Bathroom humor

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Neweouthouse
The outhouse. Shy. Introverted. Alone in the world. No one to talk to. Major body odor problems. Not exactly the stand-up comic of the bathroom world.
In the beginning, there was nothing. Eventually some random particles decided to get their act together and beings were created. Humans started to evolve and discovered that if they were going to get the whole intelligence thing down pat, the first thing they'd have to do is stop piddling on banana leaves and figure out a more polite way of doing their business. For centuries, there was much mucking about — sometimes literally — and experimenting with different ways of doing so. There were pots and holes and things used for collecting human waste, and then one genius decided to leave a bunch of outhouses alone for awhile and they started to breed. Through lots of accidents and reproduction, the modern bathroom was born.

With this new stage in evolution came a higher form of bathroom. Instead of consisting of a sole, lonely toilet, modern bathrooms sport such things as showers, sinks, and bathtubs — practically an entire community. Their dreary jobs and monotonous existence have led to a new sort of social phenomenon, namely, that of bathroom humor.

Bathroom Humor through the Ages

Toilet paper
Toilet paper is notoriously stone-faced.

Officially, bathroom humor originated in the late 20th century, but it's hard to imagine that chamber pots didn't have a good chuckle now and then. The first modern hieroglyphics with a bathroom "joke" appeared, to use historical terminology, about many to lots years ago. Its author is assumed to have been a urinal, which has since died, flushed down the commode of history.

Bathroom historians estimate that the ancient text read: \mathfrak{Two\;Urinals\;Walk\;Into\;A\;Bar...} but the rest is lost.

For a long time, the earliest complete joke found was one transcribed on a white scroll, reading: \mathit{What\;did\;one\;toilet\;say\;to\;the\;other?\;\;You\;look\;flushed.} Historians, having nothing else to do, considering that all of their work is past, bickered for years over the authenticity of this work. Eventually, through carbon dating, oxygen marrying, becoming friends with helium, and getting a civil union with nitrogen, it was confirmed that the joke was a fake and made only relatively recently.

"I always knew it," said one proud historian, sharing a cup of coffee with hydrogen.

Social Dynamics of a Bathroom

To understand bathroom humor, it is first important to understand where, in fact, it comes from. It is exceedingly obvious that it comes from a bathroom, but how does it work?

We don't know

This theory is not accepted at all. In fact, it has been rejected so many times historians have put a restraining order on it.

Rubber duckies

Rubber duck
Rubber ducks are usually the first to break the ice, but it is not unheard of for a potty to make the first quip.
Bouncywikilogo3
For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article very remotely related to Bathroom humour.

The silence of a bathroom is a feature practically ingrained into its very tiles. Hidden cameras and hidden microphones have been hidden in bathrooms all over the world, but not a single joke, not a groaner, not a one-liner, not an atom of humor was to be heard. Bathroom psychologists were heavily disappointed, expecting at least a "yo' momma's so fat she was two-ply" from the toilet or sink.

So what accounts for the lack of humor in a standard bathroom? Psychologists argue that a new element has to be introduced to get the party started. Something exciting, something funny, something that made little squeaky noises when stepped on. Psychologists say the rubber duck is the key.

This theory, while untested, may explain the lack of verbal evidence of bathroom humor. Psychologists have managed to classify each bathroom element into different groups: The toilet paper and medicine cabinet are usually humorless; the toilet, from its outhouse days, remains shy but still cracks a few jokes; the bathtub and shower are often socially rejected because of their distance yet have amazing joke-telling skills and many witty observations about the people who sing in them; and the mirror, quite predictably, is a mere copycat of the others, sometimes ignored because of its rapid mood swings.

The Rubber Duck theory is scheduled to be tested sometime in 2015. It will require months of preparation, as the psychologists vow to "Leave No Duck Untested".

Bathroom humor does not exist

As always, skeptics have popped up to piss someone off. It is ridiculous to assume such a position, particularly when historical evidence suggests otherwise, and it is particularly unfeasible to think that bathrooms have not made a few humorous references in their time, especially with the material they have to work with. Besides, Wikipedia has an article on it.

Structure of Bathroom Humor

000 0235
Reminding a toilet of its last experience with a plunger for the sake of a joke is considered distasteful in most bathroom communities.

Typically, the humor consists of one of two subjects. The less common ones are very general, such as flush-flush jokes that are similar to human knock-knocks. More often than not, though, humor is derived from the visitors to the bathroom, complaints about how dirty and ridiculous human beings are.

Off-limits are jokes that may be considered hurtful to other members of the bathroom community. Toilet paper needs not to hear of its last client's diarrhea attack, and how positively silly it may have looked. A toilet doesn't need to hear that it is "feeling blue" when being cleaned. And towels get extremely sick of sexual jokes extremely fast. These sorts of things are not funny and unnecessary.

Theoretically bathroom humor is difficult to understand (as it is terribly inside-jokey) yet is supposed to be good quality, having sprung out of a combination of boredom and creative thinking. It is expected to go on for years to come, unless of course...

The End of Bathroom Humor?

DramaticQuestionMark
Artist's depiction of the uncertainty of the situation. Note the dynamic structure of the picture.

Yes, you guessed it — humans are fucking things up once again. Bathrooms are being taken out of their natural state, and the balance is starting to tip in public restrooms. Toilets aren't meant to be trapped next to each other, nor are so many sinks supposed to be in one place at one time. The sheer amount of toilet paper causes any casual humor to be immediately shot down. And there's hardly any "alone time" — it's all work and no play when you're a public bathroom.

The questions remain: Can bathroom humor be preserved? Do we even know it exists? Are rubber duckies the answer? What does happen when two urinals walk into a bar? Can anyone get a date with helium or one of its sisters? The world may never know, but it's likely its inhabitants will find out someday. In the meantime, next time you're in the bathroom and you hear the toilet giggle, don't be offended — it's just their way of life.

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