Games: Whats-Its

Tom Swifties were barely buried and done with when the elephant gags came along. And no sooner had those grey flat footsteps faded than the whatsit jokes took over, and what's black and white and red all over turned out to be no newspaper, after all, but a bleeding nun.

Other examples:

Q. What is black and yellow and squeals when you turn it over?

A. A school bus.

Q. What is black and lives in trees and is very dangerous?

A. A crow with a submachine gun.

Q. What is purple and weighs 2,000 pounds...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

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 TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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