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We all have a joke or two up our sleeve and if weCOre to be completely honest at least one in our repertoire most probably relates to bodily functions. It seems, however, that the popularity of this particular subject is timeless, because a joke about a woman breaking wind has just been revealed as the worldCOs oldest joke ever. The gag dates back to 1900BC and is said to have originated in what is now southern Iraq, according to a new study.On top of the CyfartCO gags, the team of academics, who were commissioned to scan history and track down the worldCOs oldest jokes, also noted that fictional tales about randy pharaohs, dead donkeys and ox drivers were found to be very humorous in the past. Paul McDonald from the University of Wolverhampton in the UK, who led the study, said: C[pounds sterling]Jokes have varied over the years, with some taking the question and answer format, while others are witty proverbs or riddles.C[pounds sterling]What they all share, however, is a willingness to deal with taboos and a degree of rebellion.C[yen]Nowadays, some of the most laughed at jokes poke fun at politicians, and the current American leader, President George Bush, is by no means an exception to this trend. Quite the opposite in fact; thousands of jokes have been created in his CyhonourCO. You may have heard the one about how George BushCOs library was burnt down. Sadly both books were destroyed. Sadder still was how he had only coloured in half of the second book!Researchers say that this trend of making fun of high-profile figures is nothing new. They say that Egyptian pharaohs were just as likely to be the butt of humour thousands of years ago as world leaders are today, and one old joke they recovered from 1600BC proves just this: C[pounds sterling]How do you entertain a bored pharaoh ; Sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile - and urge the pharaoh to go fishing.C[yen]According to the researchers, the oldest British joke is a bawdy gag from the 10th century, which employs the traditional question and answer format: C[pounds sterling]What hangs at a manCOs thigh and wants to poke the hole that it has often poked before ;

C[pounds sterling]A key.C[yen]We asked some witty souls in multi-cultural Dubai to share some a few favourite jokes straight from their homelands.

ENGLISH HUMOUR

Jim from the UK says that when he was growing up CyIrishman JokesCO were the playground favourites, but that these gags seem to be more and more scarce these days. Jim says that English people like dry, understated humour or watching outrageously rude, pompous, arrogant types like Basil Fawlty, David Brent or Alan Partridge.

JIMCOS JOKE

Q: What do you call an Italian man with a rubber toe ;

A: Roberto!

IRAQI HUMOUR

Ali from Iraq says that in his homeland jokes are frequently told about the Kurdish people in the north.

He also says that in the past jokes about Saddam Hussain were popular, but that people would tell them in a hushed voice and only to those they trusted.

ALICOS JOKE

A man returned drunk to his wife late at night after spending a couple of hours with his girlfriend.

Wife: Where have you been Superman ;

Man: I was with my friends.

Wife: What you were doing Superman ;

Man: I was playing cards.

Wife: Did you win the card game Superman ;

Man: Wait. Why you calling me Superman today ;

Wife: Because Superman is the only man on earth that put his underwear above his pants.

IRISH HUMOUR

Patrick form Ireland says that the Irish are great at having a laugh at themselves and that a lot of their humour is directed at their own culture and habits. The hit television series CyFather TedCO about three priests, who smoke, drink and get up to plenty of mischief, is a perfect example of the IrishCOs self-defecating sense of humour, according to Patrick.

PATRICKCOS JOKE

OCOReilly went on trial for armed robbery. The jury foreman came out and announced, C[pounds sterling]Not guiltyC[yen]. C[pounds sterling]ThatCOs grand!C[yen] shouted OCOReilly. C[pounds sterling]Does that mean I can keep all the moneyC[yen].

PAKISTANI HUMOUR

In every country there are jokes that revolve around the supposedly CysillyCO people. In Ireland CyKerrymenCO are the butt of jokes, in Spain the people from a small town in the south called CyLepeCO are joked about, while in Pakistan, Khalid says the most popular jokes in the country are about Pathans, people who live in the tribal areas of the country.

KHALIDCOS JOKE

A Pathan goes into a store and sees a shining object. He asks the clerk, C[pounds sterling]What is that shiny object ;C[yen] The clerk replies, C[pounds sterling]That is a thermos flask.C[yen]

The Pathan then asks, C[pounds sterling]What does it do ;C[yen]

The clerk responds, C[pounds sterling]It keeps hot things hot and it keeps cold things cold.C[yen]

The Pathan says, C[pounds sterling]ICOll take it!C[yen]The next day, he walks into work with his new thermos and sets it down on the desk.

His Pathan boss sees him and asks, C[pounds sterling]What is that shiny object you have with you today ;C[yen]

He said, C[pounds sterling]ItCOs a thermos flask.C[yen]

The boss then says, C[pounds sterling]Tell me, what does it do ;C[yen]

He replies, C[pounds sterling]It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold.C[yen]

The boss said, C[pounds sterling]Wow, what do you have in it ;C[yen]

The Pathan replies, C[pounds sterling]Two cups of coffee and a coke.C[yen]

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Aug 3, 2008
Words:1002
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