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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

To My Son, I Leave This Stack of Old Jokes

People say to me, Pearl? Where’d you get that sense of humor; and once you got it, what have you done to try to get rid of it?

And I tell them: I inherited it. There’s really nothing I can do.

My father, the King of Clean Jokes – the man who carried around a little wooden coin inscribed “TUIT” just to present when someone said that they would do something, just as soon as they got “a round to it” – was and is my primary influence.

The first joke he told me was on my way to kindergarten.

“Man walks into a bar,” he says to me, at five. “He sits down, he hears the man next to him tell the bartender, “I’ll have another Waterloo.” The bartender gives the fellow a tall, well-iced drink, then asks the newcomer what he would like to drink. This new guy, he’s thinking the other man’s drink must be a specialty of the house, right? So he says, “I guess I’ll have a Waterloo.” The bartender gives him the tall, well-iced drink and the customer takes a big drink. “Hey,” the new guy says, “this isn’t any good. It tastes just like water!” The man next to him looks at the bartender and says, “Well, it is water. Right, Lou?”

That Dad. What a card.

He told clean jokes when my friends came over, causing me to nip at the heels of my friends in hopes of pushing them out the door. “Hey, Pearl! Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but there’s a guy at the community pool –“

“OK. Stop.”

“Oh, no,” a friend would say, “I don’t think I’ve heard this one.”

“So this guy is at a community pool, right? And he gets kicked out by the lifeguard for peeing in it. “Hey,” says the guy, “get real. Everyone pees in the pool.” And the lifeguard says, “Yeah, but from the high dive?”

General chortles all around.

I swore, of course, that I would not do such a thing, tell jokes to my child’s friends.

But we know what a liar I am.

The Boy had some friends over the other day. They were talking about dogs. I couldn’t resist.

“Did I ever tell you guys the one about the talking dog?”

They laughed. They think I’m funny anyway but now I’ve got a joke.

“OK. So a guy walks into a bar. Tells the bartender that he’s got a talking dog and if he’ll just front him a beer, he’ll get the dog to talk. So the bartender gets him a beer, the guy downs it in one gulp, turns to the dog and says, “What’s that up there on top of the house?” and the dog says “Roof!”. Bartender says, “Oh, come on…” and the guy turns to the dog and says, “What’s the texture of sandpaper?” and the dog says “Rough!”. The bartender’s getting upset now, feels he’s been cheated out of a beer. The guy can see this and turns to the dog one more time. “Who’s the greatest baseball player that ever lived?” The dog says “Ruth!” “That’s it!” screams the bartender, and kicks the guy and his dog outside. The guy stands up, dusts himself off, the dog looks up at him and says “DiMaggio?”

And I saw the look on my son’s face: bemusement, love, perhaps a touch of resignation; and I recognized the look as the one I wear myself when my Dad tells jokes.

Turns out I’m a carrier.

Not everything we pass on to our children is in our DNA or trickled down to us in a will.

Some of it is far more serious than that.


a Broad said...

Oh God if only there were more parents handing down such gifts to their children !!

DiMaggio ? lol .. I have to go tell this one to my son and husband now.
Thank you. love you. C

Draea Lael (Rose) said...

Sometimes, the look on the face of our spawn is entertainment for us. I keep hoping my daddy's dry, Scottish humor will rub off on my kids when they go to visit so they stop looking at me like I have lost my mind. The funny thing is, my beautiful Drama Llama that has such a talent for making me smile with her voice and imagination can kill a joke faster that her brother can squish an ant on his pumpkin plant! She has the WORST timing, lol.

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

We gotta be kin, Pearl. Just sayin' :)
My Dad's favorite was
A skeleton walks into bar, but then leaves..he didn't have the guts to stay.
He also used to say random stuff like "The Partridge Family is for the birds!"

Peace ~ Rene

Simply Suthern said...

Oh my. Thats my dad. Dry, gorny jokes and one liners. The Tuit chip in his pocket.

At the dinner table when there is a newbie present, out comes the old classics. The warning moans and rolling eyes of the previously indoctrinated victims begin. He is full of himself today mom exclaims.

It is a precious gift that is to be used wisely.

