There was the convict who had never been to prison before. And at his first meal, when they were eating together, one of the other convicts suddenly got up and shouted ‘twenty-four!’ All the other convicts roared with laughter.
So the new convict asked his neighbour what was so funny. ‘Oh’, said the neighbour, ‘you see, we’ve all been here so long that we know all each other’s jokes. So instead of telling them we give them all numbers’.
So at the next meal the new convict decided to tell a joke himself. He felt terribly nervous but finally he gathered up his courage, stood up and said in a very low voice ‘twenty-eight’. But there was no reaction at all. He sat down in complete silence, red in face. After a bit, he asked his neighbour what was wrong with joke twenty-eight. ‘Nothing’, said his neighbour. ‘It’s a veiy good joke. But you know, it depends on the way you tell the story’.
So at the next meal the new convict decided to make them laugh. He stood up and in a firm voice shouted out ‘two hundred and forty- four! ’ Immediately, eveiyone was convulsed with laughter. They rolled in the aisles.
When the laughter died down, the new convict turned to his neighbour, ‘That was all right, wasn’t it?’ he said. ‘Oh, yes, you couldn’t have been better. And what’s more, we had never heard that one before’.