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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!