My childhood Christmas dinners involved roast turkey and hot plum pudding (sometimes on 40+°C days) in Australia, and they always started with the Christmas cracker. You know, those bits of paper or foil with a ‘party’ crown (a thin paper hat that often tore before you stuck it on your head) and a ‘toy’ (eg: a plastic ring in almost orange-coloured gold; a measuring tape; a leapfrog if you were lucky) inside.
Who doesn’t have a photo of their family all looking bored and embarrassed, eating their roast dinner with a paper crown on their head? Actually, French families don’t. Christmas crackers don’t seem to exist in France, but they do have Christmas bonbons. Yes, chocolate: so much better than a paper hat! But just when you’re thinking it’s a win-win situation, think again. The bonbons share something in common with the crackers: they contain a dodgy joke that just isn’t funny. Safe for all the family, here are just two of the typically corny jokes:
It says: “A snail waits for his friend, a slug. The slug arrives late and the snail says, ‘And also, you haven’t brought your backpack’.” Get it? The snail thinks the…oh, you must get it.
It says: “What is the worst thing a gymnast can do? Faint while doing a hand stand” (it’s a play on words, as ‘tomber dans les pommes’ literally means ‘fall in the apples’ (faint) and ‘faire/faisant le poirier’ literally means ‘act like a pear tree’ (hand stand). Get it? Apples and pears…