Last night I taught a group of a adults in a city near to where I live. In this class there are students who are middle aged, with one male and five females. In last night's class we started off typically talking about some random topic.
The topic started off with my recent haircut. They noticed that I had cut my hair very short and I told them it was an illusion, that I still had a full head of hair. I told them that they see my short hair but that in reality it is still long. I sometimes say odd things to teach new words or expressions that they may find useful when speaking or using English.
I then told the group that I cut my hair myself and that it generally takes between 3-5 minutes to do so. I went on to tell them reasons why I choose to cut my own hair, namely, cost, time, and cleanliness. This led to a short discussion about queues, and the dirty habits of the service industry, like cooks who don't wash their hands after using the bathroom or when they pick their nose and continue to cook.
After that one student produced an western joke book. It looked very interesting so that student asked me to pick a joke and read it. So I randomly turned to the first page that opened up, somewhere in the middle of the book. I then decided to read the first joke at the top of the page without previewing it.
The joke, a dumb blonde joke, went like this:
Q. How do blondes practice safe sex?I should have known better than to just randomly read from a joke book, but by the time I had realized the topic it was too late. And so I read it again so they could think it over. It was a very difficult joke to explain both because of the content dealing with sex, as well as the cultural and multiple meanings of how words are used. In essence jokes are hard to translate.
A. By locking the car door.
But I decided to use this time to talk about methods of safe sex using English in a medical sort of way. We talked about birth control, condoms, abstinence, and masturbation. And then I explained that these are normal forms of safe sex. But as blondes are stereotyped as being stupid their idea of safe sex has nothing to do with disease or pregnancy, it has to do with being harmed while having sex in a car. So the stereotypical blonde chooses to lock the door as a form of safe sex.
We went on to read several more jokes to sort of balance the sex joke and these we pre-screened for sexual content. They were more easily understood and the students seemed to enjoy it better.