Here’s a joke that will light up the PC world.

An Essex woman has to call out roadside assistance because her car has stopped working. The patrolman comes along, fixes it.

‘Was it serious?’ asks Essex Woman.

‘Naah, shit in the air filter, that’s all.’

‘Oh. How often do I need to do that?’

This is wildly un-PC, but very very funny. I’m sure I’ll get complaints from the PC Thought Police, but they may want to think for a second before they reach for the keyboard. Because all jokes, every single joke ever told, is not PC.

The reason here is simple. A joke has to have a punchline, and a punchline requires a victim. Some poor sucker has to get the custard pie in the face, otherwise there’s nothing funny at all. There are two basic jokes, as I may have mentioned before. In one version, the intended victim gets splatted with the pie. In the second, an innocent bystander or the putative splatter gets it in the phizog. There are no other basic gags.

Now this joke works even if it’s a man not a woman asking the stupid question, so it’s not terribly sexist. It’s Essexist, a bit, but that’s fair game, as you will be aware if you’ve ever seen the collective of dimwits that is The Only Way Is Essex. You could substitute a Sloane Ranger for Essex Woman, and it would still be funny. A Yorkshireman. Anybody, because it’s immaterial. The joke just needs a victim.

All jokes are incorrect, but that’s why they’re funny. My favourite joke in the world features a small polar bear, and guess what? He’s the victim. Nobody would get all sniffy about that, would they? But here’s the thing. You as the listener must have a degree of empathy with the patsy. You have to be able to say, ‘That could be me,’ however remote that possibility might be. That’s why clowns aren’t funny. You don’t care about them. That’s why Mr Moffo’s Ladder was so popular. Nobody likes clowns.