I am not trying to be funny (other than the fact that the joke is, in and of itself, funny). I'm asking someone to parse this for me. Seems to me it should be something like, "You can't put a flower in an ahole and say it's in a vase." Or, "You can't put a flower in an ahole and call the a**hole a vase." Isn't "flower" the object of the sentence and therefore what the pronoun "it" stands for?
You can't put a flower in an a***hole and say it's in a vase
You can't put a flower in an a***hole and call the a***hole a vase
would both also be valid paraphrasings of the same sentence, but the original works too. Although grammatically the "it" could refer to either the flower or the a***hole in
You can't put a flower in an a***hole and call it a vase,
context and semantics are enough to distinguish between the two possibilities. I can't see any reason why we would call a flower a vase because it's in an a***hole, but calling the a***hole a vase because it contains a flower would make more sense. That reasoning tells us what the "it" must refer to.
Nice saying, btw :-)