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Got in trouble at work for telling a Fozzie Bear joke

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Gorgon Heap, Jul 3, 2002.

  1. Gorgon Heap

    Gorgon Heap Well-Known Member

    Yes, you read that right.

    I work at Meijer, and for weeks now I've been putting Season One opening credits Fozzie jokes on scan sheets (when someone claims a price is lower than it is and we give it to them for that price).

    Well, there were only 24 jokes and I've used about half of them. No one had said anything about it, so I figured either A) nobody noticed, or B) they noticed and didn't object.

    Today I used the jokes from episodes #9 Charles Aznavour and #20 Valerie Harper. I didn't think either joke was a surefire thing, but it seemed better than nothing.

    The joke from the Valerie Harper opening credits reads as follows:

    "Did you know that if Tuesday Weld married Fredric March's grandson she'd be Tuesday March the 2nd?"

    A person my age wouldn't get that, but most of the people in systems are more than 20 years of age. I figured it would be okay.

    Charles Aznavour original opening credits Fozzie joke:

    "I don't approve of belly dancers; why can't they dance on the floor like everyone else?"

    Now the joke is pretty straightforward. It's like the joke from the Muppet Show 2 Album in At the Dance:

    Floyd: "Hey, can you believe it? The frog wants us to dance on a phonograph record?"
    Janice: "Rully. I'd rather dance on the floor."

    So hearing this joke one should probably envision two people dancing on top of a phonograph record, just as the belly dancer joke should theoretically have you envision a person dancing standing on top of another person's stomach.

    There was a little voice in the back of my head that said someone might misinterpret the joke, but I figured it was a slim chance and let it go.

    I had just got back from lunch when my dept. phone rang (as I expected). It was one of the managers, one I don't know all that well, and she asked if I knew how to properly fill out a scan sheet. I was suspicious and replied that I should think I would having been there since August. She mentioned the jokes, and would I please stop writing them on there. I made my reasons known for including them on there, to try and make others laugh while at work, "you gotta handle work with a sense of humor, otherwise you go nuts", but I basically said I would do what she asked. I was angry.

    I didn't see what I was doing wrong. I didn't see the harm in putting a joke on a temporary document. At first I thought it was perhaps rakish, certainly unconventional, but I never heard a single reaction, so I wasn't worried. It's called work. No one is happy to be there; I have never once heard anyone say otherwise. I didn't see what sin I was committing. I also wondered how they could've not noticed the jokes until now.

    So I got a reprimand from somebody. I ran into one of the people in systems, and she also made reference to my comments. She was none too pleased. I had a 'tail between my legs' moment, for one thing I hate is being in trouble. I've always hated it, always feared it, always felt bad even if I felt I was in the right, as I did here. She relented a little.

    I was still stewing, brimming with resentment the whole day long. I ran into that same person from systems, who said "Hi" with a strange and rather disgusted look on her face. "What is it?" I asked. Something was wrong. The little voice in the back of my head was right; she had been offended at the belly dancer joke. She had misinterpreted, just as I had only slightly feared someone might. Whenever I generalize or assume anything, I always get the minority. When I do something I think may be questionable, it will always turn out to have been unwise. That's the way it is when you have Jupiter in Scorpio- you will always get caught.

    I felt terrible. I had meant no offense, no obscenity or vulgarity. Here I had made some not only mad at be, but upset and offended. I apologized profusely. Inside and out I felt very guilty. I felt I couldn't apologize enough. I explained that the way she had interpreted the joke wasn't the way it was meant to be interpreted. I explained the joke, and she got it (she didn't find it any funnier). I was this close (holds up two fingers) to crying (I was working hard to stifle it) when her tone softened. She knew I meant what I said, I had intended no harmful effects, and I was truly sorry. It seems that she then forgave me.

    Through that I also ceased to be upset at the manager who called me on it (and I know she was within earshot when I discussed the situation with others- I'm lucky I'm not in DEEPER doo-doo). All she did was ask me to knock off the jokes; it's kind of like losing a privlege, though it was never really a privilege to begin with, more of a borrowed activity they'd let me get away with. The way the joke was construed, it could have technically constituted (ohhhhh, here it comes; I hate this term) sexual harassment. She could have written me up for it, or worse! For this consideration and fairness in taking action, and probably also in judging my character and intent, I am in her debt. I now realize I was in the wrong and did not know it, though it seems I was given the benefit of the doubt by one who wasn't bound to give me that benefit.

    Consider it all as you will. It's been a learning experience and a long hard day (I also ran out of gas in my mom's car about a mile from home, and it was in the 90's today.) Take from this what you will, and be careful if you want to share that opening credits joke. Only in spoken dialogue, not in print. If there's one thing I learned, it's that you can never assume, nor generalize; there is always another interpretation, every conceivable one exists out there.

    Good night and have a pleasant holiday.

  2. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    This is the problem - you used Fozzie jokes. Try this one :-

    You :- Have you heard about the ice cream vendor who was found dead covered in strawberry sauce ?

    Colleague :- No

    You :- He topped himself !!!!!

    I could also tell you the joke about the man, the intelligent woman and Santa Claus in an elevator - but i'd probably get hate mail from many females which in itself is not unusual !
  3. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member


    Did you not put it in quotations along with Fozzie's name at the end of it? If not, then that's what happened. They thought you were doing your own thing. If you did, then they're just a bunch of touchy-feelie poopie heads. I think in this day and time people just L:rolleyes::eek:K for a reason to find offense in something someone else says.

    I have friends from the entire spectrum of nationality and religion and et al and if we took offense as easily as the rest of the population, there would be a new war going on right here in this city!

    Good Greif! People need to get a life and just deal.

    There I said it.

  4. Gorgon Heap

    Gorgon Heap Well-Known Member

    I did put it in quotes with Fozzie Bear, The Muppet Show at the end of it.

    Actually I found out later that the manager who called me on it found the jokes amusing and wasn't aware of anyone having taken offense. It was just writing jokes on official documents that was unprofessional and not condoned, that was why I had to stop. It was just as well, I had exhausted all the jokes I liked.

    David "Gorgon Heap" Ebersole
  5. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    So, I don't have to be mad anymore?

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