The IPKat raised a furore last week when he told Ilanah’s favourite joke (“Do Trade Marks Get Up Your Nose?”, 8 December). In an urgent attempt to make amends by telling a joke in somewhat better taste, he is pleased to bring you a tale which masquerades as a true story (sub nom. “Actual Australian Court Docket 12659: the Case of the Pregnant Lady”). The story, which has actually been doing the rounds on the internet for some time, goes as follows:

A lady about 8 months pregnant got on a bus. She noticed the man opposite her was smiling at her. She immediately moved to another seat. This time the smile turned into a grin, so she moved again. The man seemed more amused. When, on the fourth move, the man burst out laughing, she complained to the driver and he had the man arrested.

The case came up in court. The judge asked the man (about 20 years old) what he had to say for himself. The man replied, "Well your Honour, it was like this: When the lady got on the bus, I couldn't help but notice her condition. She sat under a sweet sign that said: "The Double-Mint Twins are Coming" and I grinned. Then she moved and sat under a sign that said, "Logan's Liniment will reduce the swelling" and I had to smile. Then she placed herself under a deodorant sign that said, "William's Big Stick Did the Trick", and I could hardly contain myself. BUT, your Honour, when she moved the fourth time and sat under a sign that said, "Goodyear Rubber could have prevented this Accident", I just lost it". Case dismissed.

The IPKat is impressed at the role played by brand advertising in this joke. Doubtless the killjoys in the European Court of Justice will consider that the inclusion of a registered trade mark in the script of a joke interferes with its "essential function" and thus constitutes an infringing act.

Travel during pregnancy here
Get your rubbers here
Make your own liniment and deodorant here
Twin gum wads here
Transport tune here

NEITHER SNOT NOR SPINACH NEITHER SNOT NOR SPINACH Reviewed by Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo on Monday, December 15, 2003 Rating: 5

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