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A racist joke about Irish Travellers



This joke is important because it tells about how the "settled" Irish tend to perceive* the Irish Travellers, who are members of an ancient ethnic Irish minority.

"Don't paint us all with the same brush. Remove that racist joke now as we find it very racist."
— March 28, 2013, from Brian Maughan-Mc Donagh


An Irish Traveller gets work at a sporting-goods shop.

The boss is with him on the first day.

A customer comes in looking for a tennis racket. The boss asks "is that for clay, grass, or tarmac?"

The customer buys the proper racket.

"That seems handy enough," says the Traveller. The boss lets him work alone.

A customer comes in. "Well," says the customer, "Would ye have a baseball bat?"

"Is that for a wedding or a funeral?"*


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* There is apparently some truth in the idea that Irish Travellers tend to fight each other at weddings and funerals.

I don't have any idea of the incidence level — odds are it's low. It wouldn't take many gang fights to instill widespread belief that it's common practice.

While most cultures would find violence at a wedding or a funeral to be distasteful — devastating — it is apparently more acceptable to Irish Travellers. Traditional, even, to some degree.

Again, I don't know how common it is.

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