Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2004]
Then one night while watching CNN he saw a war-zone scene in Afghanistan. In one corner of the background, he spotted a young Afghan Muslim soldier with a truly incredible arm. He threw a hand-grenade straight into a
"I've got to get this guy!" Coach said to himself. "He has the perfect arm!"
So, he brings him to the States and teaches him the great game of football. And the Eagles go on to win the Super Bowl. The young Afghan is hailed as the great hero of football, and when the coach asks him what he wants, all the young man wants is to call his mother.
"Mom," he says into the phone, "I just won the Super Bowl!"
"I don't want to talk to you," the old Muslim woman says. "You deserted us. You are not my son!"
"I don't think you understand, Mother," the young man pleads. "I've won the greatest sporting event in the world. I'm here among thousands of my adoring fans."
"No! Let me tell you!" his mother retorts. "At this very moment, there are gunshots all around us. The neighborhood is a pile of rubble. Your two brothers were beaten within an inch of their lives last week, and I have to keep your sister in the house so she doesn't get raped!"
The old lady pauses, and then tearfully says, "I will never forgive you for making us move to Philadelphia!
Origins: This howler gets dusted off periodically, with the names of different NFL cities slotted into the leg-pull as the teller sees fit. (So far we've seen the maligned city presented as Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Miami, Cleveland,
The Detroit Lions' football coach goes on a search for a new passing quarterback. He scours the
Bam — the coach is on the next plane to Serbia. He tracks down the TV news crews, and eventually finds this man, takes him back to Detroit, and next season the dear Sloba is the biggest star in the NFL.
One night, after a game in Chicago, his mom calls him on the phone:
"Sloba! How could you DO this to us?"
"What's wrong ma?"
"Last week, your sister Ariana was raped in the middle of the street in broad daylight, and it's all your fault!"
"Shut up! I'm not done yet! The next night, your little brother died in the middle of a firefight when the whole neighborhood got shot
"Shut up! I'm still not done yet! And
"Mama! How can you say this is my fault!"
"Sloba, I will NEVER forgive you for making us move to Detroit!"
The type of "misdirected expectations" punchline that fuels the foreign quarterback joke also powers any number of other japes, such as this culture-rivalry example:
The shopkeeper immediately replies "You're from
He practices: "FISH and CHIPS, not FUSH and CHUPS," over and over again. Each day he passes the shop, but does not go in, just says to himself over and over again, "FISH and CHIPS," "FISH and CHIPS." Days, weeks, months roll by until eventually he has perfected a normal (Aussie) accent.
So he decides it is time to face the test. Into the shop he goes, and in a perfect voice says "Five dollars worth of FISH and CHIPS."
Imagine his shock as the shopkeeper replies, "You must be from
"OH NO" he cries. "This accent always betrays my nationality. I just cannot hide it."
"It's got nothing to do with accents, mate," replies the shopkeeper. "This is a hardware store".
Last updated: 15 January 2012
Denton, Lisa. "Laugh Lines." Chattanooga Times Free Press. 5 February 1999 (p. E1).