The art of joke telling: same rules, applied differently

Two boys are kicking a football around on a park in inner Brisbane when a Rottweiler jumps the fence, runs in and grabs one of them by the throat and starts throttling him.
His friend thinking quick, grabs a loose paling off a nearby fence and….

It seems natural to me that the boy whacks the dog in the head with paling and the joke carries on from there. If it were my joke that’s what would’ve happened, but I heard it from an old woodchopper at the Ekka this year.

….. jams it down the dog’s collar, pulls it across and snaps its neck….

It’s much better this way of course – the boy is more heroic, thinks clearly in the moment of crisis, neutralises the risk of the dog attacking him and saves the day with style. It illustrates the difference between me and the bloke telling it.
It’s entirely hypothetical to me, it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever have to kill a dog – especially with a paling. He, however, has thought through the scenario in the joke a bit more to ensure credibility with an audience likely to take issue with the detail: “You’d never kill a dog that size by whacking it with an old fence paling – have to be 2×4 at least to even knock it out.”

I’d do the same telling a joke about work, politics, history or religion: “Why would a muslim walk into a bar in the first place?”

……Just then a newspaper man from the Courier Mail runs over and says “boys I saw everything, this is front page news! I’ve already got the headline: Young Broncos Save The Day, Stop Killer Dog.”

The boys explain that they’re not actually Broncos supporters.

“No worries,” he says. “how about: Two Young Reds Stop Dangerous Animal?”

The boys say they don’t support the Reds either.

“Alright, how about “Young Lions Attacked By Savage Dog?”

The boys explain that they’re not Lions supporters either, they’re from New South Wales and only support the blues.

“Fine, then it’s: Innocent Animal Attacked By Worthless Cockroach Delinquent Bastards.”

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