Got this one off a Batman Forever cassette tape, but the choice to repeat it is all mine: I shoulder the blame.
Why can't you know how many people can fit on the floor of an opera house?
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WARNING: PUN INCOMING!
You can never truly 'know how many people can fit on the floor of an opera house' because:
Its ARIA changes regularly!
(Or something equivalent, like: 'every day it has a different aria' or 'it has so many different arias'... It's the word 'aria' that's important here.)
And because it always makes it funnier when you explain a joke:
This relies on the similarity between the words 'aria' (an accompanied, elaborate melody sung (as in an opera) by a single voice) and 'area'. An opera might contain many different arias, and an opera house may host many different operas...
This also fits with the title, since:
Is it that
manymodifies the word people so the question is actually asking: Why can't you know how (many people) can fit on the floor of an opera house?
The answer could be:
We don't know how (many people) could fit on the floor of an opera house? They could fit in all kinds of way, standing next to one another, standing on top of one another...
Q: How many brides walk down the aisle in February?
A: None - brides walk down the nave.
The aisles are at the sides of the pews, the nave is in the middle.
Q: How many ropes were on Nelson's ship, HMS Victory?
A: Exactly four. Only four things on a ship are "ropes" in correct terminology. All the rest are "Sheets"
Is the answer some similar word trick? Maybe opera houses don't have a "floor" because it's correctly called some other term?