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Do the kinds of political joke that get circulated in a polity depend on the structure - page 28 / 46

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Douglas Ayling

z Franco was going to a party one evening, and so that the people at the party would be entertained he called for Ramples [the famous comic, again]. When Ramples came to the Pardo he said, “But, Your Excellency, what an honor it is to be here. Why would you want the likes of a humble man like me to be with you?” “Well,” answered Franco, “we’re going to a party, and to entertain us I want you to tell us a few jokes.” “What an honor, sir. Just let me change clothes, and I’ll come along with you.” So Ramples went out and changed his clothes. When he returned, Franco escorted him to the limousine which would bring them to the ballroom. Said Ramples, “Your Excellency, what a magnificent car you have!” “Would you like one like it?” asked Franco. And then Franco continued, “You know, I won’t be satisfied until every worker in Spain has a car like this one.” “Wait a minute!’ Ramples cried out. “Who’s telling the jokes here, you or me? Because if it’s you, I’m getting away from here right now!”58

z Uncle Paco’s daughter married an incredibly bad doctor who practiced in a Madrid hospital called La Paz – The Peace. One day Uncle Paco’s grandson came to visit him. At one point when they were together, they boy blurted out, “Grandfather, some of the kids at school say that you killed a lot of people in the war.” “Ah, yes, that could well be true,” replied Uncle Paco, “but it isn’t as many as your daddy kills in The Peace”59

58 Stanley H. Brandes, ‘Peaceful Protest: Spanish Political Humor in a Time of Crisis’, Western Folklore, Vol. 36, No. 4 (October 1977), pp.337-8 Valentin (1987), p.86. Uncle Paco is a nickname for Francisco Franco. 59

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