Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Who Says I Have No Sense of Humor?

Monks or Jedis, Take Your PickToday I was informed by an eight year-old boy that I have no sense of humor.

"Mom, you don't think ANYTHING is funny!" he griped.

Of course my boys think they're a regular Comedy Central team around here as they try their best to outdo each other with the best joke. Let me see if I can accurately recreate the one David subjected us to on the way to school this morning. Ten minutes to tell from start to finish, including the frequent complaints and interruptions. Come on, there have been wars that took less time than it took him to tell this stupid joke. And I use the word "joke" very loosely.

I may be able to lay down the storyline (though I've shortened it a bit) but nothing--I repeat NOTHING--can recreate the pain of driving in the car as a captive audience and being forced to listen to this:

There was a boy who was five and he was riding his bike down a road and suddenly he had an accident and fell off his bike and hurt himself. Suddenly a family of monks came out and took him down their hole [there was a slight pause in the telling as we informed David that monks aren't weasels--living in holes and definitely not traveling in family groups] and they took care of him and made him all better and while he was getting better he heard some music [evidently their hole is wired for sound] and he asked, "What is that?" and the monks said, "I can't tell you, you're not a monk."

So five years pass and that same boy is now eight and he's riding his bike down another street and suddenly he has another accident and while he's laying on the ground hurt some monks come out and pick him up and take him to their home and take care of him. While he's feeling better he hears something and he asks, "What is that?" and the monks say, "I can't tell you, you're not a monk."

Ten years pass and the boy is now 18 and he's riding his bike down another street and suddenly he has another accident and while he's laying on the ground hurt some monks come out and pick him up and take him to their home and take care of him. While he's feeling better he hears something and he asks, "What is that?" and the monks say, "I can't tell you, you're not a monk."

Well five more years go by and he decides that he wants to be a monk [I can't believe you're still reading this] so he goes to the monks and tells them he wants to join them. He trains for years and years and years and finally they take him into a room where there is a gold door and they tell him he has to find the key to the door. He looks and looks and when he finds it and opens the door there is a silver door and the monks tell him he has to find the key. So he looks and looks and looks and when he finally finds it and opens it there is a bronze door and the monks tell him he has to find the key. He looks and looks and looks and when he finally finds it and opens it he hears this sound. He asks the monks what that sound is and they tell him.
"So what was it?" I ask, sensing what was coming.

"I can't tell you, you're not a monk."

I didn't even crack a smile but he thought it was hysterical and when he noticed that I wasn't laughing he accused me of having no sense of humor. Me. How unfair is that? I mean I'm full of funny, I invented funny. Considering that listening to David's joke was more painful than getting a simultaneous waxing and root canal while standing in line at the DMV I thought his comment to be extremely unjust.

Just to prove to you that I do recognize funny when I hear it here are four things recently overhead in the Mitton house this past week, all worthy of blog posts and proving that anyone who makes it through motherhood with their sanity intact ought to get a prize. Like a lifetime supply of Coldstone ice cream. Yes, that would do nicely.

1. "Who trained Yoda?"

This metaphysical Jedi mind-bender is brought to you courtesy of David and Spencer--the resident Jedis who don't understand English well enough to grasp the concept of "pick up your room" but can grapple with Force-defying conundrums like this. Rather along the lines of "Did Adam have a belly button?" they took up this debate du jour and argued over it with the kind of stamina it takes to avoid eating your vegetables at dinner until they brought it to me to mediate.

"Mom--what do you think? Did Yoda have a trainer? Mom?"

Of course they asked me this while I was simultaneously rolling out a pizza crust, emptying the dishwasher, bathing a child and talking on the phone to a stupid telemarketer who only understood the word "no" when accompanied by explicatives.

"Mom? . . . Mom? . . . Mom?. . . Mom? . . . Mom? . . . " they repeated at two-second intervals like Chinese Water Torture until I was ready to put my hand over the receiver and let them know what I thought of their little green Jedi.

"Did Yoda have a trainer?" Now, that's funny.

2. "Mom, if I got cut in half would I still be alive?"

I was reading on the couch while David and Spencer were recreating a Star Wars battle scene on our back deck for the benefit of any and all neighbors within the sound of their light sabers when I was interrupted by the sound of the patio door opening.

