Council bans mother-in-law gags
A council has banned mother-in-law jokes after deeming them sexist and disrespectful to family elders.
The edict was issued by the London Borough of Barnet in a 12-page booklet entitled Cultural awareness: General Problems, reports the Daily Telegraph.
It states: "Humour can be incredibly culture-specific, and is very open to misinterpretation or even offence by other cultures.
"And don't forget when you don't know what people are laughing at, it is very easy to imagine that they are laughing at you."
The guide adds: "British mother-in-law jokes, as well as offensively sexist in their own right, can also be seen as offensive on the grounds that they disrespect elders or parents."
But writer John Sessions accused Barnet of a "sense of humour by-pass".
The earliest known mother-in-law gag was from the first century AD when Juvenal wrote in Satire VI: "It is impossible to be happy while one's mother-in-law is still alive."
By the 20th century, Les Dawson's stand-up routine included such quips as: "My mother-in-law fell down a wishing well, I was amazed - I never knew they worked."