From the Left



A Columnist Walks Into a Bar, and There's No One There

Marc Munroe Dion on

I sat on my living room couch today and told myself jokes. I'm semiretired, and I have time to tell myself jokes. Eventually, my wife came home, and I had to stop telling jokes and talk to her. That is love as it is lived. If she hadn't come home, I might still be there, sweating in the June heat, telling myself jokes.

What this little experiment proves is that I know a lot of jokes.

Most of the jokes aren't nice, either. They're racist, homophobic, sexist and xenophobic. The rest are just plain filthy. I do know a few "clean" jokes. I learned them in the third grade.

I've been a bartender, and I've been a good bar customer. I've done manual labor, and I've been a reporter on a daily newspaper. People, mostly other men, told me jokes.

Cops have told me jokes at the scene of a stabbing, though not if it was fatal. I've been told jokes in bars, in offices, in break rooms, on loading docks and in the dead minutes before a shift ended.

"Guy walks into a bar..."


"Guy gets home from work..."

"Guy tells goes to confession..."

"Guy's wife meets him at the door..."

No one has told me a joke in 10 years, and the last guy who did was over 70, and he told me the joke between bouts at the fights.


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