Today, again, I write for you a number of short “pokes,”

The term I coined for poems that retell some stale old jokes.

To those who say it’s lowbrow stuff, I answer in defiance:

You’ll find that every poke below is fully based on science.

(Illustration by Eric Shansby)

Bugged

Into a tavern drifts an infectious disease

And orders a beer and some yogurt and toast.

The bartender thunders, “Get out of here, please.”

The pathogen sniffs, “Well, you’re not a good host.”

An Uplifting Experience

A biochemist was reading a book about helium

She found it while searching the bookstores in town.

Goosebumps it gave her, on her epithelium.

The problem, she said: “I could not put it down.”

A Headline for This

A medical researcher went to her shrink

And said that her co-workers all seem to think

That she is too literal, and that it’s a flaw,

“At me they laugh and they grin and guffaw.”

“And how do you feel?” he inquired of her.

“Why, through monoamine neurotransmitters, sir.”

A Bitter Pill

In a drugstore, a chemist, respectful and placid

Asked for a bottle of acetylsalicylic acid.

And the druggist said, “You want aspirin, then?”

“I never remember that name,” he said with chagrin.

The Beer Paradox

An infinite number of mathematicians

Walked into a bar on one recent night,

And, under the strangest of barroom conditions,

What followed quite nearly became a big fight.

“I’ll have a pint,” said the first to the ’tender.

“I’ll have a half,” said the next fellow down.

“I’ll have a quarter,” said the third (no big spender).

“Give me an eighth,” said the next, like a clown.

The bartender fumed and grew suddenly pale

Then, calmly, he turned and he went to the spout

Drew up two pints, set them down at the rail.

Said, “Enough of this nonsense — you all work it out.”

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