David stuck his head in and asked this probing and poignant question "Mom, if I got cut in half would I still be alive?" to which my ready answer was (without even looking up), "Only if your parents were worms."

You see, when you're a mom you're trained to make critical, split-second decisions like that.

I heard a cheer from Spencer while David sighed and shut the door. Evidently he'd been really counting on the ability to regenerate both halves of his severed body into two mighty warriors strong enough to beat his older brother for once. Good luck kid.

3. "How old was I when I was a baby?"

No answer at all for that. Nothing. Lillian's on her own with this one.

4. "I wish I had a python for a pet and that he would squeeze me but not too hard. That way I could wear him around all day on my neck and not get hurt and everyone would think I was really cool. If I had a python as a pet would you let me wear him to school?"

I learned long ago that you just say "yes" and let it go. Don't bring up the issues of reptilian neck accessories not being allowed by the school district or how hard it would be to use a school restroom with a snake wrapped around your neck or that it would disqualify one from helping out in the lunchroom, don't even bother. You just say "yes" because it'll never happen so give yourself a break by closing the conversation--with "yes" there's no where else for this little scenario to go.

It works with all sorts of things. "Mom if I got a letter saying I'd got into Hogwarts, would you buy me my own owl?"

"Sure, we'd get you anything you want."

"Mom, if I was able to breathe underwater would you build me a swimming pool in our back yard?"

"Of course, how else would you be happy?"

"What if I had been born with two heads could I get my own room then?"

"Sure, and if you ever start to grow a second head be sure and let me know so we can make plans."

Don't try to reason, make your life easy by saying "Yes."

If only teaching kids how to tell a joke that is actually funny were as easy. Anyone have one for them? They're getting low on material.


Congratulations to Felicia from New York City who has won the Jewelry by Jessica Olive Branch pendant. I'm rather jealous--I'd like one for myself.

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Anonymous said...

LOL!! Oh the joys of motherhood!

Erica Douglas said...

Perhaps I have a warped sense of humour, but I actually laughed at the monk joke ;)


Robin said...

Thank heavens for Erica, for admitting it first. I giggled at the monk joke too.

My son went through a phase at about age 5 where he would tell the same joke overandoverandoverandoverandover again. It stopped being even remotely funny after the 367th retelling... Oh, and he translated it from Hebrew, too, so the grammar was all wacky. Just to keep life interesting and baffle all English speakers unfortunate enough to be told The Joke.

Heffalump said...

I think you should laugh at his jokes just to make sure he doesn't put you in a nursing home when you are old. It can't hurt to get brownie points with them while they are young.

illahee said...

i am totally following your advice from no. 4. i can see how useful that's going to be!

Kathy in WA said...

Oh my goodness! This whole post had me laughing (including the joke). I am constantly drawn into those "What if questions..." They are terrible. I am going to steal your trick and just say yes to everything from now on. Sounds easier.

"Mom, if I jump out of the car while it's moving will I live?

"Mom, if we had a bigger house could I have my own room and keep two dogs and parrot in my room?"

And on and on. Thanks for the laugh today.

Duckabush Blog

Heather said...

They can call my son and they can trade. He's full of (minimum) 10 minute clunkers. I'm running out of witty responses for them that make it sound like I've actually paid attention to the whole joke and got the punchline.
I remember when my niece was about 7 we had to buy her a knock, knock joke book because hers were so bad and agonizingly un-funny. Must be genetic. :o)
Incidentally, I think you're a riot!

wayabetty said...

THAT was funny about the monk joke! I might have to use that one. Thanks to your son!

Geekwif said...

That monk joke wasn't too bad. Just needs a little refinement, that's all. I actually got a chuckle out of it. I could see how after 10 minutes of joke telling it might have been a little more difficult though.

Lisa said...

I love your kiddos! The python one made me laugh out loud.

And the part where you wrote, "Mom? . . . Mom? . . . Mom?. . . Mom? . . . Mom? . . . " they repeated at two-second intervals like Chinese Water Torture".... If I could sum up my existence as a mom to a 5-year-old, that is exactly the phrase I'd use... heehee. AWESOME.

charlotta-love said...

