A to Z Challenge

J for Jayus

Jayus

Language: Indonesian

Meaning: A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.

Jokes are the most misused, underutilised resource for laughs. While each one of us have had those timeless classic jokes that make us laugh no matter how many times we hear them, there are also those that are either poor in content or in the way they are told. But still, we laugh at them. Maybe it is the content that makes us laugh or it is the person, or the mere attempt of classifying something unfunny as a joke, we cannot help but laugh. As long as the laughs keep coming, no joke is a poor joke.

English has a phrase that goes ‘poor joke’, often abbreviated by a whole lot of people as PJ. But this is mere colloquialism and there is no single actual word that specified a joke that is poorly told. No mention of the said joke being a poor one. There are ‘slang words’ that describe such a poorly told joke in a derogatory manner are not counted. Indonesian has a simple word to describe this oxymoron. A poorly told joke that makes the listeners laugh because of some reason or the other. This does not count the fake snarly smile we do at the jokes of stupid creepy bosses just because we have to sustain in the job!

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Flash Fiction #10

Jane looked up into the sky. The rains were relentless this time. Why is it that April showers always come up suddenly? Looking morosely at her ruined outfit, she waited for the bus that would take her home. Looking left and right, she suddenly spied a tall lanky form rushing towards the shelter of the bus stop.

‘Uh oh. Not him. God! His PJs are the last thing I need on this already trying afternoon!’ she muttered under her breath. But her prayers went unheeded as the man not only stepped under the shelter thankfully but did the smallest of double takes as he saw her and his face broke into a huge grin.

She smiled politely, not wanting to encourage conversation, but also not wanting to be cold and distant. When he opened his mouth to talk something, she pointedly looked in the other direction, not entirely succeeding in shutting him off. As was his usual, he began talking about everything under the sun, or should she say rain. Jane snorted inwardly.

Motor mouth that he was, he kept going with little encouragement from her, taking it up as his personal duty to make her laugh. Her hmm and err did not deter him and she wished the book would hurry up, vaguely noting that his jokes seemed to be getting worse than ever. Lending her ear just once, she caught a part of the joke.

“Which is the shortest month ever?”

“Umm, February?” She asked, braving an attempt at answering him.

“No, it’s May. February has 8 letters, May has only 3!” He tittered, delighted at having elicited a response.

Maybe it was his face, or the way he waggled his eyebrows, she burst out laughing. He looked positively stunned but pleasantly surprised.

“My joke made you laugh? Finally!”

Trying to get the words out amidst laughter, she nodded, saying, “Yes. Only, don’t call it a joke. It is Jayus!”

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