i make you laugh? i'm here to *%@* amuse you? what do you mean funny? funny how?
You know that feeling of pride and delight you have when your child toddles over to you, hands you a stack of books, then crawls up on your lap and asks you to read those books to him? The way you sigh a little as you smile at your child because you just don't know if you have it in you to read Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or Dante's Inferno one more time, but you do? Because you love your child, and, deep down, you hope with every page you flip, with every moment you spend saying goodnight to everything in your house or using a super hyper voice to tell your child that if, on Saturday, he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake and one slice of watermelon, he, too, would have a stomachache just like one very ravenous caterpillar (But that, yes, Daddy can eat that way because he's a grown up, even though he probably shouldn't, and besides, Daddy doesn't even like cherry pie, which wth? Who doesn't like cherry pie?), what you're doing is sharing your own love of reading with your child?
Then one day, your little literary lover comes to you and says, "Mother, might we venture off to the library so that I might procure my own library card with which I might use to discover a vast and interesting world and go on amazing adventures, all through the magic of book?" and you think to yourself, "Wow, all those times we read Emily Post's Guide to Good Manners For Kids (a.k.a. No, David! ) have really paid off!" So you bundle up your progeny and you tarry off to the library (not to be confused with The Liberry, where said progeny's Daddy, the one who doesn't like cherry pie, but who does love sammiches, would drive around looking for before giving up and coming home sans library, or liberry, card), where you watch him as his eyes widen in delight at all the books that await him.
But then you realize, ha ha! Jokes on you!
Because your child beelines straight for the kid's humor section, and within a matter of minutes, he's leading a pack mule up to the check out counter and plopping down joke book after joke book, and suddenly you realize those nights when he'd tug at the back of your shirt and ask "Are You My Mother?" and you'd turn around and be all, "Well, of course I'm your mother? Have you seen us? Dude, we look exactly alike! I'm sorry for that time I tore through the house and was yelling how I wish I didn't know any of you. I thought we were good about that already. Who told you I wasn't your Mother? Did your Grandma tell you that?" and then you'd glance down and see both his scared eyes AND the book with said title in his tiny little hands and know those are over. Completely over.
Now reading time is better known by it's alternative title, Evening At The Improv.
Or maybe that's just at my house, where my youngest son has been hitting the stage every night at 7:15 (just after his bath, so you can trust he works clean, folks) and launches into a 45-minute routine that often has me glancing toward the kitchen, hoping to catch the attention of the waitress to refill my drink order because it's time for Mommy to start double-fisting the martinis. Except dammit, I'm the waitress, and I don't have a clue how to make a martini. Plus, if I got up to go try and figure out how to make one, little Dane Cook up on stage over there would heckle me, and I do not like to be made fun of. Especially by some wise cracking 6-year-old.
Which is why last night I was front row center for the latest show. The Funny One had been to the school library earlier that day and brought home a new joke book. Two hundred pages of silly riddles and knock-knock jokes! Awesome! He started his act with silly riddle number 1.
"What did one hammer say to the other hammer?" he asked, smirking at me, his audience, and building up anticipation. "I just broke a nail!"
Dammit if I didn't laugh, because that, ladies and gentlemen, is comedy gold. At least just a bit of it, and, well, my laughing at it meant that my son was going to continue to work on his bit.
"What can you do to help a sick bird? Get it tweeted!"
"What's Dracula's favorite dish? The quiche of death!" (this one was followed by a quick explanation of what quiche is).
"What do hairdressers do at the end of their lives? They curl up and dye!" (this, btw, is the boy's edgier material).
The jokes were so hilarious, it was as if time was flying. Except there weren't any old men tossing alarm clocks out the window to see if they sprouted wings, so not really.
(get it? heh, heh, heh...)
As he began to wind down his act, my son thanked me for being such a great audience, told me he'd be playing a two-night run at his grandparent's house next weekend, and rewarded me with a couple stellar knock-knock jokes which I jotted down on my cocktail napkin in order to share with you.
"Knock knock! Who's there? Hutch! Hutch who? Sounds like you're coming down with a nasty cold!"
"Knock knock! Who's there? Lego! Lego me and I'll tell you who!"
"Knock knock! Who's there? Kerry! Kerry who? Kerry me upstairs, would ya? I'm pooped!"
And because he capped off his show with a poop joke, Sir Silly doubled over in tear-inducing laughter, so very delighted in himself as the stage lights dimmed. Using his last joke as a cue, I brought out my giant hook and pulled him off stage left.
If you're interested in catching his act, he puts on an early bird show around 4 p.m. daily, mostly just trying out new material ("Why was the clumsy cook fired? She spilled the beans!" didn't really go over too well). The longer show fires up no later than 7:30 p.m. I'll save you a seat. You'll know me because I'll be the one waving a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar in the air, asking the headliner if we can maybe just read that tonight instead.
"Knock knock! Who's there? Julius who? Julius just jealous because I know all the good jokes!"
Enjoy the show. Be sure to tip your non-existent waitress.