40th birthday jokes are best for the men in our lives. We don’t want to exclude women from the fun—after all, there’s plenty to be said about women turning 40 that is worthy of some good jokes—but let’s think about it this way. Your mom—she’d like to think she’s still 29, right? Or your aunt? Grandmothers sometimes seem to have given in, but they’re too far from 40 for the subject anyway. Maybe a girlfriend or a sister—whoever it is, you know the woman who pretends that time stopped at 29. Or 21. When it comes to the men in your life, however, you know that while they’d like to think that time stopped for them, too, they know it’s taken 40 years of work to get that gut. That’s why good turning 40 jokes have to at least be started on men, before adny other steps are taken.
Good turning 40 jokes avoid groans and grimaces by making the payoff quick, painless, and funny. Again, back to those men—how many of them channel surf? Or change the topic far before you are through with it? That short attention span means that if somebody turning 40 is going to dedicate a chunk of their time to hearing out any number of turning 40 jokes, telling a long one with a lame payoff gives you double the groans than it otherwise would. Turning 40 seems to make a man think he’s busy with his family, job, and whatever else; one of the riddles that he will never solve (though he probably claims to have the answers for all riddles), however, is how his infatuation with the TV (or some other entertainment device) probably accounts for all of that lost time. But the point of that is this: good short jokes are easier to craft than good long jokes and bad long jokes hurt far more than bad short jokes. Clever riddles help, too, but most men want an instant payoff (especially at 40, when fewer and fewer things respond instantaneously).
Rude short jokes make the 40 year old man smile. If you hammer him with turning 40 jokes, even good turning 40 jokes, he’ll eventually wear down. 40th birthday jokes have a very short shelf life. Tell them too early, and they become annoying jokes. Tell them too late, and they lose any impact, even if they are among the best short jokes ever. Tell them too long, and it’s the same as before: even the best short jokes ever eventually become the bane of being. Focusing on rude short jokes, however, allows your 40 year old friend to feel fit and alive again. They can believe that because they can laugh about rude things, they can do rude things. Whether that’s throwing food across the table or sticking out their tongue, you can leave those ruder sorts of riddles to be puzzled out by the joke inventors. So long as your jokes aren’t so bad that they throw food or stick their tongue out at you, you know that you’re on to something. 40th birthday jokes, ultimately, are only as good as the 40th birthday. Rude short jokes, though, will always be among the best short jokes ever—for the men in your life, anyway.