Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wife Rule #92: It's All About the Delivery

There's something about a really, really bad joke that's just so... so...


At least if the joke originated inside the cute little mind, and the punchline is delivered by the cute little mouth, of one of your own offspring.

For example, three-year-old Andrew literally had me shaking in my chair this morning, with the following piece of brilliance:

Andrew (with a huge twinkle in his drop-dead gorgeous blue eyes): "Why did the horsie cross the road?"

Me (taking another bite of corn flakes): "I don't know. Why?"

Andrew (almost giddy to deliver the punch line): "Because the hay was goingToGetHim[and I really didn't understand any more at this point but then Andrew went] BLEEEEAAAAGHHHHH!!!" and he slumped down in his seat as his head disappeared underneath the kitchen table.

Me: "Mmmmph-chortle-gag-spew-HAHAHA!!!" as my mouthful of corn flakes sprayed the immediate area around my cereal bowl.

I mean, Jay Leno couldn't deliver that joke half as well as my adorable child. And Andrew's repertoire doesn't stop with just one joke, either. He quickly followed up with this:

Andrew (smiling broadly with his best winning smile): "Knock knock!"

Me (wisely putting down my spoon and swallowing): "Who's there?"

Andrew (with gusto): "Horse!"

Me (guessing where this might go): "Horse who?"

Andrew: "Horse walked down the road andTheHayGotHimAnd[didn't catch this part] BLEEEEAAAAGHHHHH!!!" My laughter filled the kitchen as he disappeared under the table again.

I know just what you're thinking--it never gets old! And you're right! I learned this lesson years ago, when, as a young boy, I used to get my parents rolling with laughter by concocting jokes that went something like this:

Me: "What did the refrigerator say to the lamp shade?"

My parents: "I don't know. What?"

Me: "We're exactly the same, except I keep food cold and you are on top of a lamp!"


Get it? Now imagine me telling a spontaneous stream of ten or more of these jokes back to back, acting like I'm all clever each time, and you quickly realize that there's virtually unlimited hilarity in comparing any two random objects in the universe and saying they are "exactly the same, except..." and then describing their differences. I think I entertained my family with literally hundreds of jokes like these. And there are millions more where those came from. Too bad I only see them for a few hours every couple of weeks.

So you can see where Andrew gets his joke-making genes. My other kids are quite adept at it too. I have learned that it only takes a couple of rounds of fabricated laughs before they start thinking they're so funny that the laughter becomes real.

And that, of course, sets off a circular chain reaction that results in more jokes and red faces and streaming tears and arms clutching guts as we double-over with laughter and disappear beneath the table and BLEEEEAAAAGHHHHH!!!

And all this without any real stand-up comedic talent to speak of. Which just goes to show that it's not so much about the material, as it is about the adoration you feel beaming towards the precious little person telling you the joke, the darling the stork once delivered to your doorstep to brighten your outlook and enrich your life.

It turns out that it's all about the delivery after all.


Mom said...

This is so true. We really did think you were so clever and laughed and laughed because we loved you. I still find my children (and grandchildren) hillarious.

Amy said...

I guess we should laugh more at Braeden's sense of humor. Our analytical sides come out too much, though, and Brian and I analyze his jokes and say, "Now, if you had compared the potato to a COW, THEN it would have been funny. Do you see?"

We should be more spontaneous. Thanks for the reminder :) And I had to try hard not to laugh out loud at your rendition of Andrew telling the jokes, so it's even funny in the retelling!