A man sits down at the bar. He hears "You look nice today" He looks around and sees nobody. He looks at the bartender and the bartender says,"Oh, it's the peanuts, They're complimentary".


JennAventures said...

That joke doesn't seem to be the sort that would make you sit next to a teacher?

Always best to have a joke handy...

I too appreciate cat-wrangling...though most of the time I seem to be the one being wrangled.

cyclopseven said...

nice clean jokes. thank you for sharing.

Argent said...

I actually wish my Dad had been a teller of such jokes. I am going to spread the contagion myself.

Sarah said...

He should be proud of you. There are a lot of things a parent can pass down that are not so amusing, or are just down right embarrassing.

MJenks said...

Does that DiMaggio joke still play?

Or do the kids look at each other and ask "Woah. Why's your mom talking about the guy from that Mrs. Robinson song?"

Anonymous said...

Pearly Girly...
Somewhere right now scientists are trying to invent the synthetic pill form of your family's 'Funny Bone' DNA. I'm sure of it.


Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

hehhehe!! You're lucky YOUR dad tells clean jokes. Mine has the mind of a seven year old boy and assumes that all my friends love dirty guy jokes!! SO! You can imagine the look on MY face when that happens!!!!!!!!!!!!

KleinsteMotte said...

Funny! I just read DiMaggio (John) was a voice actor.I myself was imagining a whiney sound a dog makes when he/she wants something.
This art of telling jokes is great and should be passed on. Thanks for this.

mapstew said...

Irishman, Englishman and Scotsman walk into a bar, barman says "What's this, some sort of joke?" :¬)


DrGoat said...

Cherish that stuff. It's what memories are made of.

Fred Miller said...

You call your son "the boy", too? I do that, but it's Tessa's son, since I don't have kids. But he's my boy. I can't repeat his jokes on your thread, though.

Anonymous said...

I love the DiMaggio joke. What a fun childhood you must have had.

OK, stop me if you've heard this. It was actually told by a Catholic priest.

Very homely woman walks into a bar holding a goose under her arm. Sits down beside a drunk. Drunk tries to focus and then slurringly asks: "Hey, where'd you get that pig?" Woman huffily responds, "Young man, I'll have you know it's a goose!" Drunk says: "I was talking to the goose!"

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I was substituting in a grade 5 class and there was two periods left at the end of the day and the kids were working on this art project and they asked me to tall them a good joke. Thinking up one quick (like the Grinch) I told the only clean one I could think of:

"Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?"

"Because it was dead."

It became like a comedy festival in there. I swear at least ten kids peed their pants because they couldn't stop the laughter.

dogimo said...

The impression I get of your dad is that he waited and waited on pins and needles until you got to be "of an age" to appreciate fine humor, and then finally started springing these on you in grade K. That's class and restraint!

So...did you know the fastest animal in the world is really the antelope? Yeah, he only lost the race because the other guy was a cheetah.

I made that joke up myself, I swear. I also tell it with "gazelle" but really...it should be antelope.

Cheeseboy said...

That high dive ditty has me rolling. Seriously, tears of lameassjokedness are pouring out of my eyes.

At least he didn't tell horrendously dirty jokes to your friend. Ah, dad.

Tempo said...

..and just as you remember those things fondly, so will your son...eventually. :-)
Keep telling them Pearl.

Barbara Blundell said...

My Dad didn't do jokes. Looking at me must have put him off so I have had to found a new family tradition I specialize in agist jokes as they have the ring of truth about them

Two men were talking.
Man one: We went to a new restaurant last night and had a great meal
Man two: What was it called ?
Man one: Oh dear my memory ! What do you call that flower. It's usually red and has thorns ?
Man two: Do you mean a rose. ?"
Man one: Yes that's it ! ( Calling to his wife ), "Rose what's the name of that restaurant we went to last night ?

Silliyak said...

I'm hooked, you're bookmarked! I love quick off the cuff jokes. The other day in yoga class we were doing chair pose, and the instructor (who should know better by now) mentioned that it was also called the intense pose, "Can anyone guess why?" I said because that's how they used to have to sit in tents.

Charlie said...

Great, Pearl, just plain great.