The Beauty of a Bar Joke
A guy walks into a bar. He orders a vodka martini. The bartender sets the drink down in front of him, pushes over a bowl of peanuts, and then walks over to the far side of the bar and begins polishing glasses.
Yes, it’s an old joke. I worked as a bartender, and I think I’ve heard just about every bad joke out there. Believe it or not, these bar jokes serve a very important purpose. Telling a joke or a funny story is a quick way to engage someone. Hopefully, it will lead to a real conversation.
We are wired to be social. It’s tough to be in a crowded room and still feel all alone.
For some people, it can be hard to make small talk. Telling a joke is easier; you already know what to say. If you can make another person laugh, or crack up a few people around you, you’ve created instant rapport. That’s the beauty of humor.
One of the most valuable skills I learned as a bartender was to be a good listener. I’d always thought I needed to offer my opinion or advice when people told me their problems. But over time I realized that people often just need to give voice to their own thoughts and have someone else hear them. By offering a silly joke, I could make them laugh and help them put their troubles to the side, if only for a little while.
A bar joke is set up to be quick and unexpected, to keep listeners intrigued about how it’s going to end. By telling a joke well—looking your listeners in the eye, with a smile—you will hold their attention and gain a sense of confidence. Whether the joke is good or bad, you’ll capture their interest and hopefully make them want to get to know you better.
I think everyone should have his or her own favorite bar joke to tell. You never know when it will come in handy.
A guy walks into a bar and makes some new friends.