Twitter Is Trying to Decipher the Punchline of This Ancient Sumerian Bar Joke About a Dog
Twitter users are attempting to decipher an ancient Sumerian joke that involves a dog who — you guessed it — walks into a bar.
The @dephsofwikipedia Twitter account shares random interesting and weird Wikipedia pages excerpts. They recently shared an excerpt from the Wikipedia page for "bar jokes," which includes one of the earliest recorded bar jokes in history.
The ancient Sumerian joke, pulled from historical records from the University of Oxford, goes like this:
A dog walked into a tavern and said, 'I can't see a thing. I'll open this one.'
Although the joke has been translated into English, nobody can figure out its meaning or punchline behind due to its ancient Sumerian heritage.
Wikipedia notes that the punchline has most likely been lost to the sands of time and that we will likely never quite understand its cultural meaning or significance, but that hasn't stopped people on Twitter from trying to figure out exactly why it's funny and sharing their comedic theories.
One person believes the joke might have something to do with the dog's eyes being closed. "It has to be something where his eyes are closed and he opens one, right? And because of Sumarian culture we take for granted that the dog walks into the bar with his eyes closed," they theorized.
Another person offered that the joke may be a pun that we don't have the language proficiency to understand, or has a cultural meaning we no longer have access to.
Another user guessed something similar, postulating that the dog is being used as slang for a drunk person who is "closing one eye to avoid seeing double. The joke is that maybe if he switches which eye he has open it will somehow make him less drunk?"
Someone else mused that the joke is more random in context and instead plays with the idea behind not being able to see when one's eyes are closed. "Ancient Sumerians may not have perfected the intricacies of setup/payoff, or maybe even appreciated some version of random humor," they tweeted.
Of course, others theorized that the joke is sexual in nature. One person believes it's simply a "d--k joke" because dogs are short and Sumerian taverns were likely dark and included men wearing tunics. (We'll leave that one to your imagination.)
Meanwhile, while most people are trying to uncover the mystery, some are just delighted by the idea of ancient Sumerians laughing at modern folks today attempting to break down their joke thousands of years later. One thing is for sure though: bar jokes are timeless!