sudden I’m on the receiving of ‘the glare’, you know, that vile “You’ve done something wrong you bastard” stare women give you when you’ve done something they consider wrong. “Did you just call her….’HONEY’?” one of the ladies asks in her most accusatory tone. Without missing a beat I reply “Yeah, dollface, I did.”
TimN, I must insist that the definition of “lazy research” be expanded to include glancing over at one’s own bookshelf and typing the titles of a couple of books. For what it’s worth, those two books are right next to “Celibacy is Better than Really Bad Sex” and “How to Shit in the Woods,” which I’m sure will make great additions to a lazy research post at some point in the future.
Skylark, Yes! Please do post a lazy-research blog post based on those two books as soon as possible. When their power combine I have no doubt that you can bring my thesis two its proverbial knees.
Today I’m in Food Lion, in a bathroom stall, taking care of some much needed business (A traveling salesman is always in need of a clean restroom. I make a mental note of which ones to avoid and which ones to use for future reference). A guy comes in and occupies the stall next to mine. A couple minutes go by and his phone starts to ring. I can’t help myself. “I GOT IT!” I declare.