This document was found in the records of Puritan William Bradford, sometimes referred to as “America’s First Traveler Blogger.”
IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, the crew and passengers of The Mayflower, Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, do make it known that upon this ship, it will hereby no longer be tolerated to utter the following jokes and japes. ‘Tis not intended to shame any singular individual, though a few perhaps bear more guilt in repeating these jokes than most.
Please cease the following:
- Biting into a dish, knowing that it is not cod and rubbing one’s stomach and saying, “Hmm, this tastes like cod… yes, very much like cod, indeed!” to remind us all that we have but little else to eat but cod.
- Making Puns upon the word “Mayflower,” i.e. “Mayflower I have some more” or “Mayflower as well” or “As luck Mayflower have it” &c. In addition to being tedious and over-repeated, these sorts of wordplays are bad and irritate even a man with the patience of Job. Though his company in our midst is a delight, we must note that this rule is particularly addressed to the good William Bradford, who loves punning most of all.
- Shrieking and saying thou hast seen Roman Catholics below decks. Please cease screaming “There are papists aboard with swords drawn!” This jape is not only mightily un-humorous but ‘tis also bound to give an older voyager an attack in their heart.
- Straddling a cannon with thy legs and making pretend the cannon is thy phallus.
- Asking a fellow Mayflower-er, “How much water is in the sea?” and answering, “Why ‘tis none, since the side of the C allows the water to tip out!” This joke is, primarily, difficult to make an understanding of, as it is making light of the shape of the letter “C” and said shape’s inefficiency as a receptacle for liquids. Often it requires an overly long Explanation and as such, there are “C’s” carved all over the ship from passengers trying to explain this joke.
- Saying, “Methinks I see another ship,” pausing, then loudly and cruelly crying “Not!” Once again, Mr. William Bradford is not being singularly attacked in this list, but we must ask he and he alone cease this behavior. ‘Tis mean-spirited and, in a definitional sense, not a joke.
- Telling a fellow passenger that thou has a wonderful gift for them in thy pocket and then revealing that the wonderful gift is not a gift at all, but thy rudely raised middle finger.
- Making playful observations about seabirds, such as, “My word, these gulls are as persistent in pecking and loud at squawking as my very own mother-in-law,” are neither kind nor appreciated. Mrs. William Bradford, though not alone, has grown especially weary of this bit of humour aimed at her mother.
- Impersonating the speech and mannerisms of Captain Christopher Jones. Though many of you have been able to perfect how the Good Captain holds his hand to keep the sun from his eyes, and a few have a good ability to recreate the moment when the Good Captain stubbed his toe on the Big Cannon and hopped about yelling “Mamma mia” in a high-pitched voice, the Good Captain has said that he does not like this.
- Straddling a mast with thy legs and making pretend the mast is thy phallus.
- Pretending to see land and then explaining that thou has not in fact spotted shore, but rather thou hast seen “Thy mom afloat, so huge as to appear to be a land mass.”
- Coyly saying, “Dearest me, must have been something that I ate” when a big wave hits the hull and makes the entirety of the ship groan.
- Any “knocking-knocking” jokes ending in “If you do not like my, William Bradford’s jokes, then I will set up my own colony where joking is celebrated.” We have heard your threat, sir, and challenge you to make good on it.
- Placing a long rope between thy legs and making pretend the long rope is thy phallus.
Please cease making these jocularities, or so help me GOD IN HEAVEN, I shall turn this ship back Eastward and return us home.
Cpn. Christopher Jones,
Who Didn’t Shriek That Loud When He Stubbed His Toe