American Humor: A Storyteller of Jokes Complains of the Modern Computer Era

The Last Laugh column shares MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader submitted American humor. Joe Novara shares his tale of Clutch, a master storyteller of jokes, who complains of computer mailing lists passing along jokes in writing.

| December 2000/January 2001

Last Laugh shares MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader submitted American humor with other readers. Joe Novara shares his story of Clutch, a storyteller of jokes who is dismayed by the modern computer era. 

Old gags find new life . . . unfortunately.

As I watched a dust cloud chasing a raggedy pickup from a long way down the road, I felt an internal response. Clutch. That's his name. That's also what my belly does every time he shows up.

Clutch is one of those guys who insists on telling you a joke before he even says hi, a true storyteller of jokes. And if, heaven forbid, you have one to tell him, you'll find yourself playing king of the mountain with a humor bully. I hate being cast in the role of jokee to a self-appointed joker.

Anyhow, a person's got to be neighborly, so I slouched on down to Clutch's truck as he crunched to a stop in front of my barn.

"Hey, Clutch," I called out, bracing myself for his opening salvo.

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