Well Equipped

One thing I consider sad is when someone takes a perfectly good joke and finds it necessary to insist that it "really happened" -- and then draw some sort of "ain't it awful?" conclusion about the state of the world. That's what happened to the following joke, which is indeed a pretty good one.

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Excerpt from a recent live radio interview on one of the regional Welsh stations:

A female newscaster is interviewing the leader of a Youth club:

Interviewer: So, Mr. Jones, what are you going to do with these children on this adventure holiday?

Mr Jones: We're going to teach them climbing, abseiling, canoeing, archery, shooting...

Interviewer: Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible isn't it?

Jones: I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the range.

Interviewer: Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

Jones: I don't see how, we will be teaching them proper range discipline before they even touch a firearm.

Interviewer: But you're equipping them to become violent killers.

Jones: Well, you're equipped to be a prostitute but you're not one are you?

Needless to say, the interview was terminated almost immediately.

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The joke goes back to at least 1997, but that's not how it's going around on the Internet. The joke has turned into a "true story", the "Welsh regional station" has turned to the U.S. National Public Radio, 1997 has turned to "recently", and "Mr. Jones" has turned into "Lt. General Reinwald" of the U.S. Marine Corps. The resulting wholly fabricated "true story" supposedly illustrates how out-of-touch NPR is.

A USMC spokesman says there is no General Reinwald, and that they don't know of any other officer who made any such comment during an NPR interview. Even NPR has issued a statement:

We are aware of an erroneous story posted on the Free Republic Website, and possibly elsewhere, which mentions a supposed interview between an unnamed NPR reporter and a U.S Army Lieutenant General Reinwald. The story is false -- the dialogue mentioned was not an NPR interview, and it never aired on any NPR program.

Yet this obvious joke continues to be circulated around the 'net as "true". Get a clue, folks: jokes are just that: jokes! While jokes can help illustrate the Human Condition, it makes no sense to call a joke "a true story" as a means to indict someone of an imagined crime. To do so is ...well... pretty funny -- and the joke's on you.

Posted January 4, 2013 1:00 PM

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