Coke Joke: Old, Old, Old
We hear a joke: from our brother, the boss, from the girl across the street. Typically we associate the joke with them, think they made it up. Then we hear it in a nightclub, on TV … How did the joke get from your brother to Johnny Carson? Then you hear the joke with a Jewish accent … The next thing you know you’re imagining the joke being told by cave men as they painted the bull on the cave wall.
Some jokes are deliberately composed. Familiarity with TV comedy show writers makes that impression the clearer. Yet any comedian can tell you that stuff they “write,” stuff their writers write, has antecedents, and the antecedents have antecedents. It’s not that there’s nothing new, but that even the new has a history. The chicken may not have been born from a chicken, but it was born from an egg. And the egg-laying creature that wasn’t born from an egg originated from something sort of egg-like.
I was just watching a DVD on Howlin’ Wolf. Someone was remembering the Wolf on stage “with the Coke bottle in his pocket.” Ah ha! Now I have a history for a joke I heard in high school:
At one of my high school clique’s beer parties my friend John said, “I know a joke to play. At a dance you get a cold Coke from the cooler. Leave the cap on. The bottle is sweating. Put the Coke bottle upside down in your pocket. Walk up to a girl who’s seated. You say, ‘You wanna dance?’
“She sees the bulge in your pants: right at her eye level! right at the level of her mouth! She sees that your pants are all wet, something dripping down that one trouser leg. She says, ‘No, thanks.’
“But you don’t just go away; you pull out the Coke bottle, offer it to her, and say, ‘Oh. Then would you like a Coke?'”
Now I see that the gag is an old stage gag.
But I already knew. I already knew that Muddy Waters would have a cold beer bottle in his pocket on stage. Just at the refrain for “I’m a Man” he’d pull the beer from his pocket, shake it, and pop the top. Beer foam would spray all over the place. “I’m a man.”
A second later in the Howlin’ Wolf DVD, Wolf is licking the stem of his guitar. A minute later he’s licking his harmonica. Then he’s careful to hold his harmonica to the vertical, sticks his big tongue out, and licks the harmonica.
So these sex gags go back at least to the 1940s when deep south bluesmen were performing on bandstands with electricity in Chicago, in Memphis.
But I don’t believe for a second that those fun obscenities were first-time unique to the delta bluesmen either. Male spurting is very very old. So I am sure is vertical vulva licking. It being fun — and it being fun to reference in a group is I am sure very very old.
2016 09 11 Brushing up this file I’m reminded of a good TV sitcom gag involving a sweating soda bottle. On Friends, guy is petting with Jennifer Aniston. She sees his pants are wet. Well, there goes her best orgasm: but she’s a lady, doesn’t want the schmuck to feel bad. So she soothes him: “It’s OK”. But sh’s already in the midst of soothing her: “It’s OK”. The gag blossoms: he didn’t come in his pants, she can still get a proper lay: it’s his Coke bottle sweating in his pants. There still an eruption there for the cutest girl on TV.