Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thing 1's Sense of Humor at Age 5

A cold is befuddling my brain, so I'm not going to attempt anything new tonight. Instead, I dug this piece out of the archives of the Straight Dope Message Board, where I used to spend a lot of time in the early aughts. I wrote the following about the child I now call "Thing 1" back in July of 2003, in a thread about how none of our very young children could tell a joke to save their lives:

My five-year-old son likes to tell me a joke every night at bedtime. Now, he's been doing this for about six months now, so, without any new jokes coming into the rotation, so you'd think we'd both be bored with it, right?

Ah, but you didn't count on the power of joke mutation! The L'il Swoggler (LS for short) started off with the usual "Why did the chicken cross the road?" -- an old standby, always popular. But, whenever I give him an answer, his punchline changes. As with everybody else's kids, it doesn't make much sense, but it changes.

These days, it goes something like this:

LS: Daddy, why did the cow cross the road?
GBH: I don't know, why?
LS: To get to the cow-cow!
GBH: Well, goodnight sweetie. Sleep tight.
LS: Wait, Daddy! What about the second joke?
LS: Why did the cow cross the road?
GBH: Because it was tired?
LS: No, silly -- to get to the mauw-mauw!

He gets the timing of a punchline -- he sells it the right way, and all that -- but he doesn't seem to have realized that a punchline is supposed to do things like make sense or even contain recognizable words.

And he goes to kindergarten in a month and a half -- who knows what that will do to his sense of humor...

Listening to: Tom Waits - Lucinda / Ain't Goin' Down To The Well [Live]
via FoxyTunes

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