Bob, a travelling salesman, arrives at a small town late in
the day, walks into the local bar, sits down dan orders up
After a few moments, someone stands up and shouts,
" 28 !" and the entire bar bursts into hysterical laughter.
Bob thinks this is strange, but goes back to his beer.
A few moments later someone else stands up and yells,
"33!" Once again, the bar bursts into fits of laughter.
Some are rolling on the floor.
Bob shakes his head, and goes back to his beer.
Soon, a third man stands up and shouts, " 4 ! "
Again, everyone in the bar laughs, some uncontrollable
in their mirth.
The completely confused Bob summons the bartender
and asks what the hell all the laughing is about.
The bartender replies : See,pal, we're such a small town
that everyone knows everyone and all of their jokes.
So, to make life easier we catalogued all of our gags.
Instead of telling the whole joke, we just shout its number
and everyone knows what joke it is and we laugh.
Bob listens carefully, nods, and sits down.
More people stand up and shout numbers, and eventually
Bob cannot stand it any longer.
Well-known as the life of the party back home, he has to join in.
Bob stands up and shouts, " 41 ! "
Nobody laughs. There is stony silence.
Bob sits down, shamefaced and embarrased.
He summons up the bartender, and says,
"What happened? No-one laughed ."
The bartender shakes his head and says,
" Buddy, it's not so much the joke, it's the way you tell it."