Man in prison and laughter by numbers

All the young man wanted was to make other inmates laugh, but he needs to know the ground rules first.

A young man was once charged with fifteen years of prison sentence. However, when he arrives at the prison, the warden takes a liking to him and decides to put him in a cell with an old-timer, so that he learns a thing or two about prison life.

Among the many rules that the old times teach him, one was about the etiquette at the meals. He told the young man that no one was allowed to talk during the meals.

But during his first-time meal in the prison, a surprising thing happens.

While eating in the hall, one of the prisoners stands up and loudly says, "47." The hall breaks into laughter.

A few minutes later, another prisoner stands and loudly says, "19." Again, the hall erupts into hysteria. The process continues throughout the meal.

Later, when the young man and the old-timer return to their cell, the man brings the question. "What was going in the mess hall tonight? I thought no one was allowed to talk during the meals!"

"Yes," the old man calmly says. "No one's allowed to talk but the warden has allowed one exception. You see, all of us inmates have memorized a long list of jokes and stories as per their number. So when one of us calls a number, it's like someone told a funny story."

The young man was quite impressed by this. He simply nods and falls off to sleep.

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

Over the next few weeks, he gathers a bit of courage and decides that he wants to tell a story and make others laugh as well.

One evening during the meal, he stands up and loudly says, "26."

But the hall remains silent. No one laughs.

The young is surprised, but he tries again. "26," he screams.

Still, the hall has a total silence. Feeling quite embarrassed, he sits back in his seat.

Later he tries to get the explanation from the old man about what might have happened. "Number 26 was such a funny story, but how come no one laughed?"

The old man patiently replied, "Well, it's the way you told it."

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