Wednesday, March 14, 2007

So a Writer Walks Into a Bar...

By Cornelia

If you ever get to the point with writing where you feel that, as James Joyce once said, "writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives," here are some jokes to cheer you up:

A writer died and was given the choice of going to heaven or hell.

She decided to check out her options before deciding. The writer descended into the fiery pits, where row upon row of writers were chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they typed, they were whipped with thorny lashes.

"This sucks," said the writer. "Let me see heaven now."

She ascended into heaven only to discover rows of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.

"Wait a minute," said the writer. "This is just as bad as hell!"

"Not quite," replied an unseen voice. "Up here you get published."

Once upon a time, a young boy professed his desire to become a great writer.

When asked to define great, he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"

Now he works for Microsoft.

How many science fiction writers does it take to change a light bulb?

Two, but it's actually the same person. He went back in time and met himself in the doorway and then climbed onto his alter-ego's shoulders so that they could reach the ceiling fixture. Then a major time paradox occurred and the entire room, light bulb, and both guys were blown out of existence. They continued to co-exist in a parallel universe, however.

How many publishers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Three. One to screw it in. Two to hold down the author.

How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

One. But she has to stop when she's screwed it almost all the way in, then give it a surprising twist at the end.

How many blurb writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?


How many screenwriters does it take to change a light bulb?

1st draft. Hero changes light bulb.
2nd draft. Villain changes light bulb.
3rd draft. Hero stops villain from changing light bulb. Villain falls to death.
4th draft. Lose the light bulb.
5th draft. Light bulb back in. Fluorescent instead of tungsten.
6th draft. Villain breaks bulb, uses it to kill hero's mentor.
7th draft. Fluorescent not working. Back to tungsten.
8th draft. Hero forces villain to eat light bulb.
9th draft. Hero laments loss of light bulb. Doesn't change it.
10th draft. Hero changes light bulb.

Q: How many copy editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: I can't tell whether you mean 'change a light bulb' or 'have sex in a light bulb.' Can we reword it to remove the ambiguity?

Q: How many editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: Only one. But first they have to rewire the entire building.

Q: How many art directors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Does it HAVE to be a light bulb?

Q: How many copy editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: The last time this question was asked, it involved art directors. Is the difference intentional? Should one or the other instance be changed? It seems inconsistent.

Q: How many marketing directors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: It isn't too late to make this neon instead, is it?

Q: How many proofreaders does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Proofreaders aren't supposed to change light bulbs. They should just query them.

Q: How many booksellers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Only one, and they'll be glad to do it too, except no one shipped them any.

Three guys are sitting at a bar.

#1: "...Yeah, I make $75,000 a year after taxes."
#2: "What do you do for a living?"
#1: "I'm a stockbroker. How much do you make?
#2: "I should clear $60,000 this year."
#1: "What do you do?"
#2: "I'm an architect."
The third guy has been sitting there quietly, staring into his beer, when the others turn to him.
#2: "Hey, how much do you make per year?"
#3: "Gee... hmmm... I guess about $13,000."
#1: "Oh yeah? What kind of novels do you write?"

A male romance novelist was hiking in the mountains, and he came upon a shepherd who was tending a large herd of sheep that were grazing in the alpine meadow. The writer took a fancy to the sheep, and asked the shepherd: "If I can guess how many sheep you have, can I have one?"

The shepherd thought this was an odd request, but thought that there was little chance that the man would guess the exact number of sheep, so he said "Sure."

The writer guessed "You have 287 sheep," to the shepherd's astonishment, since this was exactly how many sheep he had.

The writer got excited and asked "Can I pick out my sheep now?" and the shepherd grudgingly gave his permission. The writer selected his sheep, bent over, and swung the sheep over his shoulders, to carry home with him.

The shepherd then asked "If I guess what your occupation is, can I have my sheep back?" The novelist was a bit surprised by this, but figured that it was unlikely that the shepherd would be able to guess his occupation, and went along with the deal. The shepherd then guessed "You're a romance novelist, aren't you?"

