Sunday, December 21, 2008

What goes oh, oh oh? Santa walking backwards!

A train full of tortoises crashed into a busload of terrapins. It was a turtle disaster.

Way back in the seventeenth century a confectioner by the name of Tom Smith was producing his range of candies in London. Most popular were his bon-bons, small sweets wrapped in a twist of paper.

Q: What do baby apes sleep in?
A: Apricots

Tom Smith was always looking for new ideas to increase his business and one day, inspired by the Chinese fortune cookies, he hit on the idea of inserting a motto inside the wrapper.

Q: What do you call a deer with no eyes?
A: No idea.
Q: What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs?
A: Still no idea

One evening he was sitting in front of his log fire when he heard a loud crackle come from a burning log. He decided it would be fun to add a crackle to his bon-bons.

Q: How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizza?
A: Deep pan, crisp and even.

It was decided that the wrapping should be made much larger so that two people could each hold an end each then pull. For the bang he used strips of card impregnated with a chemical similar to that used in cap guns which detonated by friction. The cracker as it was now to be called, was designed to break unevenly, and the person ending up with the larger end won the contents!

Q: What's orange and sounds like a parrot?
A: A carrot.

They were an instant success and in no time at all rival companies copied them. It was then time to break away and develop the cracker we know and love today.

Q: Where did Napoleon keep his armies?
A: Up his sleevies

In 1847 the candy disappeared to be replaced by a small gift, a paper hat or crown, and of course the motto. The motto had now become a quotation from a great book or a few lines from a famous poem.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

The final change came early in the twentieth century when the motto became a short joke. They were usually un-funny as they are today, and designed to invoke a groan and a smile rather than a proper laugh!

Two fish are in a tank, one says to the other "Can you drive this thing?"

Today the most important decorative touch on the Christmas dinner table is the placing of a Christmas cracker beside each place setting. The annual ritual of crossing arms and holding the end of a cracker in each hand is the climax to the Christmas feast. One by one we recite our jokes and then crawl around the floor in search of our tacky little trinkets!

There were two cannibals eating a clown and one says "Does this taste funny to you?"

I’ve bought blue and silver crackers this year!
A man goes to the doctor with a parrot growing out of his head. The doctor says "My God - how did that happen?" and the parrot says "Well doctor, it started as a boil on my backside."


  1. I love this kind of word play - still laughing and so glad you posted!

  2. Keith some good laughs here. Blue and Silver eh lol.. When I first read crackers I was think thin crisp of dried wheat crackers we eat here lol...

    Loved your tale.

  3. What a wonderfully clever idea! A slice of history with the added spice of jokes. I loved it.

  4. i never even thought of how they came about. but i love them too...

  5. I love those crackers. The kids love the little trinkets in them. I bet your guests will love that.

  6. I'm writing with pain, but still laughing. Thanks for the history of the crackers - we've had them in the past - they can be hard to find over here.



Dear WORDPRESS friends. If you are having difficulty posting please 'Comment as' either:-

a) Name/URL
b) Anonymous with your name included in your comment.

Thank you!