April 26th 2006Despite earning my living as a comedy scriptwriter for a large part of my working life I can’t write jokes for the life of me. By jokes I mean stories that typically begin ‘There was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman….’ An example – A blind man walked into a pub, picked up his guide dog by its lead and swung it round his head a few times. The landlord was outraged. He said ‘”Why did you do that?” The blind man said:” Well I only came in for a look round.”  That sort of thing.

I can’t do it, I only with I could.

My humour, such as it is, depends on character and situation, and owes much to observation. I can also do one-liners, such as ‘My wife was in labour for over two days before the doctors realised she still had her tights on’, lines like that.There are very rare exceptions to this general rule, when I do manage to come up with a joke, usually by accident. One such happened this morning. It isn’t a very good joke, so don’t hold your breath. Here goes then –

A man went to see the doctor. He said: “I feel terrible doctor. I’ve got a headache, my nose is stuffy, I’ve got an upset stomach and I’m running a temperature. And as well as that I’ve got this constant sound in my head, like a chanting sound, going ‘Round…round…round…round…. What do you think it is?’ The doctor said: “It’s a bug that’s going round.” That’s it. I warned you it wasn’t very good, didn’t I. However I did once come up with a really good joke when I was writing my novel A Good Walk Spoiled. If you like you can read it on this page –   You are invited to rate both my jokes on a scale of 1 to 10. I would award the first one a dodgy 4 and the second a solid 8.  But then I’m biased.