Everyone has a few jokes up their sleeve, at the ready for an empty minute. The joke can be a punchy anecdote, a brief pun set-up, or a witty one-liner. I don’t know about you, but I like my jokes clean and hilarious—and I am not afraid to admit that I dig a good pun.
Sometimes I like to make jokes up. Don’t you? Some of my jokes have become groaners for my friends, who are sick of them. I still think they’re funny, of course. BECAUSE THEY ARE.
Classic Chloë-made joke #1:
Q: What did Will Smith find at the scene of the crime?
A: Fresh prints!
Classic Chloë-made joke #2:
Q: What do two surgeons and an impossible problem have in common?
A: They’re both a pair o’ docs!
Here is another homemade joke, courtesy of Robin. It’s about computer programming, in case you’re mystified (like I was at first).
Two robots sit at the dinner table.Robot #1: Please pass the meat NAND the potatoes.Robot #2: (sits there and does nothing)Robot #1: Thank you.
Robin’s explanation: “NAND means ‘anything but both’, which includes the ‘neither’ case. The N stands for ‘not’ and ‘AND’ for ‘and’.”
I remember a raucous evening, spent in the dorm room of a friend when I lived in residence in my first year in university, during which a friend and I competed to make up the most jokes on the fly using only the objects or people in the room and our wits. There were ten or twelve people crammed in there, cheering and loving it. Those jokes were mostly puns, but it was a jolly evening—and a great game! I recommend trying it someday; it’s tough at first, but you really get into the swing of things after a while, and being intentionally witty is a good brain exercise.
On another occasion, circa 1995, ten-year-old Chloë and her friend Sam spent a week making up a number of jokes that we thought were absolutely side-splitting. Only a couple have survived in my memory:
Q: What did Batman say when his biscuit fell off the table?
A: Oh no! My biscuit fell off the table!
Q: What is big, blue, and square?
A: A big blue square!
We understood the irony of these jokes. That’s why we thought them so funny.
Younger children do not understand the irony—or the comedy—of their jokes. Children make jokes up all the time; I suppose they’re testing the genre. Here are a few of my favourites from children I know (or knew):
Q: What is round, white, and you can eat off it?
A: A plate!
—my sister Lydia (age 6)
Q: Why did the monkey cross the road?
A: Because it was STUCK TO THE HAT!
—Farah (age 5)
F: Knock, knock.
Y: Who’s there?
—Farah (age 5)
Q: What is black and white and you can read it?
A: A newspaper!
—Kaylie (age 8 )
I had Farah tell a few of her jokes at a coffeehouse once. Everyone laughed, of course, because she was so cute! Does laughing at the non-jokes of children impair their sense of what’s actually funny? I sure hope not, because it’s probably impossible to stop.
Have you made up jokes of your own? I would LOVE it if you shared them!