Raging Against the World

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Tag Archives: getting the joke right

Sticks and Stones (or twigs)

What’s brown and sticky?

I know what you’re thinking but you’re wrong.  I recall the outbreak of this joke, probably in the early 90s.  It was a good joke and I was as keen to spread it around as much as the next person.

And then all of a sudden it started to go wrong.  People who didn’t understand jokes started spreading the wrong answer: a stick.

No, it’s not a stick.  It couldn’t be.  The whole point of the joke is that something is ‘stick-y’ ie like a stick.  A stick is not ‘like a stick’.  A stick is a stick.  I have been railing for about 20 years, trying to get people to tell the joke properly.  Every time though, someone will say a stick.

It was never a stick.

What’s brown and sticky?

A twig.

That’s how the joke was originally told.  A twig is stick-y.  It’s not the best answer but it is the original jokesmith’s word and is thus, right.