Punch Line

ThreeStoogesDrunkIt’s the weekend, and it is time to rest from the drama of the escapades emanating from Taiwan and COMELEC and the Senate. It is time for a little fun.

If you ever check the right column of the blog, you will find assorted information there, including notes from JoeAm.

Well, Joltin’ Joe started out to spin a little “three men in a bar” routine to plaster some refined humor over the Taiwan conflict. It took him three days to write a couple of paragraphs, and the more observant reader may have followed along, wondering, “where is this headed?”

The regular reader might be inclined to say, “huh? What right column?”

Be that as it may, JoeAm wrote himself right up against a wall, made of bricks, or writers blocks, or solid steel. He couldn’t concoct a punch line to conclude that little story. So he herein asks for your assistance.

Would you kindly finish Joe’s joke?

You can change the set up, too, if that works for you . . .


Three men walked into Harry’s Bar in Hong Kong. One was from Viet Nam, one from Taiwan, and one from the Philippines. The barkeep asked, “What’ll ya have, gents?” The Vietnamese guy leaned forward and in the typical tenor twang indicative of the Viet dialect, said . . .”

“Three bottles of “33” beer for me and my friends!”

The Taiwanese dude whipped up a modest scowl, slammed his fist on the bar, and with the wicked r’s that are common to the Asian tongue, demanded . . .

“No, Bartender, make that Taiwan beer, the best in Asia. And I expect an apology from you, my Vietnamese friend, for insulting me like that.”

The bright Filipino bloke broke into a big smile. He put his arm around the passing cocktail waitress, who swooned in his arms as he said, in perfect call center English, . . .


23 Responses to “Punch Line”
  1. cha says:

    “Please thank my Vietnamese friend but I don’t think I even need a beer tonight, I’m already intoxicated by you. As for the Taiwanese, you might want to ask him if he first wants a Draft.”

  2. edgar lores says:

    “No mas ‘Aywan o Treinta’y tres. Puwede ba, isa pa nga?”

    • Joe America says:

      I’m not grasping the dude’s perfect call center English. Does that mean “Give me a skotch?”

      • edgar lores says:

        No mas = “No more” in Spanish
        Aywan = abbreviation of Taiwan (also “I don’t know” in Tagalog)
        Treinta’y tres = 33 (Spanish)
        Puwede ba, isa pa nga = San Mig’s ad line (“Please, can I have another?” or “Give me another!” in command mode. “Isa pa nga” is ‘the’ universal Filipino signal for another bottle of beer, specifically San Mig”.)

        It’s a feeble multilanguage joke, Spanish and Tagalog, to ‘twit’ the condition of ‘perfect call center English’ because I doubt that perfect English is spoken in those centers. Workers will lapse into Tagalog if they establish you are a Pinoy, but may also do so when rattled by an insistent complaining customer. As in “Please, sir. wait, sandali, , I’ll escalate the issue to our supervisor” (I wonder if the workers are fined for any deviation. I’ll ask my niece.)

        • Joe America says:

          I shall lecture my translator for not grasping the San Mig command as soon as she is done cleaning up the kitchen. The maid is on vacation. I’m sure if it had had something to do with shampoo or soap, she’d have grasped it.

          Now the “perfect call center English” is a part of the joke, because it does not exist, and it is also my experience that waitresses seldom swoon over anything because they are working mighty fine hard. That reminds me of this jivin’ bar up on Melrose in Hollywood that I used to frequent. The bartendress was this 6 foot tall, extraordinarily well-stacked amazon woman who’d start tossing down the shooters about midnight, and by two-am it was a jungle in there for sure. Live band . . . blacks, whites, Mexicans, gays, straights, olds, youngs . . . and a drunken banker.

          But I digress . . .

          Now that I grasp the punch line, I re-read again, and submit the proper reply.


  3. edgar lores says:

    English attempt – Political version:

    “Frankly, my dear Nancy, I don’t give a damn!
    Not qualified
    You are.”

  4. cha says:

    You guys want to hear my Dan Brown version of the joke? (I’ll pretend I did hear you say yes.)

    So Dan Brown, MMDA Chairman Tolentino and the New York Times literary critic all walk in to a bar. Dan Brown yells to the bartender, ” Pour me something straight from hell! I’m getting wasted tonight. I need something so nasty it would almost be like taking poison. You got anything there from that hell hole called Manila?”

    Thereupon the MMDA Chairman started to whine, “No, no, no!”, he said. “You got that wrong, Mr. Brown. You have to take that back. Manila is no hell hole. We are God’s people. Catholic and all. We are so religious we even named our favorite beer after a saint. I’ll buy you a San Miguel beer so you may know what heaven actually tastes like.”

    Upon hearing this, the literary critic rose to his feet in protest, “Oh, come off it!,” he said. “Gimme that fine beer and leave him be. Didn’t you hear the man? He is not after a heavenly experience whatsoever. All he needs is something I am actually only too familiar with. It’s something that starts out looking and feeling good but eventually becomes painful and tortuous. It leaves you feeling dull or sufferring from a major headache afterwards”.

    Then he turned to the author, “Which is why, Mr. Brown, I strongly suggest you just read any one of your books instead.”


    • Joe America says:

      I remember one scene in one of the books, I don’t recall which book because they rather run together as one supersecret manuscript of unintelligible encoded babble, where the protagonist is busy spying from a secret hiding place in a statue. He has to wait for hours, fighting boredom and extreme pain from a bladder full to bursting. Reading a Dan Brown book is a lot like that . . .

      • cha says:


        Mr. Tolentino should really have just read Dan Brown first before going all whiny. He could have made a more clever retort instead.

        Here’s Jack Kerridge of The Telegraph, UK on Brown’s Inferno:

        “But in the end this is his worst book. And for a sad, even noble reason – his ambition here wildly exceeds his ability.”

        And Peter Conrad of The Observer on the author :

        “Hogwart’s Academy compared to Brown’s brain, is a clean, well-lighted, supremely lucid place.”

  5. “come with me babe. i’m single (cough). there are no good looking men in vietnam like what a certain mislang said on twitter. ” he continued, ” taiwan is not even recognized by the UN. when china strikes and reclaims that country, it will be just like Hong Kong, where members of the new generation can’t speak English anymore.” In short, no more beer discussion, just personal tirades– very Filipino hahahah

  6. edgar lores says:

    Here’s a raunchy ‘Chinglish’ version.

    “I am Pak-yaw, Many Pak-yaw. Nevah mind Chalie and Chiang. Chalie, he old, he no sheen, he 33. Yaw come quick with me. Like Marquez punch, yaw come but don’t see it coming, he he. It rain, but no need to fight bad May weatha. The Generalissimo, Chiang, he know me rich, he call me Many Money. He old too, but he cash (chiang) my (kai) check (shek).”

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, fine form for a Sunday morning, such delightful word play. Your mind would indeed be wasted singing hymns.

      Charlie of course is the American term for the North Vietnamese enemy, among other unkinder tags. Chiang is the Taiwanese dude, and together they form a Charlie Chan kind of character. The boxing lines are great, although I groaned on May weatha. Chang Kai Shek redeemed you.

  7. Maria Socorro Reyes says:

    “You heard the lady. Move it.”

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