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2/23/10 Always-Funny Berber Jokes

One thing that I love about this culture is the … permanence …. of the humor. If something is funny once, it will always be funny. The western idea that a joke is only funny the first time, or at least becomes progressively less funny with each retelling? Totally doesn’t exist here. You’ll get exactly as big a laugh every time you tell a story. It does make it easier for folks learning the language, though – learn one or two funny stories (usually laughing at yourself), and you’re set for two years.

One of my classics:

“Ah, boorgh.” Oh, I’m too old to get married. I’ve missed my chance.

So simple, and yet every time I say it, I get a big laugh. Every time. What? You’re not married? No, I’m too old to get married. Hahahahahahahahaha.

Every. Time.

And then there’s the story of the drunken idiot who kept me waiting 45 minutes - in the cold - for a transit that he knew had left an hour earlier. That’s always good for a laugh.

Or the pun on the word “turkey” – bibi in Tamazight – and how the baby – bebe or mumu – is “A baby, not a chicken!’ which has been funny for about 20 months now…

And now we have the story of how I couldn’t find the house I lived in for three months.

If I return to Morocco in a few years (as I hope and expect to) and visit both my host families again, I fully expect to hear all these stories, surrounded with genuine laughter.

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