Eugene Fink's collection of quotes: How many ... does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Eugene Fink

Here are some answers.

Dull people: One.

Existentialists: Two. One to screw it in and one to observe how the light bulb itself symbolizes a single incandescent beacon of subjective reality in a nether world of endless absurdity reaching out toward a maudlin cosmos of nothingness.

Surrealists: Two. One to hold the giraffe and the other to fill the bathtub with brightly colored machine tools.

Economists (1): Two. One to assume the ladder and one to screw in the bulb.

Economists (2): None. If the government would just leave it alone, it would screw itself in.

New Classical economists: They do not want to try. It would only lead to an increase in prices.

Efficient-market economists: They will not do it; if it were profitable, it would already have been screwed in.

IMF economists: After the structural readjustment, the residents of the country are encouraged to screw in for themselves, if they can still afford light bulbs.

Marxists: None. The bulb contains seeds of its own revolution.

Electricians: Ten. One to give the bulb to the screw-inner. One to screw in the bulb. One to hold him on the stepledder. Four to hold the stepladder steady. One to flick the switch to test the bulb. One to make sure that the other bulbs in the room will need fixing. One to supervise.

Journalists: Three. One to report it as an inspired government program to bring light to the people, one to report it as a diabolical government plot to deprive the poor of darkness, and one to win a pulitzer prize for reporting that Electric Company hired a light bulb assassin to break the bulb in the first place.

Psychiatrists (1): One, but the bulb has to really want to change.

Psychiatrists (2): None. The bulb will change itself when it is ready.

Physicians: Three. One to find a bulb specialist, one to find a bulb installation specialist, and one to bill it to Medicare.

Brewers: One third less than for a regular bulb.

Mystery writers: Two. One to screw it almost all the way in and one to give it a surprising twist in the end.

Actors: One. They do not like to share the spotlight.

Cops: None. It turned itself in.

Thought police: None. There never was any bulb.

Federal employees: Sorry, that item has been cut from the budget.

Civil servants: Forty-five. One to screw in the bulb and forty-four to do the paperwork.

Bureaucrats: Two. One to assure that everything possible is being done while the other screws the bulb into a water faucet.

Aides: None. They like to keep the president in the dark.

Lawyers: How many can you afford?

Accountants: What kind of answer did you have in mind?

Football players: The entire team, and they all get a semester's credit for it.

Musicians: Twenty. One to hold the bulb, two to turn the ladder, and seventeen in on the guest list.

Jugglers: One, but it takes at least three bulbs.

Folk singers: Two. One to change the bulb and one to write a song about how good the old bulb was.

Sorority sisters: Fifty-one. One to change the bulb and fifty to sing about it being changed.

Managers: Two. One to get a bulb and one to get the phone number to call one of their subordinates to change the bulb.

Board meetings: This topic was resumed from last week's discussion, but is incomplete pending resolution of some action items.

Consultants: I will have an estimate for you a week from Monday.

Referral agents: Two. One to screw you out of a fee and one to send you to a store where they ran out of bulbs weeks ago.

Stock brokers: Two. One to take out the bulb and drop it and one to sell it before it crashes.

Nuclear engineers: Two. One to screw in the bulb and one to figure out what to do with the old one for the next 10,000 years.

Computer scientists: None. "It is a hardware problem."

Hardware engineers: None. "We'll fix it in software."

Software engineers (1): None. "We'll document it in the manual."

Software engineers (2): One, but after he screws in the bulb, the building may fall down.

Software engineers (3): Two. One leaves in the middle of the project.

Tech writers (1): None. "The user can work it out."

Tech writers (2): One. To document the dead bulb as a feature.

IBM types (1): 100. Ten to do it, and 90 to write document number GC7500439-0001, Multitasking Incandescent Source System Facility, of which 10% of the pages state only "This page intentionally left blank", and 20% of the definitions are of the form "A ...... consists of sequences of non-blank characters separated by blanks".

IBM types (2): One, provided there is an engineer around to explain how to do it.

Database programmers: Three. One to write the bulb removal program, one to write the bulb insertion program, and one to act as a bulb administrator to make sure nobody else tries to change the bulb at the same time.

Bell Labs vice presidents: That's proprietary information.

Mathematicians (1): One. He gives it to six Californians, thereby reducing the problem to the earlier joke.

Mathematicians (2): N.

Mathematicians (3): It is left to the reader as an exercise.

Harvard students: One. He holds the bulb and the universe revolves around him.

Graduate students: One, but it may take up to eight years.

Professors: One, and he will get three publications out of it.

Pre-med students: Five. One to screw in the bulb and four to pull the ladder out from under him.

Net.jokers: 1,025. One to tell the original joke and the rest to give some variation of it.

Republicans: Four hundred and sixty-two. Twelve to investigate Clinton's involvement in the failure of the old bulb, twenty-three to deregulate the light-bulb industry, sixteen to cut funding for alternative lighting R&D, thirty-four to cut the tax rate on light bulbs, fifty-three to design a block grant so the states can change the bulb, forty-one to talk with defense contractors about night-vision gear instead, and two hundred and eighty-three to pass a law making it illegal to discuss naked bulbs (or screwing anything) on the internet.

Communists: Two. One to screw in the bulb and one to hand out leaflets.

Anarchists: All of them.

Pro-lifers: Six. Two to screw in the bulb and four to testify that it was lit from the moment they began screwing.

Californians: Four. One to screw in the bulb, one for support, and two to share the experience.

Oregonians (1): Three. One to screw in the bulb and two to fend off all those Californians trying to share the experience.

Oregonians (2): Nine. One to screw in the bulb and eight to protest the nuclear power plant that generates the electricity to power it.

New Yorkers (1): None "o yo" business.

New Yorkers (2): Fifty; it is in the contract.

Heterosexual males in San Francisco: Both of them.

<ethnics>: Ten. One to hold the bulb and nine to rotate the ladder.

Strong <ethnics>: Twenty. One to hold the bulb and nineteen to rotate the house.

US Marines: Fifty. One to screw in the bulb and forty-nine to guard him.

Russian Policemen: Nine. One stands on a chair with the bulb, four rotate the chair, and four walk around with the chair's speed so that the one on the chair does not get dizzy.

Russian leaders: Unknown. Russian leaders do not last as long a light bulb.

Chinese Red Guards: 100,000. To give the bulb a cultural revolution.

Polacks: One, but you need six thousand Russian troops in case he goes on strike.

Real men: None. Real men are not afraid of the dark.

Real women: None. A real woman would have plenty of real men around to do it.

Zen Masters (1): None. The Universe spins the bulb and the Zen master stays out of the way.

Zen Masters (2): Two. One to change it and one not to change it.

Zen Masters (3): A tree in a golden forest.

Pygmies: At least three.

Martians: One and a half.

Gorillas: One, but it will surely take a lot of bulbs.

Light bulbs: One, if it knows its own Goedel number.

Carl Sagans: Billions and billions.

Other related jokes

Q: How many IBM cpu's does it take to do a logical right shift?
A: Thirty-three. One to hold the bits and thirty-two to push the register.

Q: What is the difference between a pregnant woman and a light bulb?
A: You can unscrew a light bulb.

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