by David Sisler

I read once that there are only seven basic jokes in the world all the rest are variations on one of those themes. Having boldly stated that conclusion, the author never bothered to tell his readers what the seven jokes were.

Failing to find those seven original stories, the rest of us make do with different types of jokes. I am old enough to remember Knock-Knock Jokes, Little Moron Jokes, and Elephant Jokes, but Lightbulb Jokes may be the best type of humor around. They follow a standard format: "How many ____ does it take to change a lightbulb?" The answer depends on the idiosyncrasies, practices, or routines (real or perceived) of the person or group with whom you are having sport. The best thing about them is they make fun of our foibles, follies and stereotypes. With a little bit of forethought, you can poke good, clean fun at almost everyone.

A few of my all-time favorites follow.

How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? One, but the light bulb must WANT to change.

How many psychoanalysts does it take to change a light bulb? How many do you think it takes?

How many male chauvinists pigs does it take to change a lightbulb? None. Let the little woman cook in the dark.

How many _____ (fill in the blank with a student from the college or university you would most like to insult) does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but he gets 3 hours credit for it.

How many economists? None. They're waiting for the unseen hand of the market to correct the lighting disequilibrium.

How many Americans does it take to change a lightbulb? Two. One to change the lightbulb, and one to sue the original lightbulb manufacturer for pain and suffering for having to change the lightbulb, compensation for lost light, and to set a new legal precedence requiring lightbulb manufacturers to state clearly that lightbulbs may require replacing, and that the manufacturer is in no way responsible for lost wages or any other consequential damages as allowed by law.

How many "Glory" beanie babies does it take to change a lightbulb? The question is irrelevant since you couldn't find "Glory" even if you knew how many.

The next three I wrote for this occasion.

How many professional wrestling fans? None, because "Rasslin" fans know the darkness is only a work.

How many mathematicians? Four. One to be sure the Texas Instrument-83 calculator has fresh batteries. One to determine which formula to use. One to change the bulb. And one to explain why it is important that you understand how you got the bulb into the socket, even if it does not come on.

How many Cold War Russians does it take to change a light bulb? None. Russian lightbulbs are perfect. They never need changing. How many modern day Russians? None. You can't find any lightbulbs that are not burnt out.

A variation: How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Two. One to screw it almost all the way in and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

The are many "religious" versions, but in order to keep this light (sorry), the following are limited to groups where I have personally held membership.

How many Charismatics? Five. One to change the bulb and four to pray against the spirit of darkness.

How many Pentecostals? CHANGE???

How many members of an established Bible-teaching church that is over 20 years old does it take to change a light bulb? Ten. One to actually change the bulb, and nine to say how much they liked the old one.

How many United Methodists does it take to change a light bulb? This statement was issued: "If in your own journey you have found that a light bulb works for you, you are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your lightbulb (or light source, or non-dark resource), and present it next month at our annual lightbulb Sunday service."

And finally, how many Christians does it take to change a lightbulb in Heaven? None. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is the light.

If you are walking in darkness, remember, Jesus is the Light of the World. An eternity in darkness is no laughing matter.


Copyright 1998 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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Write to me at: n4so@hotmail.com

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