British humour

a few years back riding home from Italy, I took the wrong turning on the motorway in gnome land
ended up in Germany right outside a bloody great big chocolate factory ( Milka)
thinking I was in Switzlerland cos its chocolate, I asked a taxi driver the way to Mulhouse
he laughed and gave me directions into town and said when you see the BMVee dealers call in and ask for my brother Albrecht

Oh thats very kind does he know a short cut there ?

no he vill sell you a BMV motorcycle with a satnav and drop that Italian rubbish in the skip


cue massive laughter

then he points me in the right direction

git

So it seems Germans do have a sense of humour
Loerrach I guess? The Germans in the SW do have a good sense of humour in my experience (of living there) and consider the South Swedes/Fischkoepfe/SauPreusse to be a bit stuffy.
 
Many many moons ago I had to spend several months in the states on a slightly hard course and was mildly surprised when the Americans did not have a clue as to what I was on about. I will never forget asking a Yank where I could get some Fags on camp a simple question that turned into a slight argument followed by the yank having to have a small sleep on the curb side. How the hell was I to know that a Fag to the yanks is a rear entry specialis.

I had the same ,but not so violent problem in BAOR, a yank chopper landed in our exercise location, and the two crew were taken to the static cookhouse, set up in among the radio wagons. I smoked, and placed a pack of cigarettes on the table, open, for anyone to help themselves, as was the custom, no words spoken, it was a given.

A few of the lads helped themselves, I turned to Sgt Hank J cheeseburger and said "Fag?" it all went quite, ....." his face went red, he shouted "I aint no goddam faggot" he calmed down when it was explained to him. (22 Sigs. Ex crusader 80)
 
Back in 1989 I was sent for a couple of weeks to my then bank employer's Frankfurt office. Typical monoglot Brit, I turned up on my first day with a German phrase book and some half forgotten vocab from school, but was pleased to find all the senior bods I dealt with spoke fluent English. I mentioned this to the German boss over lunch how impressed I was.
"Zat, Herr Dombo Dreiundsechzig, iss because you won ze var; if we had won ze var, I assure you, you vood speak very good Cherman.
 

civvy

Old-Salt
I think that sums it up pretty well. A willingness to take the piss out of anything and everything but especially ourselves.

Quite a few standup comedians have observed that the easiest way to start a gig in a town is:

I've been here 2 hours and your town is ******* shit (laughter)

but it's not as shit as [town next door] (more laughter)

I used to work in Coalville, Leics, quite often. They didn't bury the dead there. They stood them in bus shelters to give the place a bit more life.
 

Arte_et_Marte

ADC
Moderator
Coming to end of my two year probation as dibble in Thames Valley, a Sergeant accompanied me for an informal duty check whilst on foot patrol in Maidenhead.

Walking along a line of traffic queuing at the traffic lights, I noticed a driver not wearing a seat belt. My customary action would been pointing at the driver and crossing my hand diagonally across my chest indicating, in one friendly gesture, that the transgression had been spotted and would be NFA'd. All good.

However, with my Sgt breathing down my neck, this act of discretion wouldn't cut it, so I tapped on the drivers window indicating that he should wind it down, and on doing so I said. "Sir, if you don't wear your seat belt, you'll get your face smashed in."

Now obviously I had worded the sentence wrong, but the driver, as I later found out at my disciplinary hearing, was Canadian and hadn't spotted the nuanced mistake.

The fucking maple leaf, hockey loving wanker.
 
If this would be better in the Beeb thread ... ?
Molesworth, epitome of a form of British humour.
Radio 4 Extra is rebroadcasting two programmes on Molesworth, ‘How to be Topp’ ect, today.
Britend upp my mawning kno end.
 
Couple of years ag I was talking by phone to the Sales director of the manufacturer of a type of german mine detector. Out of the blue he asked me “ herr matt, vy do zer chairmans need two viagra?”

I said I had no idea so he went on:

“Von for zer arm und Von for zer cock”.
 
British self-deprecating humour does not travel to the USA. German "humour" is an utter mystery to me - witness that toothy bloke who is sometimes on Have I got new for you or Would I lie to you.
As a never served civvy I love the humour on this site - I have blown coffee out my nose at some of the blacker stuff - but I will never join in for example soldiers, coppers taking the piss out of each other for soldiery coppery things as I have absolutely no shared experience that entitles me to do that.
Sometimes it falls flat - a cycling mate was in South America and got bitten by a spider, so posted panicky photos on Facebook from a clinic of the weeping wound in his leg. Loads of sympathetic posts from everyone else but my simple question as to his shoe size sadly got just one like.
I agree. A bloke at work suddenly dropped dead aged 50. Terrible, obviously. Everyone in the mess room was dour & remarking on what a nice bloke he was etc etc. I said “Hang on, he hadn’t got Christmas week as leave had he? I’ll have that!”.
Cue many glares.
The only people who laughed were mainly the ex forces types.
 
I often cringe and feel sorry for septics when I’m in the US. I’ll sometimes give a typically British answer (usual dripping with sarcasm/self depreciation) to a simple question & they’ll give a straight/serious answer with added helpful advice, as my response has gone ‘Whhhooosh!’.
They don’t get it. It takes me a few days to adjust to their literal ways.
The last time SWMBO and myself went to the States, we took them literally when the asked 'Hi, how are you today?' We replied that we'd had a bad night's sleep, or stomach was upset or whatever, just to watch the resultant blushing and farting! They are not programmed for a response!
 
