"I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long."
That's a Mitch Hedburg joke, and an example of paraprosdokian, "a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part." It's usually done for comic effect, but not always and not in the example that got me reading about paraprosdokian, "He ain't heavy, he's my brother."
"He Ain't Heavy... He's My Brother," is the title of a song, which you probably know from the Hollies' 1969 recording. (The phrase itself seems to go back much further, perhaps to 1884.) I looked up "He Ain't Heavy... He's My Brother" because I couldn't remember who recorded it. (I was thinking The Moody Blues, for some reason.) And the subject came up because, over at the Isthmus forum, they're talking about what's happened to the notorious Wisconsin protester Segway Jeremy. There were reports that he was on his deathbed, and then some confusing contradictions, and somebody linked to this inane montage — "nice tribute" — which uses "He Ain't Heavy... He's My Brother" as the audio track.
It's mostly lefties over there in The Forum, though Meade likes to prod them with questions and jokes (which they either don't get or pretend not to get). Meade is skeptical of the beatification of Jeremy.
Trying to figure out what Moody Blues song I had confused with "He Ain't Heavy... He's My Brother," Meade came up with "Legend of a Mind" — which most people probably think is titled "Timothy Leary's Dead," that being the familiar lyric. Timothy Leary was not dead at the time, but there seems to be some LSD-influenced connection between getting high and being dead, as noted in this morning's post about The Beatles' "She Said She Said."
And now Meade's done a "Legend of a Mind" parody about the mystery of Segway Jeremy.