While introducing Gov. Mitch Daniels at a Whitley County Lincoln Day dinner, he told a disparaging joke about Democratic House Speaker Pat Bauer.
Bauer is used to being made fun of – his height, his hair – but Bell told a fictional story about him and some GOP colleagues who were driving along Interstate 69 when they came across an overturned bus on the side of the road labeled "House Democrats."
The joke continued with a local farmer telling the Republicans that it was a terrible tragedy with many fatalities.
"Were there no survivors?" asked the reps, to which the farmer replied that Bauer said he was alive "but you know how he lies" so he was buried anyway.
apparently the joke didn't go over very well, probably because it's poorly constructed. the meat of the joke comes from all those dead liberals; trying to twist it around to be about speaker bauer being a liar destroys the dramatic tension. besides, bell's audience probably thinks all democrats are liars, so singling out the speaker makes no sense.
here are some alternate punchlines he could've used that might've gotten more yuks. when asked whether there were survivors, the farmer could've said:
- "i hope not."
- "how can you tell? they're all brain-dead anyway!"
- "no, i made sure of that!" [*farmer reveals that he cut the bus's brakes*]
- "nope. i guess that proves seatbelt laws don't work!"
- "i didn't check. i don't believe in busing."
- "i didn't check. i don't believe in public transit."
- "yeah, they were delicious." [*farmer belches*]
- "yeah, but we took 'em behind the barn and shot 'em, 'cuz i recoken their lives weren't worth living like that." "you mean, because they're horribly disfigured?" "no, i mean because they're democrats."
or he could've just used a twist on a old classic:
Q: what do you call a busload of dead democrats?
A: a good start!
that would've had 'em rolling in the aisles.¶