Ch-29 : Punchlines : Exercise 1

Directions : We come across many funny incidents in different walks of life. One of the funny incidents is the punchline or a climax which gives the incident a sudden transformation twist (into something not expected). It is this punchline which makes the incident funny. In each of the following questions, an incident is described but the punch line is missing – indicated by a blank. After the incident, two statements numbered I and II are given. Considering the incident, you have to decide which of the two statements fit as a punchline.

Give Your answers as :

(a) if you think only Statement I fits;

(b) if you think only Statement II fits;

(c) if you think both the Statements I and II fit and the wavelengths of approach in both the statements are also more or less the same;

(d) if you think both I and II fit but the ideas or wavelengths of approach in both the statements are different and contrasting;

(e) if you think none of the statement fits.

1. A asked B : “Have you forgotten that you owe me five hundred rupees?”

B replied: ……..

I. “No. I tried but I still remember it.”

II. “Yes, I have.”

Answer & Solution
1 (d) Reply I is funny. Here the friend says that he has tried to forget but still remembers. Reply II is funny by virtue of its nature because in normal course, answer should have been which money? But here he straightway says that I have forgotten. Both the replies differ in their contrast, and hence, the correct answer is (d),

2. Patient: “I have a pain in my right leg.” The doctor examined the leg carefully and declared, “Its nothing. Just                because of old age.”

Patient: ……….

I. “Then cure me of senility, doctor!”

II. “Strange! So far as I know both legs are of the same age.”

Answer & Solution
2 (d) Reply I is funny as the patient asks the doctor to cure old age which cannot be. Reply II is also funny because, at patient meant that one leg is young and other is old. Hence, both the replies I and II are funny.

3. A doctor was boasting: “I do not believe in unnecessary surgery ” .

I. My patients have seams only on their purses.

II. I never operate unless I really need the money.

Answer & Solution
3 (c) Both the statements are almost identical and funny. In both the statements, doctor has been shown greedy while pretending otherwise.

4. A husband was saying. “My wife has not come back yet. She’s either been kidnapped, hit by a motor car or is shopping…….. ”

I. I hope she’s not been kidnapped.

II. I hope she’s not gone shopping.

Answer & Solution
4 (b) Statement I is not funny as there is nothing unusual in it. However, Statement II is funny because husband expects his wife to be shopping when not at home.

5. A : “What kind of a doctor do you consult – allopath, homeopath or osteopath?”

B: ………….

I. “What does it matter? All paths lead but to the grave.”

II. “That depends upon the kind of fee they charge.”

Answer & Solution
5 (d) Both the statements are funny. In Statement I, the suffix ‘path’ has been used to give twist to the statement. Statement II is funny because the profession of medicine has been linked with the money.

6. I’ve been feeding my dog garlic .

Now, ……….

I. His bark is worse than his bite.

II. He may be needing onions, may be.

Answer & Solution
6 (a) Statement I is funny because it goes with the saying “bark worse than a bite” with the help of garlics! Statement II does not qualify for the punchline as it is an ordinary one.

7. Wife : The cleaning woman seems to have stolen two of our new towels. Husband: Which towels?

Wife: ……….

I. “The ones we had been gifted on our anniversary.”

II. “The ones we brought back from the hotel in Bombay.”

Answer & Solution
7 (b) Statement I is not funny but Statement II is funny, because it implies that both husband and wife have stolen towels from a hotel.

8. Boarder: “When I left my last boarding-house, the landlady actually wept.”

Landlady: “Well, I shalln’t …….

I. I always collect payment in advance.

II. I am a woman with tough interiors.

Answer & Solution
8 (a) Statement I is funny. The boarder intended to mean that he was such a good person that when he left the house the landlady wept. But the new landlady misinterprets him. She understands that since he did not pay the money in advance, hence, the landlady wept. Statement II is not funny.

9. Clerk: “My wife told me to ask you for a raise, sit.”

Manager: ………

I. “All right, I’ll ask my wife if I can give you one.”

II. “Doesn’t she also tell you to do some hard work, Mr. Sinha?”

Answer & Solution
9 (a) Statement I is funny. Clerk requests his boss for a raise in his salary but the boss replies with the humour using his wife. Statement II is not funny because it is a conventional type of answer given by a boss to his junior.

10. Gopu: “If you sell your watches at cost price, how can you make any profit?”

Dipu: …………………

I. “We make our profit by repairing them.”

II. “Ours is a long-term business strategy.”

Answer & Solution
10 (a) Statement I is funny because the watches they sell are of inferior quality and such that than they make money not by selling the watches but by repairing the watches. Statement II is not funny.

11. It is hard to lose all your relatives ………..

I. And impossible if you are a financier.

II. With none of them having left you any money.

Answer & Solution
11 (d) Statement I is funny because everybody wants to relate with financier. Statement II implies that relative would leave him a fortune when dies. Both the statements qualify for the punchlines.

12. It’s not wise to argue with a fool because…………..

I. The bystanders might not known who is who

II. It is foolish not to argue with a wise man.

Answer & Solution
12 (a) Statement I is funny because it means both the persons arguing with each other are fools or only fools argue with fools. But Statement II is an ordinary and does not qualify for the punchline.

