A priest, a nun, and a donkey walk into a bar… wait… was it a priest, or a princess? Never mind – hey, how many feminists does it take to change a light bulb’s mind? Huh?
Bloody hell, ok, here’s one – So, three Baptists see each other in the liquor store, and… crap – that’s not it.
Did you hear the one about the copywriter that totally sucked at telling jokes?
Well, if you’ve ever heard me try to tell a joke than you already know the punchline – it’s me. I mean, it’s nice to know that I’ll get the laughs, but it’s rarely the joke my audience is laughing at.
My husband is kind enough to dismiss my sheer and utter inability to keep a joke straight with a shake of his head and a gentle, ‘Oh, honey…’ Hopefully, he compartmentalizes this quirk of mine as something cute, though I dare say that if he really cared about me, he would step in a little earlier, like before I make an ass of myself.
And, like a true idiot, I don’t limit my embarrassing forays into comedy to gentle crowds that are obligated to love me regardless of my ability to slaughter a punchline. No, me and my attempts at joke telling also make an appearance at work, where my abysmal delivery has turned into a joke itself.
There is one joke that I can manage to tell without screwing it up. It's short, and it's off-colour. Like me.
See? I’m ok off-the-cuff, but ask me to rehearse or recall and I turn into a total loser.
I so admire people that can tell a good joke. They don’t even have to be the author of the joke. Just to be able to pull off that perfect blend of casual storytelling with anticipation and intrigue impresses me to no end, even if the joke itself is lame.
And, unfortunately, I think the inability to tell a joke may be hereditary, and I think I may have passed it on to Bee, who, the other night, requested that I entertain her with a joke while she was in the bath.
‘Um, ok,’ I venture, figuring that if there is any audience I can impress with a gag, it will be a three-year-old who thinks that Toopy and Binou is the pinnacle of humour, and that farts are hilarious.
‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’
Bee furrows her brow.
‘Not THAT joke, mama! Tell me a Knock, Knock, Who It Is?’ joke!
I am resolved now to try harder to tell a proper joke, with good delivery and a punchline that comes at the end of the narrative and everything, because, apparently, I can’t tell a joke to save my life.
Thank goodness a life-or-death situation so very rarely calls for a split-second comedic response.