Thoughts for No One in Particular

Laughing before the punch line

I have a joke I love to tell. But I always ruin it, because I cannot help laughing before I tell the punch line! But maybe in text, I can tell it well… so here it goes.


There was an old man who loved eating sticky rice balls. He loved them so much, he made it a routine to buy and eat one (but no more than one) pack of sticky rice balls a day. One day, when he opened the pack, he found no sticky rice balls in the container. “Where’d they go?!” he shouted, and turned his entire house upside down looking for them. Eventually, he found them… when he flipped the lid upside down, where they were all neatly stuck on.


Many days later, his family and friends gathered for his funeral. His cause of death: suffocation from choking on sticky rice balls. People were sad that he passed away, but were glad he went doing what he loved. They thought they would take a look at his face one more time before moving him to his final resting place. But as they opened the coffin, there was no trace of him! “Where’d he go?!” they shouted, and turned the entire house upside down looking for him.


Eventually, they found him… when they flipped the lid upside down, where he was neatly stuck on!


Did you get a good laugh? I hope it was funny, even if you yourself have never had to look for the illusionist sticky rice balls hiding under the lid (which, I believe, if you are of cultures whose people consume stick rice balls, is a very common experience, along with nearly choking to death eating them!).


I love this joke because I love the way the old man lived… and died. I love how he could not help laughing (enjoying his life) before telling the punch line (his death). And I love how he will keep making others laugh long after the punch line has been told.


Maybe his life seemed like a mundane joke to others, with the only joy being eating a pack of sticky rice balls a day.

But maybe to him, his life was the most enjoyable, until the moment he stepped into the coffin.

Maybe he died a good death because he lived a good life.


Maybe with life, it is always good to be laughing before the punch line. And rest assured, it will not be ruined. Not one bit.


P.S. Today’s post was inspired by S. and what seemed to me as her ever-growing list of things to do to keep laughing before the punch line – this one’s for you!


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