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World's Oldest Jokes Ancient Egyptian humor fell under five basic categories.

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These are political satire, scatological humor, jokes concerning sex, slapstick, and animal-based parodies.

For satire, commoners would make fun of leaders by showing pharaohs in an unflattering manner.

Drawings of defecating hyenas and drunken, vomiting party guests are among the existing examples of scatological humor, while the sex-based jokes consisted of "innuendoes and outright erotica," he said.

Slapstick comedy included drawings that showed people suffering unfortunate accidents, such as hammers falling on heads, or passengers falling out of boats.

The ancient Egyptians had a special regard for animal humor and cartoons, given the many examples of sketches on papyrus, paintings, and other drawings such s ducks pecking at someone's behind, baboons and cats out of control, animals riding on top of other unlikely animals, baboons playing instruments, and nimals drinking and dining.

One papyrus shows a mouse pharaoh, gallantly posed in his chariot pulled by two dogs, speeding towards a group of feline warriors. Yet another papyrus depicts a lion and an antelope playing a board game.The lion lifts a game piece as though in victory, while the antelope falls back in his chair.

However, one written fragment from an Egyptian papyrus translates as ......."To get to the other side."

Is ancient humor still funny? Judge for yourself. Here is a typical joke from an ancient Greek joke-book, number 9 in the so-called "Philogelos" or "Laughter-Lover:"

"Wishing to teach his donkey not to eat, a pedant did not offer him any food. When the donkey died of hunger, he said "I've had a great loss. Just when he had learned not to eat, he died."

The first 102 jokes are all about the scholastikos, the educated or over-educated man with no common sense. The word might be translated 'bookworm', 'egghead', 'pedant', 'professor' (or perhaps 'perfesser'), or even 'poindexter'. None is entirely satisfactory, though the stereotype persists.

The oldest "confirmed" joke in the world is actually a riddle:

Question - What animal walks on 4 feet in the morning, 2 at noon and 3 at evening?

Answer - Man. He goes on all fours as a baby, on two feet as a man, and uses a cane in old age.

This is the oldest known written joke in the world. It was posed by the Sphinx in ancient Greek mythology and answered by Oedipus.

And last of all, the oldest practical joke was played on one of Earth's earliest life forms; one which is still with us - the bacteria.

You have 0.001 times as much DNA as a eukaryotic cell.

You live in a medium which has a viscosity about equal to asphalt.

You have a wonderful "motor" for swimming. Unfortunately, your motor can only run in two directions and at one speed. In forward, you are propelled in one direction at 30 mph. In reverse your motor makes you turn flips or tumble. You can only do one or the other. You cannot stop.

While you can "learn", you divide every twenty minutes and have to restart your education.

You can have sex, with males possessing a sexual apparatus for transferring genetic information to receptive females. However, since you are both going 30 mph it is difficult to find each other. Furthermore, if you are male, nature gave you a severe problem. Everytime you mate with a female, she turns into a male. In bacteria, "maleness" is a venereal disease.

Also, at fairly high frequencies, spontaneous mutations cause you to turn into a female.

Eukaryotes have enslaved some of your "brethren" to use as energy generating mitochondria and chloroplasts. They are also using you as a tool in a massive effort to understand genetics. The method of recombinant DNA is designed to exploit you for their own good. There is no SPCA to protect you.

The last laugh may be yours. You have spent three and a half billion years practicing chemical warfare. Humans thought that antibiotics would end infectious diseases, but the overuse of drugs has resulted in the selection of drug resistant bacteria. They didn't realize that this was only the first battle, and now the war is ready to begin.

Humans think this is their era. A more truthful statement would be that we all live in the age of the 'Great Single Cell Rebellion.'

So there you are ladies and germs.

I hope that helps



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