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Lord Of Chaos; Rand's rooster and farmer.


Jelly
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A joke from the Lord Of Chaos that has always confused me:

 

An irascible old farmer named Hu discovered one morning that his best rooster had flown into a tall tree beside his farm pond and wouldn't come down, so he went to his neighbor, Wil, and asked for help. The men had never gotten along, but Wil finally agreed, so the two men went to the pond and began climbing the tree, Hu first. They meant to frighten the rooster out, you see, but the bird only kept flying higher, branch by branch. Then, just as Hu and the rooster reached almost the very top of the tree, with Wil right behind, there was a loud crack, the branch under Hu's feet broke away, and down he went into the pond, splashing water and mud everywhere. Wil scrambled down as fast as he could and reached out to Hu from the bank, but Hu just lay there on his back, sinking deeper into the mud until only his nose stuck out of the water. Another farmer had seen what happened, and he came running and pulled Hu out of the pond. 'Why didn't you take Wil's hand?' he asked Hu. 'You could have drowned.' 'Why should I take his hand now?' Hu grumped. 'I passed him just a moment ago in broad daylight, and he never spoke a word to me.'"

 

Does anyone get it? Because I don't.

 

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When passing someone you know, it is polite to say hello. It is rather less polite to ignore that person completely. When the farmer fell out of the tree, he passed the other guy, who was rather impolite about it, not saying hello. Hence Hu was feeling snubbed by Wil's perceived impoliteness  upon their previous passing. Understand?

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What's the context in which this joke was told? That might shed some light.

 

Rand is walking along with a bunch of Maidens and they're talking about how he doesn't have a sense of humor (since he wasn't laughing at their Aiel jokes).  He spins around and tells this joke.  After he finishes they start talking about what the point of the joke was.  Some insist it was the water, others the rooster.  Then one pats him condescendingly on the shoulder (Nandera or Sulin perhaps?) and says something like, "I'm sure it was a good joke, you'll just have to explain it to us".  Then he gets all mad and stalks off.

 

I think Egwene or someone is watching and sniffs their nose at how he's full of himself or something like that.

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I got the joke just fine, and thought it was pretty funny myself! Reminds me of another joke I heard a while back, using a similar misdirection as the punchline...

 

A man walked into a tavern and sat down at the bar. He was so bedraggled that the barkeep asked him what had happened to him.

 

"I was out hunting," the man said. "I'd searched them woods all morning for game, but found nothing. About midmorning, I came across a clearing. Nothing in it for yards around, except for a single tree standing dead center, all by itself. Well, everything was so quiet and peaceful---and the hunting so DEAD---that I decided to take a little nap. A little while later, I heard a rustling in the bushes. I looked up, and saw that it was a bear! He raised up and growled at me, so I took off at a dead run. Left my gun and everything. The bear was faster, and was catching up to me quick, so I ran for the nearest tree I could find---the one in the center of the clearing. The lowest branch on the tree was a good ten feet up, but I didn't have time to shimmy up the trunk, so I jumped for it."

 

The barkeep asked breathlessly, "Did you catch the branch?"

 

The man replied, "I missed it on the way up, but I caught it on the way down."  ;)

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