Friday, November 4, 2016

More like MadLibs

I take attendance by having the students answer a question fill in MadLibs.

A ____________ walks into a bar. The bartender says, "___________________"

This one was a bit open-ended and I'm not sure it sparked the students' witty creative-writing skills optimally.

The traditionalist: A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Why the long face?"
The context-aware: A college student walks into a bar. The bartender says, "ID?"

The literalists: A man walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Ouch." Also appeared as "man/hello"
and "man/try the soup" and "really tall guy/that must have hurt" and "person/yo" and "man with an orange for a head/you have an orange for a head?!"

The animals that appeared were commented thusly: "dog/impressive" (not sure why; dogs walk normally), "bear/welcome", "parrot/This is it." (bartender with no patience left), "cat/hi", "puppy/This is the best day ever.", "caterpillar/You'll be a beautiful butterfly one day.", and the masterpiece of absurdism which is "very very very small horse/hello".

The jokey: A law student walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Walking into too many bars will not help you pass it."

This makes very little sense, but: A foo walks into a bar. The bartender says, "foo-bar."

The minds of mathematical bent:

  • A graph walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Why so edgy?"
  • A triangle walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Looking sharp."
  • An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Got it --- 2 beers." (I'm guessing this is a joke about infinite sums with finite limits?)

Today's Pandering Prize goes to:

A theoretical computer scientist walks into a bar. The bartender says, "That's strange, most of our customers are travelling salesmen."


This post's theme word is clerihew (n), " humorous, pseudo-biographical verse of four lines of uneven length, with the rhyming scheme AABB, and the first line containing the name of the subject." I would like to see what my students create when prompted for a clerihew or a six-word autobiography, but creative writing attendance questions distract students from paying attention to the lecture.

1 comment:

Abraham Heifets said...

The joke goes: An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one says, I'll have a beer. The next one says, I'll have half a beer. The third one says, I'll have a quarter of a beer. The fourth one says, I'll have an eighth of a beer. This goes on for a while, until the bartender pours two beers and says "You guys ought to know your limits."