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Is there an experience in a human being's lifetime quite like pulling a Christmas cracker?

The suspense, the anticipation, the build-up, the adrenaline coursing through our bodies while our hearts pound in our chests... followed by the crushing disappointment and humiliation as we sit on a dining chair that doesn't match the table, with a ruler, or bottle opener, or dice; a symbol of our misery.

But then, fluttering in the air just inches in front of our face, we see it; a white slip of paper, a lifeline, to save us from our abstract mediocrity.

A joke, or a limerick of some kind, sometimes Christmas themed and sometimes not, something to kick-start our hearts once more and get the blood pumping through our veins and flushing into our cheeks.

Something to make us feel again.

Yes, the Christmas cracker joke has been a festive tradition in practically every household in the country for generations, and we wager it'll continue to be until the very end of time.

They can be a bit naff though, the jokes, can't they? So we've scoured the earth to round up 12 of the smartest, most high-brow jokes we could find.

The kind of jokes that you'd likely find in Neil deGrasse Tyson or Noam Chomsky's crackers.

OK, so the Christmas link is a little tenuous - or not even there - for some of them. But they're still cracker-esque.

Whatever, go drink some sherry.

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