Just got a press release for a book of dirty jokes by the vanity press Author House, promoting A Collection of Hilarious, Outrageous and Questionable Adult Jokes. If the sample provided by the publicist is any indication, the book's jokes fall heavily on the questionable side. Here's “The 7 Most Important Men in a Woman's Life”:

1. The Doctor – who tells her to “take off all your clothes.”

2. The Dentist – who tells her to “open wide.”

3. The Milkman – who asks her “do you want it in the front or the back?”

4. The Hairdresser – who asks her “do you want it teased or blown?”

5. The Interior Designer – who assures her “once it's inside, you'll love it!”

6. The Banker – who insists to her “if you take it out too soon, you'll lose interest!”

7. The Primal Hunter – who always goes deep into the bush, always shoots twice & always eats what he shoots!

Oh, brother! The Milkman? How old is “Mr. Richards,” the author, anyway? (The release doesn't give a first name.) Couldn't he at least also come up with something for the Coal Man and the Blacksmith?

(Cocktail napkin image from MartiniArt.com)

This sad list only points to what's been evident for a very long time — there are no new good dirty jokes. Most are retreads of far older gags that bear the musty aroma of old cigars and Aqua Velva aftershave. The book, promises its release, also provides a sampling of “ethnic . . . and political jokes ” — a cringe-worthy teaser that conjures images of FDR-wheelchair gags and knock-knock questions with decidedly pre-Civil Rights-era answers.

Richards is quoted as explaining the jokes were originally collected by his sister in the early 1970s at her various office jobs. Now, that sounds like a good opening to a promising joke. Then again, this kind of stuff is basically harmless and isn't even likely to show up in a gender studies class. Author House, however, may want to brace itself for reaction to its next book —  Shattered: The Sectarian Divide and Start of the Feminist Revolution in Islam.

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