It’s one of the most wide-spread of them all, and has been since at least 1960, and probably earlier:
Me Chinese, me play joke
me put pee pee in your coke!
Sometimes it’s sung to the tune of “This Old Man,” other times it’s just spoken.
At my kindergarten, it was done at the end of a sort of finger play, in which a kid would direct another kid to “Open the refrigerator” (two hands held up)…”take out the pop……open it….drink it…” Once the player had pantomimed drinking it, the kid would launch into the rhyme. It wasn’t exactly a taunt, since we knew what was coming. It’s sort of like when someone says “Open your mouth and close your eyes / and you will get a big surprise.” If you actually DO it, you have to be rather dumb to expect that anything pleasant is coming.
A less offensive variation of the game was to tell player 2 to “shake” the Coke. Then, when they pantomimed opening it, player 1 would shake their around in the other player’s face and says “fiiizzzzzzz! You let all the pop out!” I’m not sure that these were widespread at all; no one else seems to remember the same game (though others did remember the old “Cut the log…you’re a hog!” finger play). But “Open the Refrigerator” routines were so common before class started that we occasionally tried to top each other making up new versions that could practically turn into epic ballads.
Another variation of the “peepee” joke I knew ended with.
I’m American, I don’t know
I don’t know the pee pee joke.
One Smart Aleck Staffer heard a heard a version with an interesting response in the early 1980s in North Carolin:
Me American, me so smart
me not drink the pee pee part!
There’s no reason that these need to be racial jokes; 80% of the humor, to kids, comes from the “pee pee,” and the other 20% is the pidgin English that could be assigned to any group or character. In 1925, a very similar rhyme was shouted in the UK be kids going doorbell ditching, which may point at the origin of the lines:
Me don’t know, me can’t tell
me ring bell and run like hell.
A common variation was a joke about everyone’s dog farting except for that of a Chinese man, who said:
Me Chinese, me no dumb
me put cork in doggy’s bum
The use of “bum” probably places its origin in the U.K.
A similar joke was heard by a website commenter in Idaho in the late 1990s, in which a man on a camel arrives at his destination faster than others and says:
Me Chinese, me no dumb
me put cork in camel’s bum
he go “poot”
me go “zooom”
that how me get here so soon!
I would suggest that these are rhymes and jokes that could be tamed the same way “Eeny Meeny” was. You can keep everything funny about this joke and take out the offensive part by changing “Chinese” to “Maurice.” Maurice is an affable dumbass I just made up. Little Dirty Johnny and Johnny Deeper try to pick on him a lot, but somehow lovable, dumb Maurice manages to come out on top. He gets hurt frequently, but he gets back on his feet in no time. There’s nothing actually wrong with him, and he’s not real, so you can make fun of him all day without offending anyone.
A similar technique is used by Louis Sachar in Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes, a middle grade classic, in which a character learns to tell jokes about “Mrs. Snitzberry” instead of Polish people. No one will get offended by Mrs. Snitzberry making a submarine with a screen door. She can take the fall for blond jokes, too.
And now, so can Maurice.
Here are some jokes to get you started:
One day Maurice was walking through a field and saw a fly on a pile of poop. “Wow!” said Maurice. “How the fly poop out all that?”
How did Maurice break his arm raking leaves? He fell out of the tree!
Why did it take so long for Maurice to fall off a bridge? He had to stop halfway down to ask for directions.
How do you keep Maurice amused for hours? Give him a piece of paper with “please see other side” written on both sides.
The above is an excerpt from:
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