CLOSE
Original image
Wikimedia Commons

31 Temperance Movement Jokes to Zing Drunkards

Original image
Wikimedia Commons

In 1867, John William Kirton wanted to show that you didn't have to drink to be saucy, fun, or extemporaneous. To prove this and to help his teetotalling pals, he put together a book, One Thousand Temperance Anecdotes, Jokes, Riddles, Puns, and Smart Sayings. It was intended to be used by "friends of Temperance, whose hearts and souls are in the work, but whose hands are too full of other matters to enable them, at short notice, to get up a speech or an address."

Included in this volume is a joke section, stuffed with a barrelful of anti-drinking zingers that are so scorchin', they will singe the hair right off the town drunk's ruddy head. I've included the BurnMeter™ to measure how hot these knee-slappers are so you don't have to worry about completely incinerating whoever is on the receiving end.

1. What is Malt? — Why, Maltreated barley!

BurnMeter: 7/10. This one goes out to all the barley lovers out there who like their stuff pure.

*

2. What letter is frequently drunk?—T

BurnMeter: 5/10. Not exactly a side-splitter, but they can't all be champs.

*

3. Wanted, some of the beer produced “when mischief is brewing.”

BurnMeter: 3/10. Not sure what this one means, but it probably sounds fierce if said with conviction.

*

4. Why is there no life in gin? Because it is still-born.

BurnMeter: 9/10. Yeesh, a little dark.

*

5. Why is drinking like an old coat? It’s a bad habit.

BurnMeter: 10/10. DAAAAAAAMN!!! *AIRHORN*

*

6. Why is a drunkard like a tanner? Because he soaks his hide.

BurnMeter: 8/10. No offense to tanners.

*

7. A canter will give you ruddy cheeks, a decanter will give you a ruddy nose.

BurnMeter: 6/10. Funny because it's true.

*

8. What kind of ale does a family of children represent? Home brood (brewed).

BurnMeter: 4/10. Parentheses explaining the wordplay are much appreciated.

*

9. Why is the letter D a great reformer? Because it makes men mend.

BurnMeter: 3/10. Really makes you think.

*

10. Why is a Jewish feast like a brewer in his brewery? Hebrews (he brews) drink there.

BurnMeter: 2/10. Alright, let's go easy with the cultural zings (thanks again for the parenthetical explanation, though).

*

11. If a toper and a gallon of whisky were left together, which would be drunk first?

BurnMeter: 8/10. Had to look it up, but a "toper" is a drunkard, so, in that case, suck on that, topers.

*

12. Why ought not tee-totallers to drink ox-tail soup? Because it is Whisky.

BurnMeter: 1/10. Let's keep moving, this is a creative space, it's important to get everything out there.

*

13. Why is a selfish friend like the letter P? Because, though he is the first in pity, he is the last in help.

BurnMeter: 6/10. Points deducted for not being about alcohol, points added for profundity.

*

14. What people have a geographical reason for being drunk? Those who live in the Temperate Zone!

BurnMeter: 7/10. Exclamation point solidifies the funny.

*

15. Why must the persons appointed to wind up joint-stock companies invariably be tee-totalers?—Because they are liquid-haters.

BurnMeter: 7/10. Some droll razzing for the smart set. You know who you are.

*

16. “Well, my boy, do you know what syntax means?” said a schoolmaster to the child of a teetotaller.
“Yes sir; the duty upon spirits.”

BurnMeter: 9/10. Someone pull the fire alarm, because that schoolmaster just got burned in his own classroom. Exit in an orderly fashion, children.

*

17. “Were you ever in Cork, sir?” was asked Foote, the comedian, one day. To which he replied,—
“That though in most cities of note he had been, Yet of Cork ’t was the drawing alone he had seen."

BurnMeter: 3/10. Don't really get it, but the guy's a comedian so it's probably really funny.

*

18. “Can you tell me the difference between gravity and gravitation?” said a schoolmaster to his pupil. “Yes, when you are drunk, sir, you lose your gravity, and then your gravitation begins to operate!”

BurnMeter: VOID. Pretty sure the pupil is accusing the schoolmaster of being some sort of sexual predator here. While sick burns are always appreciated, this matter should have been brought to the attention of the proper authorities.

*

19. What is a dram?—A dram, generally speaking, is a small quantity taken in large quantities by those who have few grains of sobriety and no scruples of conscience.

BurnMeter: 8/10. Practice this one to yourself a couple hours a night because it's pretty hard to say. But if you have it down pat, it'll be an exhilarating burn and a real show-stopper.

*

20. When is a scruple more than a dram? When conscience makes a teetotaller refuse a thimbleful of brandy!

BurnMeter: 5/10. A lesser zing from the scruple/dram collection.

*

21. What is the difference between a Rose and a bottle of Port Wine? The one helps to make a nose-gay, and the other a gay nose.

BurnMeter: 3/10. May not translate.

*

22. Why is wine made up for the British market like a deserter from the army? Because it is always brandied (branded) before it is sent off.

BurnMeter: 7/10. Again, the parenthetical explanation helps considerably.

*

23. Why is a ship which has to encounter rough weather before it reaches its destination, like a certain wine which is usually adulterated with logwood and other similar matters? Because it goes through a vast deal before it comes into Port.

