THERE was an article in the press the other day saying that the world's first piece of humour had been found: an ancient riddle composed in Sumeria, now called Iraq.
What rubbish. A riddle is an intellectual puzzle. Humour is a completely different thing altogether. It is a situational exchange and grows out of relationships. (Remind me to write an academic paper on this.)
To set the record straight, we hereby publish below the real oldest jokes in the world.
The very first piece of humour ever:
God: "Good morning, Eve. Fancy a joke?"
God: "See that thing over there?"
Eve: "You mean that hairy creature amusing itself by lighting its own gaseous emissions?"
God: "Yeah. Well, you're married to it."
The very first piece of husband and wife humour:
Adam: "Ow! I feel like my guts have been ripped out."
Eve: "Hello, my name's Eve, and I'm here to tell you that you better get used to that feeling."
The very first piece of cave-dweller humour:
Early cavewoman to another early cavewoman: "Men. They're just a load of bloody Neanderthals."
Neanderthal Men: "We can't help it. Really."
The very first joke in China:
Confucius: "Now I want you to write down everything I say and hand in your papers at the end of each day."
Disciple: "You're not thinking of publishing our work and making yourself immortal, are you?"
Confucius: "Hey! Would I do a thing like that?"
The very first animal joke:
Noah: "Now if you dinosaurs don't stop larking about, I'm going to leave you all behind."
Dinosaurs: "Oh yeah? You're full of it, Noah. You wouldn't dare."
Noah: "Oh yeah?"
The very first joke in Africa:
Pharoah: "How's the skyscraper going?"
The First Architect: "The foundations went down fine, but inflation has caused havoc with our estimates for rocks and slaves. We may to taper the design as it goes up."
The First Architect: "Listen, Ramses. How'd you fancy a pyramid?"
Pharoah: "I don't know. Will it still have a duplex penthouse on the roof?"
The First Architect: "Well, best I can do is a flattish rock up top where you can sit and have a nice view of the dunes, and the other dunes, and the other other dunes."
The very first joke in the Middle East:
Moses: "Look, I've got these ten commandments."
The First Lawyer: "Hey, hang on, you'd better let me take a look at those. I might want to add a line or two."
The very first joke in India:
Buddha: "Ouch. I got cramp."
Mrs Buddha: "Not surprising, the way you sit on the floor all the time. I'm getting you a proper office chair for your birthday."
The very first Jewish joke:
Abraham: "I am going to have as many children as there are stars in the sky."
Sarah: "Good luck, buster, I am so outta here."
The very first joke in America:
Running Bear: "Good morning, Big Chief Sitting Bull -- hey, what happened to your hair?"
Big Chief Sitting Bull: "Damn. Must have left my wig in the wigwam or toupee in the teepee."
Now I know that historians among you may be saying: where's the proof that these people above originated humour? Well, the proof is the fact that where there are people, there is humour. With only four exceptions: US airports, Australian airports, Singaporean sitcoms, and China.