13. A husband was breathing forth his grievances: “It’s all right if a woman wants her husband to be a bread-winner         but…… ”

I. It’s not fair if she wants him to be a “bakery”.

II. It’s not fair if she wants him to be a bread-maker too.

Answer & Solution
13 (d) Statement I is funny because husbands are called bread-winners, as they earn for the family and here husbands are being considered as bakers. Statement II is funny because it implies that husbands have not only to earn money but also to cook for the family.

14. A asked his friend B, how the later had amassed so much wealth in such a short time. B said: “I joined hands with       a rich man. He had the money and I had the experience.”

He added: …………

I. “Now he has the experience and I the money.”

II. “When experience joins money, it creates miracles.”

Answer & Solution
14 (a) Statement I is funny because B means that he earned money by cheating, that is why he again says that rich man has experience and he the money. Statement II is an ordinary one and does not qualify for the punchline.

15. “Excuse me, but I’m in hurry. You have been holding that phone for twenty minutes and not said a word.” said               the woman.

The man replied: ……….

I. “I’m talking to my wife, madam.”

II. “That is because I’m in no hurry, madam.”

Answer & Solution
15 (a) Statement I is funny because the husband indirectly means that when he talks with his wife, he only listens to his wife and does not speak any word. Statement II is not funny and does not qualify for punchline.

16. A doctor warned his patient; “you must stop smoking, otherwise you might ………”

I. Set fire to my couch.

II. Not be able to pay my bills.

Answer & Solution
16 (d) Both the Statements I and II are funny. According to Statement I, doctor is not worried about the health of the patient but about his couch. According to Statement II, patient will spend so much on smoking that he will not be able to pay doctor’s bill.

17. Servant: “The doctor is here, professor.”

Professor: “I don’t wantto see him……. ”

I. Tell him I’m ill.

II. Tell him I’m alright.

Answer & Solution
17 (d) Both the Statements I and II are funny. In Statement I Professor says that he does not want to see doctor, whose job is to cure ill persons, because he is ill. In second statement, he does not want to meet doctor because he is alright. This implies that he meets doctor only if he is ill or not alright.

18. Judge: “Well, we have thirty witnesses who saw you steal the automobile.”

Prisoner, “Sir,……. ”

I. I can give you sixty witnesses who did not see me steal it.

II. May be all of them are liars.

Answer & Solution
18 (d) Clearly, both the statements are funny.

19. A : “Do you know, reports reveal that infants don’t like their periods of infancy?”


I. “Yes, when they become adults they can indulge in adultery.”

II. “Gosh. How good it’d be if we were born adults.”

Answer & Solution
19 (b) Statement I is not funny as it does not give rise to a funny situation. Statement II is funny, because as given in the statement, we wish as if we were born adults to avoid the period of infancy.

20. Mansi asked her elder sister Manjul, “Why does a traffic light turn red, sister?”

Manjul replied: ……….

I. “Why not? You’d blush too if you had to change in the middle of the street?”

II. “May be it warns us of a possible accident by showing the colour of blood.”

Answer & Solution
20 (a) Statement I is funny because Manjul replies in a humorous way that red light in traffic gives us time to change our dress if we wish. Statement II is not funny.

21. Son: “When will I be old enough to do as I please, dad?”


I. “When you become as old as myself, son”

II. “Nobody lives that long, son.”

Answer & Solution
21 (b) Statement I is not funny. As the given Statement II, nobody is able to do as he wants in the whole life, and hence contains a sense of humour in it

22. Doctor: “Congratulations, Awasthi jee, you are going to have triplets.”

Mr. Awasthi: …………

I. “Well, find out from her who are the other two guys.”

II. “So, I will have to buy three ‘your baby’s future policies’ instead of one.”

Answer & Solution
22 (d) Mr. Awasthi means that there should be three fathers to give birth to triplets. Hence, statement I is funny. Statement II is funny because the husband instead of being happy becomes worried about insurance policies of the babies.

23. The electrician came to repair the socket. He asked: “Does the bulb work when this plug is switched on?”

The house-owner replied: …………

I. “I don’t know, I don’t have a bulb.”

II. “I can’t say. I don’t have a plug.”

Answer & Solution
23 (e) None of the statements is funny. Both the statements are ordinary and does not carry any sense of humour in them.

24. The speed of a jet flight is truly staggering. You can have breakfast in London, lunch in New York and ……….

I. Dine with the airhostess in a Korean hotel.

II. Indigestion in Tokyo.

Answer & Solution
24 (d) Statement I is funny. It indirectly means that by the time you reach Korea you become friendly to the air hostess. Statement II is funny because so much overeating gives rise to indigestion.

25. An advertisement went thus: “If you’d like a job which requires you to just stand around; keep looking at                       beautiful heavenly bodies……., ”

I. You may join us as an astronomer.

II. We are sorry, but we do have an opening for a sincere swimming coach.

Answer & Solution
25 (b) Statement I is not funny as it lacks sense of humour. Statement II is funny because initially the advertisement creates an impression that it wants people who stand around and look at beautiful bodies but it actually says that it doesn’t exist which makes the statement funny.