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Thread: The German does

  1. #1
    rainous's Avatar
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    Default The German does

    An Italian, a Spaniard, a Greek go into a bar, drink all night, and walk out the next morning.
    Who pays the bill? The German does.

    Hi,

    I was reading an article and, about two thirds of the way, I stumbled upon what it appears to be some kind of joke
    and I have been having hard time putting my finger on it ever since.
    Could anyone help my figure out what he is trying to mean by "The German does"?

    I just don't get where the heck the German came from.
    The German wasn't in their company.
    It simply baffles me. Is their some kind of hidden meaning in that phrase?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: The German does

    Are you aware at all about the situation with the stability of various European governments and their debt crises? That they are all looking for the German gov't (i.e the German people) to bail them out of their financial mess.

    If the EU survives as an entity and the Euro as a currency it will be because the Germans made it happen.

  3. #3
    rainous's Avatar
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    Default Re: The German does

    Thanks for that information. I did actually hear that Germany is the only country doing well in this European economic crisis,
    But I am not still sure if I quite get the joke.

    Looking strictly within the context of the joke,
    does it mean a random German guy walks into the bar and pay for them
    or their German friend who joined them belatedly picks up the tab,
    or the bar was owned by a German and somebody works there takes care of the bill?
    Last edited by rainous; 10-Dec-2011 at 04:02.

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    ~Mav~ is offline Member
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    Default Re: The German does

    Quote Originally Posted by rainous View Post
    I did actually hear that Germany is the only country doing well in this European economic crisis...
    That could be debated, but this is not the right forum for a political/economical discussion.


    Quote Originally Posted by rainous View Post
    Does it mean a random German guy walks into the bar and pay for them
    or their German friend who joined them belatedly picks up the tab,
    or the bar was owned by a German and somebody works there takes care of the bill?
    None. It means that the German taxpayers' hard-earned money is that is expected to bail out the above-mentioned countries. (I shan't go into a discussion whether this is true or not, and what is behind this whole hubbub. My only point was to explain the joke, nothing more.)

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    Default Re: The German does

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Mav~ View Post
    It means that the German taxpayers' hard-earned money is that is expected to bail out the above-mentioned countries.
    With all due respect, I don't think you were explaining the joke but the situation in which such a joke was made possible.

    I was specifically asking how that joke could be perceived as funny strictly within the joke's semantic boundaries in conjunction with the bar reference.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The German does

    Quote Originally Posted by rainous View Post
    With all due respect, I don't think you were explaining the joke but the situation in which such a joke was made possible.

    I was specifically asking how that joke could be perceived as funny strictly within the joke's semantic boundaries in conjunction with the bar reference.
    We don't know what the semantic boundaries are, because we haven't got the rest of the article which prepares the reader's frame of mind for the joke. The "joke" would seem to be a relevant parable, or short allegory, rather than a hilarious interlude intended to keep the author's readers awake.
    As far as using the "three men walk into a bar" context, this is a traditional framework for jokes, and requires no justification.
    Last edited by Raymott; 10-Dec-2011 at 06:29.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: The German does

    Quote Originally Posted by rainous View Post
    With all due respect, I don't think you were explaining the joke but the situation in which such a joke was made possible.

    I was specifically asking how that joke could be perceived as funny strictly within the joke's semantic boundaries in conjunction with the bar reference.
    The joke's boundaries are not the bar- there are many jokes in English about people going into bars, often to do with national stereotypes, so the frame of reference of the joke is not simply about drinking in a bar. IMO, the joke could only be considered humorous when placed in the context of the current financial problems- take away the context and the point of the joke and it will no longer be funny. (Not that I found it very amusing)

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    ~Mav~ is offline Member
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    Wink Re: The German does

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    IMO, the joke could only be considered humorous when placed in the context of the current financial problems.
    Obviously.


    This blog entry seems to be the source. The Chancellor of Germany is, however, Angela Merkel.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The German does

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Mav~ View Post
    Obviously.


    This blog entry seems to be the source. The Chancellor of Germany is, however, Angela Merkel.
    Stupid blog, stupid joke.

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    Default Re: The German does

    Thank you all for the insights, really appreciate it.

    Without knowing that the "three men walk into a bar" context is often used as a traditional framework for jokes (thanks to Raymott for pointing that out), I was simply expecting a more logical ending that justifies the specific references and elements of the joke (three different nationals going into a bar and not being able to pay the bill for themselves given the current financial problems in Europe serving as a context based on which the joke can be funny). The only reason I asked the question in the first place was, just like Tdol mentioned, because the joke didn’t particularly strike me as funny. Personally, I think it would have been a lot funnier if it were “a German barmaid” (or someone similar) rather than just an arbitrary German who ends up paying the bill. Anyway, let's leave it at that.

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