1. Chicago, IL: ”For a place that’s the funniest city in the country, Chicago doesn’t seem to boast a lot of jokes! Many Chicago residents surveyed noted that they could not think of any zingers, since they prefer to mine observational humor from the situations in which they find themselves.” (TLDR: Chicago likes improv.)
2. Boston, MA: Favorite joke? “Two fish swim into a bar. The first fish says, ‘I’ll have some H20.’ The second fish says, ‘I’ll have some H20 too.’ The second fish died.” (If you don’t get it, the study notes Boston prefers “dry, intellectual humor.”)
3. Atlanta, GA: Favorite joke? “What do you call a black pilot? A pilot, you racist.”
4. Washington, DC: "Is it any surprise that Washington, D.C. residents joke about politics? Much of this comedy appears to be cynical cracks about the frustrations of government work and political networking."
5. Portland, OR: Their comedy style? “Quirky, absurd, and just plain weird.” You don’t need to tell us that. We’ve seen Portlandia. We know.
And rounding out the Top 10:
6. New York, NY
7. Los Angeles, CA
8. Denver, CO
9. San Francisco, CA
10. Seattle, WA
Meanwhile, here are the cities that ranked lowest in the study.
41. El Paso, TX
42. Tucson, AZ
43. Las Vegas, NV
44. Virginia Beach, VA
45. Tulsa, OK
46. Arlighton, TX
47. San Antonio, TX
48. Miami, FL
49. Jacksonville, FL
50. Fort Worth, TX
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How Chicago Became ‘Chiraq’
President Obama may have gotten our troops out of Iraq, but the gunfire in his hometown of Chicago is still earning it a searing nickname coined by young people who live there.
On Easter weekend, 45 people were shot in the city, six of them children.
Five youngsters under the age of 15—four girls and a boy—were shot in a playground where they had gone after Easter services at a nearby church.
When I was 19, I had a crusty boyfriend who spontaneously decided that for health reasons, he was going to eat half a dozen or so raw garlic cloves every day. Which actually sounded kind of okay, at first; garlic is delicious and antiviral and antifungal and anti-everything-bad, and I’m generally unfazed by garlic breath if it’s emitting from someone I love. It seemed like a welcomed addition to his diet that otherwise consisted exclusively of spaghetti with hot sauce and tofu dogs. But after a week or two, he was a changed man. An insidious scent wafted not only out of his mouth, but also out of his armpits, feet, neck, and hairline. I have a distinct memory of kissing his cheek and tasting an industrial-strength aroma analogous to the bottom layer of a mid-summer New York City dumpster. He was emitting a pungent garlicky venom, 24 hours a day, seemingly from every pore (and orifice) on his body. The garlic ritual had to go; it was me or the garlic.
And so it did, eventually, but my memory of this phase, in addition to some other choice experiences, has since instilled me with a trust in the belief that “you are what you eat”—in other words, whatever you put in your mouth is going to make its way into every weird perspiration, fluid, and mucous that lives in or comes out of you. And as it turns out, we’re not imagining it.
Flamingos break up 99 percent of the time.
Illustrations by Robert Krulwich