I remember a long time ago I was talking with Darrell Kitchen (the guy who posted half the stickies on this board, he's a Sangha monk now) about joking, and I'm not sure that my question was ever answered completely, so I want to start a little think-tank thread about it. Certainly in many (if not all) strains and hybrids of Buddhism, there is the idea of wholesome actions and unwholesome actions -- and also skilled and unskilled. Wholesome actions produce positive karma, and unwholesome negative. So let's say you and a friend are messing around and laughing, and just in jest, you call him some arbitrary, normally hurtful name. But, he's okay with it, he knows you're just joking around, so in jest he calls you one back. Nobody is offended. Is that jest wholesome or not? What if, for example, somebody takes what you say seriously even if it was meant in jest -- or even if someone overhears you saying something jokingly about them, and they take it seriously. Could that jest still be considered wholesome? What determines when something is wholesome? Its intention? Its result? Is something wholesome sometimes, and unwholesome other times? Your thoughts?