The last time SWMBO and myself went to the States, we took them literally when the asked 'Hi, how are you today?' We replied that we'd had a bad night's sleep, or stomach was upset or whatever, just to watch the resultant blushing and farting! They are not programmed for a response!
‘Error. Cannot compute’.

Shop & restaurant folk are programmed to ask the question but aren’t trained to respond.
 
The last time SWMBO and myself went to the States, we took them literally when the asked 'Hi, how are you today?' We replied that we'd had a bad night's sleep, or stomach was upset or whatever, just to watch the resultant blushing and farting! They are not programmed for a response!
Shouting "BUT I WAN'T TO GET OFF HERE!" in an airliner when the pilot announces that we will be landing "momentarily" doesn't get the response you expect either.
 
I may have mentioned before that I was once bobbing up and down in a dinghy next to a ditched helicopter about thirty miles east on the Orkney Islands - don’t ask...

Anyhoo, just before we ditched we called up a passing tanker and they said they’d stop and come back for us. It took about forty minutes for the ship to stop and turn around and they then sent a small boat over to us. As they pulled up and shut down the noisy engine my co-pilot called out.

“Hello? Can we help you?
 
I may have mentioned before that I was once bobbing up and down in a dinghy next to a ditched helicopter about thirty miles east on the Orkney Islands - don’t ask...

Anyhoo, just before we ditched we called up a passing tanker and they said they’d stop and come back for us. It took about forty minutes for the ship to stop and turn around and they then sent a small boat over to us. As they pulled up and shut down the noisy engine my co-pilot called out.

“Hello? Can we help you?
Excellent.
 
I had the same ,but not so violent problem in BAOR, a yank chopper landed in our exercise location, and the two crew were taken to the static cookhouse, set up in among the radio wagons. I smoked, and placed a pack of cigarettes on the table, open, for anyone to help themselves, as was the custom, no words spoken, it was a given.

A few of the lads helped themselves, I turned to Sgt Hank J cheeseburger and said "Fag?" it all went quite, ....." his face went red, he shouted "I aint no goddam faggot" he calmed down when it was explained to him. (22 Sigs. Ex crusader 80)
Years ago, the UK could be a bit funny like that.

My first wife was an American. She was a petite girl around 5ft 4” tall who used to drink pints of lager. In the seventies and eighties Britain, it was quite unusual to see an attractive female knocking back pints of beer and in some places, it produced some quite funny situations.

one memorable time was when we were in Barry in Wales visiting friends. We arrived quite late in the evening and booked into a bed and breakfast. It was a Sunday evening and the pubs were shutting at 10.30pm so we had about forty five minutes for a quick couple before bedtime.

So we walked into this little pub in Barry and I ordered a pint of lager. The lager was duly pulled and placed on the bar in front of me and I then ordered a light and bitter. The barman gave a me a strange look and said he was sorry but he couldn’t do it. I asked him why not. I told him that I had been drinking light and bitter in pubs for years all over the UK including hundreds of them in Wales and I had never been told that I couldn’t be served a light and bitter.

The barman then explained that the problem was a logistical one. He couldn’t fit a halve of bitter and a light ale in the glass. I responded why not. Just pour the half of bitter into the glass, top it up with the light ale and the jobs a good un!

He then further explained that he couldn’t get both components of the drink in a half pint glass. I responded that I didn’t want the drink in a half pint glass. I wanted it in a pint glass!

He then gestured to the pint of lager still sat on the bar and looking a little puzzled asked, who was that for then? His look of puzzlement was replaced by one of understanding and some curiosity as I explained the pint of lager was for my diminutive 5ft 4” wife stood next to me and the light and bitter was for me!

As to your point about calling cigarettes fags, some time later in the following year, we were in Chicago and I learnt two things quite quickly about Americans and smoking.

Firstly, unlike the British, Americans when in a group don’t pass cigarettes around. You can be in a friends company sat at the bar and and your American friend will just take one of their cigarettes out of their packet and light it and replace their packet on the bar. They found it both amusing and strange that I would pick my cigarettes up and take one for myself and then offer the packet around to anybody in my company.

I also learned very quickly not to ask if anybody wanted a fag! :)
 
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British self-deprecating humour does not travel to the USA. German "humour" is an utter mystery to me - witness that toothy bloke who is sometimes on Have I got new for you or Would I lie to you.
German humour is a bit Samish but different depending on where you go as well.

Da oben auf dem berg
Da steht ein Soldat
Er hat in der hose
kartoffel salat.
Starts off sounding imposing doesn't it
Litteral meaning, up on that hill there's a squaddie who's shit himself.
Two dockers from Hamburg in the pub.
Has't gehoert, Freddie is' Todt
Wiesso
Ist Getorben…...
Ach weshalb
weil er dodt is.
I know who you mean Henning When. Trouble with him is he's a generation late and PC.
 
German humour is a bit Samish but different depending on where you go as well.

Da oben auf dem berg
Da steht ein Soldat
Er hat in der hose
kartoffel salat.
Starts off sounding imposing doesn't it
Litteral meaning, up on that hill there's a squaddie who's shit himself.
Two dockers from Hamburg in the pub.
Has't gehoert, Freddie is' Todt
Wiesso
Ist Getorben…...
Ach weshalb
weil er dodt is.
I know who you mean Henning When. Trouble with him is he's a generation late and PC.
Henning Wehn is shit and unfunny, but still 100 times funnier than Otto Waalkes.
 

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