Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Legend: Speeding motorist tries to buy her way out of a citation by offering to buy tickets to the Policeman's Ball, resulting in an embarrassing double entendre admission from the officer.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 1999]
"Policemen don't have balls" is in itself a rare triple entendre, referring not only (on the obvious level) to the police's not hosting fundraising dances, but also on a secondary level to their being less than virile (thanks to a physical shortcoming) and lacking in courage ("balls," in common parlance). In its own way, this joke is the ultimate shot to take at a peace officer, made doubly funny by his taking it at himself. (Puns on dual meanings of "balls" are common in urban legendry, as exemplified by the infamous anecdote about an embarrassing slip from the lips of a famous golfer's wife.)
It's unlikely a real police officer would become so flustered by an unintentionally humorous comment that he'd simply walk away from someone he'd been in the process of ticketing. Cops have to put up with a lot from the public they serve (the same public that's so delighted to see them when they show up to take burglary reports can become downright nasty when they see their "right to speed" challenged by traffic stops), so those who go into this line of work very quickly develop skin as thick as an elephant's hide. That one of these veterans of all that's worst in human nature could be driven off by the embarrassment inherent to a badly-phrased reply is an entertaining fantasy, but a fantasy nonetheless.
Barbara "ball bearing" Mikkelson
Sightings: This joke was used as the subject of a 1997 Soap on a Rope comic strip. It was also given a brief airing in the television series Psych ("Who Ya Gonna Call?," original air date
Last updated: 26 March 2007
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