BurnMeter: 6/10. A little verbose, but it eventually gets to Funnytown.

*

24. What portion of the trimming of a lady’s dress resembles East India sherry of the best quality? That which goes round the Cape.

BurnMeter: 1/10. Not sure how this pro-sherry joke got in here, but be sure to avoid it (the zinger and the sherry).

*

25. Mrs. Partington, on hearing that in California gold was found in quartz, wanted to know if any had yet been discovered in gallons. She thought when they came to finding it by the hogshead, she would go out there herself.

BurnMeter: 6/10. If you are doing this in the presence of someone whose name really is Mrs. Partington, then the BurnMeter goes up to 9.

*

26. Archbishop Wately once asked—“If the Devil lost his tail, where would he go for a fresh one?”
“To a gin-shop, for they retail all kinds of spirits!

BurnMeter: 8/10. Lots of layers to this joke, knee-slapper to let stew.

*

27. A wag hearing that in 1830 the brewers consumed 700,000 quarters of barley less than were used in 1779, and yet made a million barrels more of beer, asked, very pertinently, “which had grown smaller—the barrels or the beer?”

BurnMeter: 5/10. Good, but this joke works best if you are put in a situation where someone is rattling off brewery production stats from 1830. That way, the response will appear to be organic.

*

28. Why is alcohol like a clothes-brush? Because it is celebrated for destroying the coats of the stomach.

BurnMeter: 10/10. BOOM! *EXTENDED AIRHORN*

*

29. Why is a toper, who hesitates to take the pledge, like a sceptical Hindoo? Because he does not know whether to give up the Jug-or-not.

BurnMeter: 2/10. Okay, pump the brakes on this one. Let's slow it down.

*

30. Why is a vain young lady like a confirmed drunkard? Because she is constantly using the Glass.

BurnMeter: 9/10. Two zings in one, this burn is double trouble.

*

31. Why do not printers succeed in business as well as brewers? Because the printer works for the head, and the brewer for the stomach. For twenty men who have a stomach, only one has a brain.

BurnMeter: 6/10. Not so much a joke, but rather the printer of 'One Thousand Temperance Anecdotes, Jokes, Riddles, Puns, and Smart Sayings' trying to rationalize his financial troubles. Still pretty sizzlin' though.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Lists
7 Surprising Uses for Tequila
Original image
iStock

Happy National Tequila Day! While you could celebrate by having a few drinks, you could also skip the hangover by unlocking one of tequila's amazing abilities outside of a glass. Many spirits are useful for activities beyond sipping (vodka, for example, is a great stain and odor remover), but tequila holds some particularly magical powers. Here are just a few of them.

1. SYNTHETIC BAUBLE

In 2008, a team of scientists in Mexico discovered that when the heated vapor from an 80-proof tequila blanco was combined with a silicon or stainless steel substrate, it resulted in the formation of diamond films. These films can be used in commercial applications, such as electrical insulators, or to create one big fake diamond. Who knew that spending $50 on a bottle of Don Julio was such a wise investment?

2. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCE

Keeping with the science theme: In 2011, researchers at England’s University of Oxford suggested that we may one day be gassing up our cars with tequila. They identified agave, the plant from which tequila is produced, as a potential biofuel source—and a particularly attractive one, as the plant itself is not consumed by humans and can thrive in desert climates.

3. WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT

Scientists have long promoted the potential benefits of the agave plant for its ability to help dissolve fats and lower cholesterol. The bad news? These properties get a bit diluted when the plant is distilled into alcohol. Even more so when it's whipped into a sugary margarita.

4. SLEEP AID

Take three or more shots of tequila and you’re bound to pass out. A single shot can have the same effect—just not in that drunken stupor kind of way. Relaxation is one of the positive side effects of tequila drinking; a small amount (1 to 1.5 ounces) before bedtime can reportedly help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

5. COLON CLEANSER

Too much of a good thing may not bring a welcome turn of events for your liver … but your colon will thank you! Researchers at Mexico’s University of Guadalajara have identified the blue agave as a potentially helpful source for delivering drugs to the colon in order to treat colitis, IBS, Crohn’s disease and even cancer.

6. DIABETES PREVENTATIVE

If Ernest Hemingway had known about the healing properties of tequila, his signature drink might have been a margarita instead of a daiquiri. In 2010, experiments conducted at Mexico’s Polytechnic Institute of Guanajuato revealed that the agave plant (which is high in fructans, a fructose polymer) could stimulate the GLP-1 hormone, aiding in increased insulin production.

7. COLD REMEDY

“Plenty of liquids” is a well-known remedy for getting oneself out from under the weather. But expanding that definition to include a kicked-up shot of tequila makes a day laid out on the couch sound much more appealing. In the 1930s, doctors in Mexico recommended the following concoction to fight off a cold.

.5 ounce of tequila blanco
.5 ounce of agave nectar (to eliminate bacteria and soothe sore throats)
.5 ounce of fresh lime juice (for Vitamin C) 

Though some people (including tequila companies) swear by its healing powers, others say it's hogwash.

Original image
What's the Kennection? #158
Original image

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios