Posted by: laughs4dads | November 3, 2010

LOL (Not!)

“Knock knock.”

“Who’s there.”

“A really stupid kid’s joke that makes no sense.”

“A really stupid kid’s joke that makes no sense who?”

“A really stupid kid’s joke that makes no sense but you’re going to have to pretend it does and laugh anyway. Get it?”

Thus is the nature of children’s humor, a genre of stand-up that combines the prop comedy of Gallagher with the kind of wry observations about the human condition that one might associate with a Jerry Seinfeld…if Jerry Seinfeld was three feet tall and had snot coming out of his nose.

For parents (or any adult in the vicinity of one of these joke-spewing terrors), it’s a Catch-22. Don’t laugh, and the kid makes that little kid pouty face that tells you what a horrible, horrible person you are. Laugh, and he’ll tell you another joke. Or ten.

“What are prehistoric animals called when they’re sleeping?” “I don’t know. What?” “Dinosnores. Get it?”

I don’t remember Casey ever telling jokes like this. It seems like she’s always had a pretty sophisticated sense of humor. Well, maybe “sophisticated” isn’t the right word. What she has is my sense of humor.

Often when we’re together, somebody (usually my wife, Barbara) will unintentionally throw a straight line up for grabs, and Casey and I will both pounce on it as if it was a fumbled football. I have sometimes choked on some food I was chewing in an attempt to get a line out before Casey. Every once in awhile, the two of us will be in total harmony with exactly the same response. I tell you, it’s magical.

“Doctor, doctor, I feel like a deck of cards. We’ll deal with you later. Get it?”

We actually remember Casey’s first joke. She was five, and we were playing some sort of Disney trivia game, and the question was “What was Pinocchio’s father’s name?” “Petto,” Casey replied. I corrected her: “That’s Ge-petto.” And she got this sort of twinkle in her eye and said, with a smile on her face, “Oh, I didn’t know his first name.”

“What goes ‘ha ha plop’?” “I don’t know. What?” “Someone laughing their head off. Get it?”

And so it goes, the grosser, the better. About the best a parent can hope for is that his kid doesn’t embarrass him in front of some other adult by spouting some sexual joke that some other kid told your kid was funny, but that your kid doesn’t even understand, and, in any case, is completely inappropriate coming from the mouth of a six-year-old, and certainly reflects badly on you. But the other adult will feel obligated to laugh which, of course, only encourages your kid, so there will be more jokes about genitalia and you wonder if you can break away and get yourself a stiff drink.

My advice? Get it.



  1. I think she was younger. NO?

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