Friday, February 08, 2008

The New Year Starts Rat Now

Brothers, Sisters, and Transgendered Comedists Everywhere,

This week was Chinese New Year and the beginning of the year of the rat. We want to extend special Comedist greetings to our readers who are rat finks, dirty rats, rat bastards, mall rats, and those who are just stuck in the rat race.

While despised by many others, rats are quite special to Comedists as we see ourselves as fellow children of the Cosmic Comic. From the BBC:

Scientists say giggling, ticklish rats have provided them with the first credible evidence that animals unrelated to humans can laugh.

For years biologists have known that chimpanzees and even some monkeys produce a panting noise akin to human laughter.

But there is scant evidence that other animals are capable of laughter.

Now two American scientists are claiming to have discovered that rats "laugh" when tickled.
Rats can laugh. Not sure I want to be the grad student whose responsibility it was to find the ticklish spots, but it is an important discovery nonetheless. Another piece of empirical evidence for those who say that our theory of Humorous Design is unscientific because it is untestable.

But what does a rat find funny? How about this?
A tourist wanders into a back-alley antique shop in San Francisco's Chinatown. Picking through the objects on display he discovers a detailed, life-sized bronze sculpture of a rat. The sculpture is so interesting and unique that he picks it up and asks the shop owner what it costs. "Twelve dollars for the rat, sir," says the shop owner, "and a thousand dollars more for the story behind it." "You can keep the story, old man," he replies, "but I'll take the rat."

The transaction complete, the tourist leaves the store with the bronze rat under his arm. As he crosses the street in front of the store, two live rats emerge from a sewer drain and fall into step behind him. Nervously looking over his shoulder, he begins to walk faster, but every time he passes another sewer drain, more rats come out and follow him.

By the time he's walked two blocks, at least a hundred rats are at his heels, and people begin to point and shout. He walks even faster, and soon breaks into a trot as multitudes of rats swarm from sewers, basements, vacant lots, and abandoned cars. Rats by the thousands are at his heels, and as he sees the waterfront at the bottom of the hill, he panics and starts to run for the bridge.

Making a mighty leap, he jumps up onto a light post, grasping it with one arm while he hurls the bronze rat into San Francisco Bay with the other, as far as he can heave it. Pulling his legs up and clinging to the light post, he watches in amazement as the seething tide of rats surges over the breakwater into the sea, where they drown.

Shaken and mumbling, he makes his way back to the antique shop. "Ah, so you've come back for the rest of the story," says the owner.

"No," says the tourist, "but I was wondering if you have any bronze lawyers."

Or this one:
A drunk walks up to a barkeeper one day and says, "If I show you a trick will you give me a free drink?" The bartender replies, "Depends how good it is."

The drunk reaches into his pocket and pulls out a frog and places him behind the piano. The frog starts to play the sweetest jazz riff the barkeeper has ever heard. He pours the drunk his drink.

After killing his drink, the drunk says, "If I show you another trick can I have another free one?" The barkeep says "If it is anything like that last one, you can drink free all night." The drunk reaches into his other pocket, pulls out a rat, sets it on top of the piano, and the rat starts scatting along with the frog.

Impressed, the barkeeper starts to pour drinks as fast as the drunk can drink them. After several hours, a big time Hollywood agent walks in, sees the act and asks the barkeeper who it belongs to. The barkeeper points to the drunk who is passed out on the floor.

The agent wakes him up and says, "I will give you a million dollars for that act." The drunks says, "Not for sale". The agent says, "Ok, how about 100 grand for just the singing rat." The drunk says, "Deal." The agent writes the check and leaves with the rat.

The barkeeper looks at the drunk and says, "Are you nuts? You had a million bucks in your hand and you broke up the act for a 100 G's?"

The drunk says, "Relax, the frog's a ventriloquist."

Happy Year of the Rat everyone.

Live, love, and laugh,

Irreverend Steve