Monday, September 27th, 2010
For whatever reason the Italians seem to have a long history of Carabiniere jokes. In some respects they are a lot like the ethnic jokes that we used to tell before we realized that it was really insensitive to tell them about ethnic groups – notably Poles. Does anyone remember Polack jokes? Almost everyone now feels that it is insensitive to make fun of a ethnic or disabled group so now we just go for lawyer jokes. Nobody seems to be worry about harming their psyches. Well, Carabiniere jokes are both different and the same as lawyer jokes. The difference is that while lawyer jokes depict lawyers as being heartless, cunning and overpaid (possibly occasionally true), Carbiniere jokes depict these stalwarts of Italian law enforcement as dumb (also possibly occasionally true). The similarity is that both groups tend to not be offended by the jokes directed at them and even collect the jokes. When I was at language school in Rome the teacher delighted in telling some of these jokes. However the ones that she told were really all about physical humor. There were no actual words. I can’t illustrate them easily without a video camera and sadly there are none on YouTube but here is one you can probably visualize.
Question: How does a Carabiniere tie his shoe:
Answer: Go through these motions: Put your right foot up on a chair. Bend over and tie the shoe on the left foot that is still on the floor.
OK, that doesn’t do it for you? Well here are some that are more verbal that I found:
- There was this peasant who lived up in the mountains on a narrow road. One day, he saw a carload of Carabinieri driving backwards up the mountain. “Why are you driving backwards?” he asked. “Because were not sure well be able to turn around up ahead.” Later, the peasant saw the carabinieri driving backwards down the mountain. “How come you’re still driving backwards?” the peasant asked. “Well, the driver replied, we found a place to turn around.”
- Two Carabinieri are walking on a beach. One says, “Look, a dead seagull!” The other looks up, shields his eyes with his hands, and says, “Where?”
- Q. How do you burn a Carabiniere’s ear off?
A. Call him while he’s ironing.
OK, had enough? Well how about some real Carabiniere stuff. I was hoping to find some Carabiniere jokes on YouTube and instead I found this car chase. The Carabiniere are in an Alfa. Of course Italians are legendary for being wild and crazy drivers but these guys really bring it to a new level. They probably don’t tie the wrong shoe! It’s only 3 minutes but seems sooo much longer.
If you just watched the chase I hope your adrenaline level is now back to normal. I’ve never really had any contact with law in Italy, have you? How did it go?