Wanna hear a dirty joke?
Van der Merwe slipped and fell in the mud!
The English tell jokes about "An Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irishman", sometime with supporting cast from a Welshman or a Frenchman or the like, but they are never individuals just generic ethics. Sometimes you may get a joke starring "Paddy", but it is the exception.
So van der Merwe goes to the railway station, and at the ticket office asks: "A return ticket please."
Ticket man: "Where to please?"
Van: "Back here, of course, man!"
South African jokes make use of a named stereotype: van der Merwe. "van der Merwe" is a common enough Afrikaans surname, from the Dutch "from the Merwe", the Merwede (or Merwe) river being near Dordrecht in Holland.
How do you confuse van der Merwe?
Give him two shovels and tell him to take his pick.
The jokes are often the standard repertoire adapted to local tastes. van der Merwe jokes are a fairly juvenile pleasure.
"These rooinecke are not so bad when you get to know them," said Van on return from a visit to England.
"Hey, they take you home, share their bed with you and give you breakfast in the morning - all for no charge."
"Did that really happen to you, Van?" asked van Tonder.
"No, but it happened to my sister," said Van.
Background details emerge from the jokes: van der Merwe's first name is generally "Koos". If a brother is needed, the brother's name can be "Piet". If a rival or foil is needed, it is van der Merwe's neighbour or co-worker "van Tonder". If a sister, wife, girlfriend or love interest is needed, she will usually be "Sannie".
Often van der Merwe is a farmer or a yokel. Sometimes he is a policeman, or sometimes an office worker. Being in a joke, he is by turns naive, stupid, lucky, crass, witty and cunning. He generally speaks English with a thick Afrikaans accent.
So now van der Merwe is working at the zoo. He especially enjoys cleaning out the elephant's enclosure, since the zoo's sole elephant is an intelligent and obedient animal called "Nuts". All he has to do is say "come over here, Nuts", or "sit down, Nuts" and the elephant will do what it is told.
One day he comes into the managers office, dripping wet, flings down his broom and shouts "I've had all I can take! I quit!".
"What's wrong, Van?" Asks the manager.
"I can't take the guy selling peanuts any more. Every day when I'm in with the Elephant he's yelling "Peanuts! Peanuts!"
It has been noted that jokes about the disadvantaged are politically incorrect, but jokes about the advantaged are OK. The Afrikaners have been for the last century the most advantaged ethnic group in South Africa, so jokes with them as the butt are in a small way subversive. But even Afrikaners will tell van der Merwe jokes without feeling that they are the direct butt of the joke.
How does van der Merwe clean his glasses?
Ahahah ha ha ha.... Don't you get it? Well, "brill" is Afrikaans for glasses, so he thinks that it's for his glasses ... never mind, I guess that one doesn't travel.
How else do you confuse van der Merwe?
Put him in a rondavel and tell him to stand in the corner.
Hahahaha. A rondavel? That's a round hut, it doesn't have corners. Oh, never mind.
I heard my first van der Merwe joke when I was under five. They range from one-liners to dirty jokes to shaggy dog stories that can be told for as long as you have the courage to wind up your audience.
Van is talking to a Texan about their respective farms.
The Texan says "Let me tell you about my Ranch back in Texas. Why, I used to get into my truck in the morning, and drive all day, and at the end of the day I wouldn't have reached the end of my farm yet.".
"Well ya" says Van, " I used to have a bakkie like that too".
And a last, dirty one:
So Van is in a bar in London with a Frenchman and an Italian. They are boasting of their sexual prowess.
The Frenchman says "When I pleasure my mistress, I tickle her nipples with a feather, and she floats an inch above the bed in bliss".
The Italian, not to be outdone, says "When I make love to my girlfriend, I lick amaretto liqueur from her navel. She floats a foot above the bed in delight".
Van say "Ya, well, er... When I screw my wife, I wipe my dick on the curtains afterwards. Let me tell you, she hits the fuckin' roof!"