Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why Can't I Get Laughs Like That?

For so long we've been eating at various points in the kitchen because the table was buried under construction rubble that we thought we'd really go fancy Sunday night, dig out the table and actually eat together as a family rather than as a herd of grazing cattle. Something about being there all together again made everyone a little goofy and we were enjoying the time enough that I said, "Okay, I've got the funniest joke in the world--who wants to hear it?"

"Me! Me! Me!"

"Okay, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson went on a camping trip. They pitched their tent and went to bed but in the middle of the night Holmes wakes up and, turning to Watson, says, 'Watson, look up and tell me what you see?'

"'Well,' said Watson, "I can see stars. Beautiful stars.'

"'And what do you think this means?' Holmes asks.

"'Well I think it means that there is an organization to the universe, that the stars and planets are governed by principles we've only begun to understand, that there is order amid the seeming chaos.'

"'Watson,' says Holmes. 'You idiot. Someone has stolen our tent!'"

At this point I cracked up, laughing at my own joke which I never get tired of hearing but around the table were polite chuckles. The younger kids didn't get it. Andrew got it but had heard it before. Grace got it but didn't think it was that funny. I ask: What is wrong with these people??

But after my demonstration of comedic failure Lillian decided that it was her opportunity for stardom so she raised her hand (she's learned that much in school) and said, "I've got one! I've got one!"

"Okay, tell us your joke Lily."

"What does a cow say when he's all out of milk?"

"I don't know Lillian, what does a cow say when he's out of milk?"

"GIVE ME SOME MILK!"

At which point the whole table busted up laughing. I'm not sure why--it surely wasn't the timing or the word art but boy it was funny, especially as a bitter irony against my pathetic attempt at humor.

So then it was David's turn. He insisted that he had a terrific joke that he'd made up all by himself so we politely said, "Okay, let's hear it."

"What do you call the wife of a lawyer?"

"Uh--I don't know. What do you call her?"

"SUE!"

We were so floored, so entirely whupped by the unexpected funny of the moment that we laughed and laughed for half a minute before drying our eyes and asking, "No, really David did you really make that up?"

"Yea, all by myself."

"Oh come one, you really made that one up?"

"Sure I did!"

"Are you SURE you didn't hear it somewhere else and maybe are just repeating it for us?"

"No!" He started to get a little irritated. "I made it up. You want to hear another one?"

"Okay . . . "

He thought for a minute, staring off into space a bit then said, "What do you call the wife of a jewelryist?"

"Do you mean jeweler?"

"Yea, a jeweler. What do you call HIS wife?"

"I don't know."

"Ruby!"

Which made us all snicker again. Not as good as the first but still not bad for a nine year-old stand up.

What does this mean that a six year-old and a nine year-old with made up jokes can get a bigger laugh than I can? I tell you what it means. It means I was obviously born to be the straight man in this operation. That is so unfair. She who cooks and washes underwear deserves to get the biggest laughs at the dinner table, it's in the Mom Code somewhere.

Whether or not you think my Sherlock Holmes joke is funny THIS cracked me up.



There are other great videos at College Humor--like The Matrix Runs on Windows which is also a hoot. Oh how I love my Mac . . .

***

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Technorati tags: motherhood, parenting

24 comments:

Robin said...

Maybe you just need a new, more 'sophisticated
' (don't dare say "older") audience - I thought it was hysterical.

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

I'd love to see both our littlest ones at the dinner table, together. Or, at least, us, trying to get our food down without choking ;o)

Edi said...

Sometimes they are just too clever aren't they?

I've also done the quizzing as to "are you sure you didn't hear that before?" Hard to imagine these kids of ours are so smart...well with the parents they have - no surprise :)

mamadaisy said...

Here's the big joke at our house these days:

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
POOPY!

heh heh... these cultured boys of mine. it's even funnier on the
17th repetition!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I happen to like the Holmes/Watson joke, myself.

And I know a great knock, knock joke about an interrupting cow - but it's not funny unless you hear it out loud.

Steph at the Red Clay Diaries said...

I'm the straight man in our house too. I think it has something to do with my total inability to remember a joke.

Although my physical humor occasionally gets a laugh. And the dogs love me. I make 'em roll on the floor.

I thought the video was awesome. Must explore that site. :)

Sheri said...

I'm surrounded by men, 2 sons and my husband, and they never laugh at my jokes. But one of them can say the dorkiest thing, and they're rolling on the floor. I don't get it, but it's a fact of life at our house.

Let's just say that we have a more refined sense of humor maybe?

ames said...

Hah! Yea, Watson was always kind of dim, wasn't he? And he was supposed to be a doctor!

Gwendolyn said...

I like your dinner table jokes much better than ours. Owen always gets started with knock-knock jokes, and they never make the least bit of sense. This is his latest:
Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Banana!
Banana who?
A banana that sat on an orange and squished it and then said it was sorry and took it out to dinner and then had a nap!

Four-year-olds should be banned from joke telling.

ewe are here said...

They get bigger laughs because (a) we love them so we laugh more for them, and (b) because obviously our jokes are sooo much funnier, only mature people get them.

Yeah, right...

I have the same problem I'm afraid.

Annette Lyon said...

Holy cow, that Batman/Superman video is hysterical!

Janet said...

That's one of my favorite jokes. The problem is you're the MOM - you're not supposed to be funny to your kids (unless of course, it's at your expense). David is very clever!
I await with fear and trembling the day my two discover knock knock jokes.

watch Prison Break Episode said...

when i crack most of the jokes with family or friends they all laugh..my friends say me that I have a timing..i crack jokes always at proper timing which makes it more funny..

Lei said...

Lol, it is all about the silly with kiddos around.

Amber said...

If it makes you feel any better, yours was the funniest.

But what do I know about humor? :-)

a Tonggu Momma said...

I laughed at your joke. Then again, my name is Sue. And my husband is a lawyer.

(Not really.)

And at least you remember the punch line. My sister can't tell a joke to save her life. She always forgets the punch line.

Jennifer said...

Now I'm laughing! Kids and jokes are really the best. You get a glimpse inside their mind.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

For what it's worth, your joke cracked me up. My kind of humor, I guess.

And your son definitely has a future in stand-up. :)

Lis Garrett said...

I laughed out loud at your joke, Michelle. It WAS funny! But I have to tell you, David is BRILLIANT!

Mirien said...

Loved all the jokes, even yours. And I love those random times when the family laughs together. You can't plan them and they often happen when I least expect it, but how I treasure those times!

Jo said...

Wanna hear my brothers first ever joke.... what goes up your nose at a million miles an hour?... A tractor! Well I guess you had to be there and he was only 4!

Leslie said...

I thought your joke was funny. And the video.

For the longest time, Julia's jokes went like this, "Why did the chicken cross the road? Fire truck!"

Finally, she made up a funny one: "Why did the bubble gum cross the street? Because it was stuck to a monkey!" Not bad for my then 3-year-old!

Munchkins and Music said...

That's awesome! hahaha.

all over the map said...

i laughed at your watson and holmes joke.
i also laughed at *sue* - too funny. ruby wasn't bad either and aren't you glad your name isn't sue?