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Thursday, August 17 12:00 AM ET

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.

Dead Baby Redux

I asked for feedback from readers last week about the whole "dead baby joke" BBlooper that upset one reader. Here's a type for all you webmasters out there. Don't ask for feedback on a hot topic and then leave town. Your inbox will overflow. As I suspected most readers didn't have any problem with a dead baby joke, and as I also suspected BBspotters' tastes vary from feature to feature. Here are some of the more amusing responses I received. As a warning, some of these emails contain their own dead baby jokes which are much more tasteless than mine, so if you can't handle it then stop reading now. You have been warned...

From: Joe
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 1:02 AM
Subject: dead babies

So according to this guy:

Jokes about testicles are okay....
as are jokes about killing old people for fuel.
Disfigured infants are cool...
but dead ones are not.
Teddy bear violence is acceptable,
as is animal cruelty.
The objectification of women is just hunky-dory,
and addiction is an okay subject too.
Terrorism and 9-11 are hilarious topics,
and the gulf war 2.0 is too.

Your reader apparently loves to make fun of
transvestites, Chinese people, and child molestation,
but a dead baby joke gets his panties all in a twist.

You know, there are people who might be offended by everything on this list, and indeed everything on BBspot. But for each one person who may be offended, there are probably ten thousand who think it is hilarious. If the reader is not intelligent enough to deal with different types of humor, or is incapable of filtering out content that may offend him (i.e. don't click on "dead baby" links if you are horrified at dead baby jokes), then perhaps the reader is better off at where everything is sterile and only the fart jokes get through.

As for myself, I will take the dead baby jokes ... and laugh at them, and I will laugh at most everything else that is posted to this site.  And if I don't laugh at something, I certainly won't send you a nasty email about it, I will simply wait for the next hilarious article to come up, and laugh at it instead.  It is much more fun and keeps my blood pressure down.

Keep up the good work!

PS -- So, what exactly is the age limit?  At what age do dead people jokes okay?  Is 5 years old acceptable? "What's the difference between a truckload of dead five-year-olds, and a truckload of bowling balls?"
"You can't load bowling balls with a pitchfork."

Well, you couldn't load five-year-olds either unless you had a really sturdy pitchfork. Of course, he missed one of my more offensive articles from the early days, or the one I haven't told my mother about. And here I thought I was wholesome entertainment.

From: Daniel
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 8:29 AM
Subject: Bbloopers

Hey, I like the BBloopers, but, then, I work for Republicans.

Wow, maybe I should really rethink the whole BBlooper thing.

From: Alex
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 8:52 AM
Subject: Re: Dead Baby Joke Feedback

Hi, I read most of the links in the bbspot rss. Generally I don’t bother with the bloopers (after a while they all feel the same) but I didn’t find the dead baby one offensive or anything.

On a more positive front, I LOVE your articles and top11s, keep writing these ‘til you do something terminal with your new blade.

Everybody's hoping for the big one!

From: David
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 1:24 PM
Subject: Dead-Baby-Hating yahoo

Regarding the mailbag guy with the amputated sense of humor:

> having a laugh at the expense of a child's death
It annoys me when people use phrases like "at the expense of [x]" without considering what they actually mean. "Expense" would imply that something "cost" someone something, like time, money, or emotion. Well, unless that lady or her family reads BBspot and saw it personally, there was no "expense" in pointing out a humorous coincidence on a web page -- except to the self-righteous who choose to be offended over things they have nothing to do with. The argument could be remotely applicable if your tag line was making fun of or insulting the person who left her child in a car in the summer heat, but it is obvious you were not.

> there are things like this that you just don't make jokes about
What a load. You can joke about anything. It might be considered in bad taste, but no one should have the right to dictate what you can/should or cannot/shouldn't make a joke about on your own web site. If he's so worried about it, he can make; no one is stopping him. To suggest that you CAN'T joke about something is rather sad, as that person apparently believes free speech should not be allowed if they are offended by that speech. Sure, it wasn't some wildly important political statement or anything, but it's still freedom.

And I love how he (sorta) threatened to take your RSS feed links off his bookmarks; OOOOHH NOOOOOOOOOO!!! How will you ever recover from such terrible repercussions?

I like your site the way it is: Flash games, dead baby jokes, and all.

Yay me. OK, this next email is the one where you should exercise extreme caution, and please remove any small children from the room....

From: Randall
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 2:00 PM
Subject: Regarding Dead Baby Jokes...

Maybe my sense of humor is out of whack, but I love dead baby jokes. They're really popular among undergrads, at least. Funny story: a while back, one guy who's not a fan of DBJs (more because he thinks they're stupid, not because he's offended) tried to prove their stupidity by inventing the following joke:

Q: What's the difference between this dead baby and that one?
A: I just fucked this one.

Probably a little to over-the-top for your site (also guaranteeing that this email won't be in the Mailbag...not that I mind, just that I'm realistic), but we all laughed at that joke, completely disproving that guy's point. Anyway, keep up the great work!

Sadly, I laughed too.

Weekly Limerick

The winner of this year's Geek Limerick contest has volunteered to write a weekly limerick for BBspot. I haven't decided where to put it yet, so this week's I'll put in the Mailbag...

From: Seth

Though new movies will soon entertain,
There are terrorists striking again.
 Thus when waiting in lines
 At the airports, the signs
Read: "No liquids or snakes on the plane".

That's all for this week!

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