Think about a time in America when the providers of farmer’s seed catalogs made a practice of telling broad, overtly dumb jokes and posing brain-twisting riddles instead of the serious but dull metrics of crop production. It was from these catalogs that the seeds of corny jokes were cultivated. Is it only nostalgia? Or were we really more freely lighthearted within our more confined personal borders and lives? For sure, we felt comfortable being silly. For example:
What did the corn say when he was complimented?
What did one ear of corn say to the other?
Don’t look now, but we’re being stalked.
What do you call a mythical vegetable?
All over the United States during August and September, there are almost as many Corn Festivals as there are corn-growing counties. With festivals come contests, and those concerned with corn include corn eating, corn shucking, corn pitching, to single out a few. However, there is one seriously missing contest, that of the corniest joke. Perhaps we could start one, that is, if anyone thinks its possible to sell silly these days. Maybe we could take bets on the future of corn. Actually, that’s already being done, bought and sold as a commodity called corn futures. I’d rather have a corny joke contest.
Native Americans called it maize. They probably still do. The term “corn” was commonly used throughout Europe to mean to any staple food crop, generally barley, wheat and oats. Initially the Europeans called the maize “Indian corn” when they added it to the list of European cereal crops. Eventually it became just corn, one of many foods that the Americas gave the Old World. There are so many such, one could wonder what those Europeans ate before.