MANNERS & MORALS: Bloody Mary, Anyone?

On ollege campuses and grade-school playgrounds in all parts of the U.S. last week, youngsters — and many of their elders — were laughing at a new kind of joke that had spread across the nation with appalling thoroughness. Called variously sick stories, gruesome jokes or Bloody Marys, these gags get their laughs by making fun of decapitations, amputation, disease, death — in short, every variety of horror-provoking subject dealing with physical disability. The jokes range from the mild to the bloodthirsty. Samples :

Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

Mother, can I have a new...

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