I can't tell you...you aren't a monk! ahhhhahaha....

So this guy decides to enter a Pun Contest. He takes 10 of his best play-on-word jokes and submits them. With ten entries, for sure he would get at least one winner. You know how many won?

(don't hate me...I didn't make this up)

(wait for it)

(you ready?)


Lisa said...

Thank you for the laughs. I admit, I did smile at the monk punch line (though I skimmed four paragraphs...).

We are learning humor here. I am a little to worry that I have so many more years to go.

Our current jokes either end with "Because there's poop on the road" or "because the chicken ________ (fill in with fell down, crossed the road, whatever the joke is about)". Two seconds later, there is the requisite "Is that a funny joke Mom?" My answer? Yes, honey.

Oh, and the Chinese water torture? What is up with that??? AGGGGHHHH. Give me a chance to say something.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

The Monk joke is an act of genius when compared to the jokes I live with. "What do you get when you cross an eye ball and some ketchup??? A smashed eye ball on your face! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" I figured we struck gold when my son discovered backward jokes. They actually use the brain, and that I can appreciate enough to muster a laugh for them.

Backward jokes follow this formula:
"Mom, what goes Moorv, moorv? A car driving backwards."

May favorite is What goes (Suck in through your teeth noise)? A snake hissing backwards.

pussreboots said...

I get similar questions from my 5 year old (although he doesn't know about Star Wars yet).

Here's how I would have answered:

Yoda's teacher, Which half?, Zero, Can I have the python after he eats you?

Lisa said...

I laughed, too! Maybe because I thought it would end like, "there was a radio on the floor blasting music." I would have built up their self esteem by laughing at Monks coming out of a hole. I laugh at my kids regularly--for their mistakes. I'm a mean mom.

Carinne said...

Well, I feel in good company. We were subjected to the VERY SAME joke by our little 9 year old - with the very same never ending story. In FACT, we've heard nothing but "jokes" since he got home this weekend. He usually starts out "You want to hear this great joke that David made up?" "NO!" So, your child is tormenting families all over Anchorage by proxy.

Mama's Moon said...

I've gotten many a headache listening, waiting (on edge) for the end of something my four-year old had been trying (forfive excruciating minutes) to get out. Fortunately he doesn't really notice me wincing from the pain - at least he's never said anything about it - but, Heaven forbid when he starts realizing that he can tell a joke! Yours in likewise pain...

mayberry said...

No, no I do not have one for them because the ones I've been hearing lately go like this: "Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Poopy diaper." "Poopy diaper who?" "Poopy diaper pickle. HAHAHAHA!"

Thea said...

O.K. I laughed. But I'm not the only one so I don't fell bad.

And did you misquote The Joke or does he not realize that if the first accident was when he was 5, then 5 years later he would be 10 and not 8?

I have a tendency to read too deeply into things.

Jeana said...

That monk joke reminds me of one I heard about a purple gorilla...

K T Cat said...

I laughed out loud at the joke. I'm going to tell it at dinner tonight.

Almost Vegetarian said...

I adore your kids. Really. Okay, partly because they are there and not here, but long-distance, they are hysterical.

And, oh dear, I laughed at the monk anecdote.


Babystepper said...

Someday your boys will go back and read their mommies old blog posts and realize that you are pretty dang funny.

We're not to the joke telling stage yet. I still get things like, "Mommy, say boogely-boogely!" I say it, and they laugh like the little crazed monkeys they are.

I remember asking my mom if a human being could actually live in a whales stomach after they'd been swallowed. It still annoys me that she kept saying, "It won't ever happen" instead of telling me the details of the effects of digestive fluids on skin. Or a simple "yes".

Anonymous said...

This is very funny! I had one of those oh so painful "jokes" in the car this morning on the way to school, so I can sympathize!

Elizabeth said...

Does David read "Redwall"? That would explain thee rodent/monk connection.

Leslie said...

I laughed at the monk joke. Although I laughed harder at the idea of monks living in holes than I did at the punchline, still. I laughed.

Julia's jokes lately are of the knock-knock or why-did-the-something-or-other-cross-the-road variety. They're getting better, though.