In the wake of the tragic events in Japan, the Obama administration has precisely defined the period of time one must wait in order to tell jokes about a natural disaster. "'Too soon' will now be exactly three months, five days from the time of said natural disaster," said Humor Czar Morty Woodger. "After that, you can make all the jokes you want. And won't making people wait just make those jokes even funnier?"
The "Too Soon Memorandum" (TSM) has been rigorously designed by a team of government humor analysts so sufficient time can pass to allow emotional and psychic healing. "Comedians, performers, and so-called 'regular' people cannot be trusted in matters of humor or comedic expression," said Senator Charles DeLongpre, one of the TSM's authors. "We are taking the guesswork out of material that could grievously damage our population's delicate sensibilities and result in locusts, hellfire, and an eternity of angry blogs."
In addition to natural disasters, The TSM also defines the delay time for telling jokes related to topics such as mass murders (five months, four days); attacks related to bullying (two months, three weeks); and acts of terrorism (six months, eleven days). In the case of the Japanese tragedy, which combines natural disasters and a man-made disaster (potential nuclear meltdown; one month, nine days), people are required to split the difference: two months, one week.
For those worried that there will be no topics of humor available for anyone to use, the TSM provides a "Provocation-Free" list that has no proscribed waiting period, which includes: doctors, lawyers, differences between black and white people, airline food, crazy girlfriends, Facebook status updates, Sarah Palin, guys who leave the toilet seat up, am I right people? "The TSM answers all questions having to do with potential comedic tastelessness," says Woodger. "Because giving offense is the absolute last thing any comedian or comic performer should want to do."