Since Jackie broke her wrist, I’ve been surprised by the number of people—both acquaintances and complete strangers—who feel moved to chime in with some domestic violence humor.

Interestingly, they’re about equally divided between people who think it’s funny to imply that I beat up my wife and those who think it’s funny to imply that she injured herself hitting me.

I guess these jokes are really old. I recognize some from cartoons that were old when I was a kid, and they are no doubt much older than that. But they weren’t the jokes that I grew up with: my parents didn’t make these jokes; neither did grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, or family friends.

I guess that’s the interesting part to me. Is this a class difference? An education-level difference? An ethnic difference? Or is it more narrow and specific than that? Perhaps these jokes are passed down in families (rather than across whole communities), and this is just a matter of our own family history.

I’d be interested in comments on this one. Was domestic violence humor part of the milieu when you grew up? Do you still hear such jokes today?

(Jackie, by the way, is doing very well.)