Collected during a visit in 1982
The riddles and jokes listed below were collected in Poland in the early 1982
during the period of communist rule. This was a time of hardship and shortages
with no love lost for the police or the Soviet Union. The jokes show how people
reacted to the situation as it was then. It is very different now.
Q. Why has the election been postponed?
A. Because they have lost the results
Q. Why did the policeman take his dog for a walk?
A. Because two heads are better than one.
Q. Why do the riot police (Zomo) go around in threes?
A. One can read, one can write and the third one keeps an eye on the two intellectuals.
Q. What did the policeman, chasing a car thief, say to the tram driver?
A. Follow that car.
Q. An angel, a devil, a stupid policeman and an intelligent policeman are
in a house from which some money is stolen. Who is the thief?
A. The stupid policeman, because the other three are mythological creatures.
Q. What is a string quartet in Poland?
A. An orchestra after a foreign tour.
Q. Why economically and politically are Poland and the USA similar?
A. Because in both countries you can buy anything for dollars and you can say without fear of arrest: "I disagree with the policies of the President of the USA".
Q. Why are they going to reduce the size of the Polski Fiat?
A. Because it is just too big - to fit in the lift!
Q. Why did the housewife buy a single Brussels sprout?
A. She had just purchased her meat ration and wanted to make stuffed cabbage.
Q. What is the difference between a misfortune and a disaster?
A. If a goat falls in the river and drowns that is a misfortune not a disaster. If a plane carrying the Politburo crashes, that is a disaster but not a misfortune.
Q. Why are butchers more truthful today than they were in the past?
A. In the past the sign outside the shop said butcher and the shop contained meat. Now the sign says butcher and the shop contains the butcher.
Q. Why did the medicine received from an American friend not work when it
was used in Poland?
A. The medicine stated: "Take three times daily after meals".
Q. Why would Poland veto a U.S. application to join Comecon?
A. It could not afford to support the economies of two superpowers.
Q. From where in Warsaw do you get the best view?
A. From the Palace of Culture because from there you cannot see the Palace of Culture
Q. What is the difference between capitalism and socialism?
A1. Under capitalism man exploits his fellow man. Under socialism the reverse is true.
A2. Capitalism is at the brink of the precipice. Socialism is one step further ahead.
A3 Capitalism produces an unequal distribution of wealth. Socialism produces an equal distribution of shortages.
Q. What is the difference between a democracy and a social democracy?
A. They both look the same, as do a chair and an electric chair.
In the middle of the night a man is woken up from his sleep by someone hammering on his door. He is terrified. But a reassuring voice comes through the door. "It's all right Comrade. There's nothing for you to worry about. I was just waking you up to tell you that the building is on fire."
Advice to journalists. If you think, don't talk. If you talk, don't write. If you write, don't sign your name. If you sign your name, don't be surprised!
A visitor from Britain told his friends. If I write to you in black ink
believe what I say. If I use red ink, believe the opposite of what I say.
His friends receive a letter in black ink: It says "Poland is a wonderful place. Every one is happy and has plenty to eat. The police are helpful and friendly. The newspapers we see in Britain have distorted the situation here. I have only had one very small problem since I came to Poland. I could not find a shop that sells red pens"
The Minister is visiting a factory and speaks to the General Manager.
"Did your factory achieve its production target?"
"What did you do with your bonus?
"I bought a yacht and put the rest of the money in the People's Saving Bank"
"Very good" says the Minister and then he speaks to the Chief Engineer.
"Did you achieve your production target?"
What did you do with your bonus?
"I bought a motor cycle and put the rest of the money in the People's Saving Bank.
"Very good" says the Minister then he goes to the shop floor and speaks to one of the workers.
"Did you achieve your production target"
"What did you do with your bonus?"
"I bought a pair of shoes".
"But what about the rest of the money"
The worker replies: "I borrowed that from my mother-in-law"
A German bomb on London has uncovered a cellar at the bottom of which is a
mummy that British Museum experts can not identify. Churchill is informed and he
asks Stalin for help. Two Soviet experts arrive and descend into the
cellar. There are loud banging sounds and a cloud of dust. Then the experts come
up and announce:
"Dynasty of Ramases IV"
"Fantastic", say the spectators, "how did they do it?"
Someone explains: "The experts belong to the KGB Special Branch"
(Note: It is believed that KGB experts can make anyone talk - even an Egyptian mummy!)
A conference of centenarians is being held in Moscow to find the oldest
person alive. The oldest amongst them is selected, but he says that that
although he has not seen his mother for 30 years, she is still alive. So the old
lady is sent for. She enters the crowded room and without hesitation goes up to
her son and kisses him.
"Amazing" someone says "how did you recognise him in this crowd of very old people when you have not met for 30 years" "It was easy" says the old lady . "I recognised his coat".
A boy leaves his village and makes good. He joins the party, rises to a top
position. He has a limousine and a dacha, a well paid job in Moscow and access
to foreign exchange. He goes back to the village to see his mother and tells her
of all the perks and privileges that he has
His mother is obviously worried by what he tells her so he asks her:
"What is bothering you?
She replies: "What will happen to you if the communists ever come to power"
Alexander the Great, King Miesco I and Napoleon are in Moscow watching the
May Day military parade. Napoleon has found a copy of Pravda and is looking at
Impressed by the might of the arms on display Alexander says:
"If I had an army like this, I could conquer the world
King Miesco I says: "if I had an army like this, the territorial integrity of Poland would be assured".
Surprisingly, Napoleon is not impressed by the military parade but continues reading Pravda. Then he says: "If I had a paper like this no one would know I lost the battle of Waterloo".
A policeman was given a jigsaw puzzle which he worked on at every weekend until eventually he completed it. He then proudly informed his colleagues: "I finished this puzzle in only six months. It says on the box 3 to 5 years" Page maintained by Joe Latham