It was Rocky's first night in the penitentiary. All of the inmates were in
their cells and he was trying to become a bit more comfortable with his
meager surroundings. As he leaned against the bars at the front of his
cell, Rocky heard a voice call out "44" and the whole cell block erupted
into laughter! Another voice called "16" and again there was laughter. A
third voice called "62" which was followed by laughter throughout the block.
Rocky didn't know what was going on so he rapped on his cell wall.
"Yeah, whaddaya want?" came the gruff reply from next door.
"What's going on, here?" asked Rocky.
"Well," said the other inmate, "down in the prison library there's only one
joke book. We've all read the book so many times that we don't waste time
telling the joke, we just call out it's number."
So the next day Rocky went down to the library and, sure enough, found the
yellowed, dog-eared joke book and read it from cover to cover. That night,
wanting to be part of the group, Rocky confidently called out "44" and
everyone laughed! He tried calling "16" and "62" and again there were peals
of laughter. Then he called 57, and the halls rang with laughter.
After several minutes, one prisoner was still rolling on the floor laughing.
More minutes - still laughing. Rocky rapped on the cell wall. "Yeah,
waddaya want?" asked the other inmate.
"I don't understand it," asked Rocky, "Why is Bill still laughing?"
"Well," said the gruff inmate, "He never heard that one before!"