CHRIS Cook of Denby Dale says the song Paddy and the Barrel is much funnier than the email currently doing the rounds entitled The Builders Lament.
This is based on the very funny story told at the Oxford Union by Gerald Hoffnung in 1958 about the trouble a workman gets into when he attempts to lower a barrel filled with bricks from a roof. He holds onto the rope, is pulled off his feet and is hit halfway up by the barrel coming down, then again on his way down after the barrel spills it load.
"I first heard it in the Travellers Rest in Denby Dale sung by Pete Shires in a group called Free Wheeling. I couldn't get it out of my head for weeks ... and you have just started it off again!"
Think nothing of it, Chris. If I can make someone happy as I go my way …
By the way, when you think about it, the song Paddy and the Barrel is these days politically incorrect because it uses an Irishman as the butt of the joke. Except that the bloke who wrote it and most of the bands who have recorded the song are Irish.
Does this mean it is all right for Irishmen to tell Irish jokes?
And Englishmen to tell racial jokes about Englishmen?
Are Welshmen allowed to tell Taffy jokes and can Scots have a laugh at the expense of a Jock?
Hot on the comedy circuit at the moment, of course, are Muslim comics who are the only ones allowed to make jokes about Muslims.
Now when you look at it from a different aspect, this could be construed as restrictive practice. Henry Smith or Jock McTaggart could claim their ability to earn a living was affected because a whole range of gags and funny stories are now outside their remit for humour.
And if either of them attempted to tell an Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman joke they would be at risk of attracting a fatwah from the politically correct.
My son-in-law, who is Irish frequently sends me Irish jokes by phone, but I can’t retell them in the Examiner unless I adapt them slightly and say, "There were these two blokes from Barnsley …"
Whoops. Now I’ve given the game away.