A few weeks ago in our column, we included an old joke about the advantages a tractor has over a woman. We received the following email: "I was offended by your jokes about a 'good woman' in the April 10, 2012 column. This type of humor lacks taste, and unnecessarily offends people. Please do not include this type of humor in your column."
I responded: "You offend too easily. These types of jokes can be seen on Letterman, Leno, and even Geico commercials. You should lighten up! Life is too short to be offended by such trivia. Thank you for the email and take a deep breath."
My wife said: "You shouldn't have said that. If they're offended, tell them you're sorry and be friendly!"
Usually doing what I'm told, I responded again to the email: "My intention is not to offend, but rather, to put a little humor into my column. I am sorry if it offended you, but honestly, I can't promise not to use such humor in the future.
"I don't know your age, but are you old enough to remember the TV series 'All in The Family?' It starred a fellow named Archie Bunker and it ran for many years starting in the late '60s or early '70s.
"It was hilarious! Old Archie didn't like anyone. Nuns, Poles, women, blacks, Jews, Puerto Ricans, etc... The series was produced by a Jewish fellow named Norman Lear and helped to break down prejudices and stereotypes by laughing at them.
"It worked and literally eased race relations. It featured black neighbors named George and Louise Jefferson, who went on to their own successful TV series. Sammy Davis Jr., Redd Foxx, and dozens of other stars appeared.
"Soon other series followed like 'Maude,' 'Chico and the Man,' 'Sanford and Son,' etc. ... 'All in The Family' was instrumental in featuring minorities on TV. It was a great success!
"Sadly today, this show, that did so much to end prejudices and stereotypes, probably could not be shown on network TV, because it would offend someone.
"Have we lost our humor? Have we become so 'politically correct' that we can't laugh at each other in good fun?
"On TV sitcoms today, we have one sexual innuendo after another that passes for humor. I'd prefer Archie and Meathead, George and Louise Jefferson, and Fred and Lamont Sanford any day.
"But again, I am sorry if you were offended."
My wife said: "Do you mean it?"
I said: "Well sure! Of course! Yeah, kind of? Probably, I guess."
They emailed back: "I don't think columns in the Daily Star are a good place for this type of humor. But if you need to include jokes, why not start with jokes humiliating men, and white people, and heterosexuals and Christians? After insulting these groups, one could make an argument that it's fair to insult women, Jews, blacks and gay people, like Archie Bunker. I can send you links with jokes aimed at men _ some are very funny _ you could try them in your next article if you need humor."
OK, let's see. In the last year or so, I've used numerous redneck jokes or innuendos. That should easily cover "jokes humiliating men, and white people, and heterosexuals and Christians."
Next, insult women? Some obviously believe that base was covered last month, but I disagree. I love women! I've spent my life just trying to understand them. A daunting task, for sure. Maybe, they could like football and hunting a little more? They could be more understanding when it comes to watching the History and Military channels, and if only they weren't so addicted to "Dancing with the Stars" and "Law and Order" reruns.
"Jews, blacks and gay people, like Archie Bunker?" I didn't know Archie was gay.
Isn't it sad that some folks have no sense of humor? Again, have we become so politically correct that we can't laugh at each other? Just imagine if this was always the case. The world would be a poorer place without Don Rickles, the Marx Brothers, Amos & Andy, Lenny Bruce, and of course, Archie Bunker.
Note: The 2nd ANNUAL PONDEROSA CHALLENGE 500-YARD CANNON SHOOT, a sanctioned event by the American Artillery Association. This Civil War cannon and mortar competition is being held Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3. Admission is free and it starts at 10 a.m. and goes into the night Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The location is 699 County Highway 39 Worcester, NY 12197. Any questions, please call Ray at 518-357-9002 or Chuck at 432-8180 or 435-3358. Help us blow up a BMW at 500 yards! Hey! Who hasn't dreamed of doing that?
Chuck Pinkey is the owner of River Valley New Holland Inc. in Otego. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board.