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Home » The Vine

The Vine: December 30, 2011

Submitted by on December 30, 2011 – 9:44 AM13 Comments

After seeing the Vine readers find so many lost books, I'm hoping they have enough arcane knowledge to help with this. I'm looking not for a lost book, but for a lost joke.

My family tends to work punchlines into ordinary conversation, like "To get to the other side," or "When it's ajar." The problem is that one day, we realized no one remembered what the riddle was to one of them! So, the punchline is, "Because the buffalos lived there." Can anyone help with the riddle itself? I think it may have been along the lines of, "Why did the Indians…?" (This may have something to do with why it seems to have disappeared.) And I think it was along the lines of the chicken crossing the road — the humor came from there being nothing funny about the punchline.

Various Google searches over the years have gotten me nowhere. I think this may have been on a Dixie Riddle Cup back in the early 1970s. (Does anyone else remember those? Little paper cups with bad riddles on them that we used to drink juice out of at birthday parties? No?)

Thanks very much to anyone who can help!

Not Joking

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  • Melissa says:

    I remember those dixie cups! I, unfortunately, do not know the riddle.

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Me neither, unfortunately. *Goes off to search dixie cups and Bazooka Joe gum wrappers*

  • Lynda says:

    Wow — I'm known at work for my prodigious memory for bad jokes. For example: What did the mama buffalo say to her little boy when he left for school in the morning? Bison!

    But I don't remember the punchline that the letter writer is talking about. However, my thought is that there's a connection with the song "Home On the Range". "Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play"… could the joke be something like "why couldn't the deer and antelope live on the range?"

    I'll be watching for someone to come up with the answer, I can always use another joke (bad or not) in my collection.

  • Jess says:

    Why do all Indian roads lead to Rome?

    Okay, maybe not…

  • Natalie says:

    Oh man, my family also has a lost joke. The punchline is "Lost your pole, too."

    The joke was some kind of shaggy dog thing, no idea what.

  • Bopper says:

    Have you tried contacting Dixie?

  • suzy says:

    Maybe it's like the bank robber (Billy Sutton?) joke: why did (whoever) rob banks? because that's where the money was? So: why did the Indians hunt buffalos on the plains? Because the buffalos lived there.

  • Mabel says:

    I don't know the joke, but my first thought was that it may have something to do with the city of Buffalo, NY? As in, Why is it called that…?

  • Laura says:

    I'm with Suzy ("Why did the Indians hunt buffalo on the plains?"). And I like that bank robber joke!

    No idea on the "Lost your pole, too" one.

  • Sandy says:

    This is totally a tangent, Sars, please feel free not to approve if you don't want to derail the conversation.

    When I read the line "And I think it was along the lines of the chicken crossing the road — the humor came from there being nothing funny about the punchline," it reminded me of a recent late-night "was I a moron before, or am I a moron now" moments.

    For the first 37 years of my life, I thought the chicken crossing the road joke was kind of dumb. Ha ha, that's what happens when you cross the road – you end up on the other side of the road.

    But a couple of weeks ago, I said to myself, wait a minute, some people say "the other side" when they're referring to death, and a good way to get killed if you are a silly bird is to cross the road. The chicken crossed the road to get to "the other side." There's a double meaning!

    So now I'm wondering if everyone else has always recognized this double meaning and I was the only idiot who didn't get it…or, alternatively, I'm reading a double meaning where there isn't one.


  • Amalthea says:

    Sandy: You just blew my mind a little with the "other side" thing — no, I'd never noticed that before either!

  • Jo says:

    Sandy, I'm 31 and never considered that "the other side" might have another meaning. Mind blown.

  • Sandy says:

    That joke sure has layers, doesn't it! Thanks for the validation.

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