The writer was very surprised and asked, "How did you know?"

The shepherd responded, "Put the dog down and we'll talk about it."

Q: How can you tell if a blonde writes mysteries?
A: She has a checkbook.

Got any more jokes? I could use a few....


  1. LOL Cornelia! That was just what I needed today!

  2. What a hoot, Cornelia!

  3. You don't need any new jokes Ms. C. You got plenty already.

    And thanks for the laugh in the middle of all my taxes today.

  4. In some of these, you could just replace 'writer' with 'illustrator' and many of the lightbulb jokes would be the same. We deal with the same, er, crap.. :-D

    Brilliant! Needed a laugh today. Ta, Cornelia. :-D

    Marianne 'rattling her chains and returning to her easel'.

  5. Thanks you guys, very glad to amuse.

    I'm trying to invent a new one... "Why did the writer cross the road?"

    Can't think of a thing.

    Marianne, my alltime favorite NON-writer joke is:

    Q. How many dada-surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    A. The fish.

  6. Terrific change of pace today.

    And so much better than lawyer jokes!

  7. I think that photo of James Joyce bears a striking resemblance to Tribe.

  8. You totally made my day - thanks!

  9. Did you hear about the two guys that got out of prison?

    One went straight the other became a lawyer.

    Sorry, Paul.

  10. Q: how many agents does it take to change a light bulb?

    Å: Only one but you must provide the bulb, the ladder, and the directions or we'll just leave you in the dark.

  11. So I was trying to cheat and plagairize someone else's "Why did the writer cross the road joke" and I came along this one from The Little Giant Book of Giggles (love the title) by Charles Keller:

    Why DIDN'T the writer cross the road?

    Because he had authoritis.

    Ba-dum-chee! Thanks so much - I'll be here all week...

  12. Q: How many bondage persons does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A: A submissive to do the work, a slave for the submissive to stand on; and a dominatrix to crack the whip on both of them. The lightbulb 'will' change.

    Just made that up!

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  14. MISS SNARK WAS HERE? OMG I just *totally* fainted.

    Regina, I'm suffering from authoritis, but I still can't think of a good "why did the writer..." myself.

    This, however, is a classic:

    Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

    ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die. In the rain.

    Mindy, you are SO right about the Joyce/Tribe separated at birth thing... might make a great blog next week...

  15. Hey, I just made up another one:

    Why did the agent cross the road?

    For 15% of the chicken.

  16. Wow, I was just coming here to say I think Miss Snark reads your blog, and she beat me to it! And I like your chicken joke.

    Still haven't come up with anything for the writer-crossing joke, except "because he couldn't afford a car", and I don't think that's good enough. I'm gonna keep working on it, though.

  17. MISS SNARK WAS HERE? OMG I just *totally* fainted.

    Now how come I can't get a reaction like that? Yanno, the lady puts on her steel-spiked stillettos one heel at a time, just like the rest of us.

  18. Well, Mindy, because I fainted SO HARD when I saw you here that I gave myself amnesia. Great to be back among the conscious... wish I remembered where I've been, since I appear to be wearing someone else's bathing suit.

  19. I hope they washed it first.

  20. Ah HA! I crossed the road to wash the bathing suit... it's all coming back to me.

    And, Daisy, "couldn't afford a car"!!! EXCELLENT!!!!

  21. Thanks for the yuks, Cornelia. Need it today to counter major depression over stalling on chapter 3.

    My contribution:

    How many critics does it take to change a light bulb?

    They don't know how to change a light bulb, but you can bet they'll find something wrong with the way you do it.

  22. What fun! Good ones all! Only one I can come up that's nearly relevant is an old "New Yorker" cartoon of a couple of rabbis standing at the foot of the Cross, one of whom was saying, "Sure. He was a great teacher, but He just wouldn't publish!"

    Tom, T.O.