In view of recent admonitions against jokes maligning any class of people, I thought I'd put together some examples of humor that are approved within the Tandem Values. Note how these jokes arise from existing ones that are not permitted, showing that humor can be found anywhere.
WRONG: Why can't blondes take coffee breaks?
This joke is offensive to two classes of people, blondes and coffee drinkers. It might also offend people who do not drink coffee for religious reasons.
RIGHT: Why can't pigmentally-challenged individuals take a short rest between job tasks?
Because the Mail Police are reading this joke.
WRONG: How do you kill a pink elephant?
This joke has many problems, as it is offensive to environmentalists, vegetarians, and elephants of all colors. It also promotes racism and classism among elephants, and, perhaps, among other species as well. It should not be sent to the HUMOR sig for these reasons.
RIGHT: How do you address an elephant of any color whatsoever?
Ask the Mail Police for full instructions.
WRONG: How do you double the value of a Yugo?
This joke would not be allowed because it offends Yugoslavians, other people affected by the strife in Eastern Europe, and goes against the Communist belief system that material goods are provided by the state for its populace and therefore should have no monetary value whatsoever. Members of the bicycle-sig will also feel uncomfortable because this joke encourages automobile use.
RIGHT: How do you improve a vehicle?
Confirm with the Mail Police that the vehicle is allowed on Tandem Mail.
WRONG: An engineer, a physicist, a mathematician, and a psychologist are stuck in a burning building. Who gets out alive?
This message should not be sent because it encourgages classism, elitism, and implies that those who study different disciplines deserve to perish in a tragedy through no fault of their own. Tandem Values require respect for all individuals in all jobs they do.
RIGHT: Four Tandemites are stuck in a burning building. How do you rescue all of them before it collapses?
First meet with the Mail Police to be sure no favoritism is shown towards any group in whom is rescued initially.
WRONG: How do you make love to an <ethnic> woman?
There are so many reasons this joke is inappropriate for Tandem mail that this memo cannot begin to catalog all of them. Hiding behind the designator <ethnic> does not absolve the joke-sender of sending abusive mail messages to protected groups, because it is usually quite clear which group is being slandered. In any event, the sobriquet <ethnic> implies that non-ethnics are in some way superior, which goes against Tandem Values.
The joke also shows a lack of respect for women in two ways. First, it implies that the teller and listener of the joke are both male. No joke of that sort should be sent, because this precludes women from feeling fully accepted at Tandem. Second, it implies that the woman can only be satisfied one particular way, and that this rests outside of her, i.e. she needs a man to be complete. Finally, this joke excludes gays and lesbians since it has a heterosexualist bias.
RIGHT: How does a Tandemite get satisfaction?
Have the Mail Police ensure no one is offending anyone else.
WRONG: What happens when you cross a Jehovah's Witness with a dyslexic agnostic?
Jokes that demean religious groups are unacceptable. This includes people who choose not to practice religion. Dyslexics are an example of a handicapped class and should not be insulted. This joke is offensive to creationists because it implies that evolution proceeds due to inter-species mating habits. Members of certain religious groups may also find these random matings offensive to their belief systems.
RIGHT: Tell me the best way all religious groups can feel comfortable working together at Tandem.
I'll have the Mail Police explain that to you right away.
WRONG: A gorilla walks into a bar and orders a martini.
Since a number of Tandem employees are uncomfortable with the problems of alcohol, jokes should not be set in bars or at social gatherings noted for alcohol usage.
RIGHT: A gorilla walks into a hardware store and orders a martini.
WRONG: An IBM salesman is stuck on a desert island.
Desert islands make reference to the recent Gulf War, and should be avoided. It is also against Tandem values to make jokes about the competition. Simply describing their products is all the humor that's necessary.
RIGHT: An IBM AS/400 is set up in a room at 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 C). The Mail Police are called to see if it crashes, which it probably will.
WRONG: Which doesn't belong, meat, wife, or blowjob?
Haven't you learned anything yet? This joke is sexist and offensive to women and vegetarians.
RIGHT: Which doesn't belong, ethics, values, or Mail Police?
WRONG: A man's penis size doesn't matter, unless you're having sex with him.
That doesn't mean you can make fun of men, just because they're the dominant class. Besides, these jokes usually trigger a barrage of anti-female ones, and then we're back to Lawsuit City.
RIGHT: A Tandemite's paycheck size doesn't matter, unless they're arguing with the Mail Police.
WRONG: How many CNN reporters does it take to change a light bulb?
Tandem Values preclude mention of corporate entities, such as CNN in this example. The whole category of light bulb jokes is also contraindicated, as General Electric may choose to sue over improper use of their product.
RIGHT: How many TTN reporters does it take to produce "First Friday?"
Wait a minute, the Mail Police want to be sure this isn't a violation of something.
WRONG: What did Pee-Wee Herman say to Jeffrey Dahmer?
Can't you do anything right? It's "What did Jeffrey Dahmer say to Pee-Wee Herman?" and the answer is "Stop playing with my food."