Why Did the Computer Cross the Road?

Hello Mr Chips coverHello, Mr. Chips! Computer Jokes and Riddles
By Ann Bishop
Published 1982

Submitter: Turns out computer joke books age about as well as any other kind of computer book. The content starts before the title page, with a picture of a computer carved from a literal apple, though I’d be hard pressed to identify it as a carving of a computer if it wasn’t captioned. There’s a nice Red Scare Era joke on page one, and later on a joke about computers driving cars that reads a little differently now that computers are driving cars. Also a joke about humans turning computers on—is that supposed to be literal, or did we put innuendo jokes in books for children 40 years ago? Shockingly, this book circulated as recently as 2016, which is also about when I became responsible for this collection. Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed it took that long for this book to come to my attention.

Holly: These were cute in 1982, but jokes have to keep up with technology! Like these:

  • Don’t use “beef stew” as a computer password. It’s not stroganoff.
  • Why did the PowerPoint Presentation cross the road? To get to the other slide.
  • PATIENT: Doctor, I need your help. I’m addicted to checking my Twitter! DOCTOR: I’m so sorry, I don’t follow.

Ok, I’m done now.

Introducing Mr Chips

Computers Driving Cars

Red Scare joke

Jokes

Innuendo joke

7 comments

  1. You’re a chip off the old block(chain)…perhaps….
    What’s black and white and red all over?….A binary with a wine drinking problem…..

  2. I remember seeing this book at the library back when floppy disks were a thing. Never picked it up, though, so this is my first time seeing the odd formatting choice for the punchlines.

  3. I recall a teen-ager complaining about a similarly bad joke book in detention, with: “Why did the computer buy shades? / To cover its _windows_” and “I bought a computer in Hawaii, it’s a pine-_apple_”. The biggest news here is how _HIDEOUS_ that apple carving is. It could be the front end of a car, the rear end of a car, or a typewriter it is so bulbously amorphous.

    1. I say it’s the front end of a car that was in a bad accident. And maybe melting. And I wonder what substances Mr. Bishop was on.

        1. Sure, but that’s the thing about apple carvings — they always shrink non-linearly. So he should have allowed for that. Unless he’s not as good at apple carving as he thought.

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