When my daughter was little, like most kids in the kindergarten set, she loved knock knock jokes.
Dwayne the bathtub, I’m dwowning!
Being a big Broadway fan, she especially loved:
Sam and Janet.
Sam and Janet who?
Sam and Janet evening … (you will meet a stranger …)
And then there was the most annoying knock knock of all:
Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?
So after months of hearing these same jokes over and over and over, I decided that maybe I could make up some new knock knock jokes and provide us with some new material!
“Knock, knock,” I said to my daughter.
“Who’s there?” she answered.
“Emily,” I said.
“Emily who?” she asked.
“Emi-leetle tired,” I said with my best Frito Bandito accent.
I clearly remember her laughing. Yes, she definitely laughed. Even if she didn’t get it, she laughed! I’m sure of it. That’s why I made the joke a standard in our repertoire … for the next 15 years.
Once in a while, that joke comes up, and my teenager now tells me that it’s not funny. It was NEVER funny. And that I’m not funny
That’s right: I’m. Not. Funny.
Well I refuse to stand for that. I’m the queen of comedy, I remind her. Even dad married me for my sense of humor. It’s what I’m all about. Hence my motto:
Looks fade, but funny is forever.
I like to remind Jim of that whenever the Victoria’s Secret angels come on TV.
Now here is my daughter telling me I’m not funny and my punny joke was definitely not funny. And I’m having a hard time living with this notion. Because if I don’t have funny, for God’s sake, people, what’s left?
So I’ve ignored her insinuations. Of course I’m funny! Right?
My knock knock joke isn’t any more stupid than any other knock knock joke out there, is it?
Recently I came across a cassette that my daughter made when she first learned she could record her own voice on the Fisher Price tape player we gave her for her fifth birthday. She used it to play the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears back in the “Oops I Did it Again” phase. But as part of her present, we also gave her a blank cassette. I remember she used to like to pretend she was a newscaster broadcasting … or a pop star … or a talk show host.
So when I stumbled across this cassette in a box of old tapes in the shed, I couldn’t wait to pop it in! Sometimes I just miss my little girl! … my little darling who never talked back … who couldn’t wait to see me … who ran into my arms at the end of the day and squealed, “Mommeeeeeeeee!”… who worshipped me and thought I was the best Broadway singer and joke teller on the planet.
So I popped in the tape, and turned up the stereo, prompting my husband and daughter to come in from the kitchen. We all sat around the living room, smiling as we reminisced about the good old days. Reaching across the years was my daughter’s little pipsqueak voice barking, “Babies and gentleman. Welcome to my show.’ It was adorable.
And then she said, “And now I will interview my mommy. Welcome to my show, mommy.”
And mommy didn’t know what to say. Imagine that? So mommy said:
… to which my perfect little angel replied:
(Wait for it …)
“Oh noooo! Not the Emily joke.”
And right there, my daughter had all the ammunition she needed.
“I TOLD you I never thought that was funny,” she said, accusingly pointing her finger in my direction. “There it is, from the mouth of little me: NOT FUNNY!”
And suddenly, I’m questioning my whole world.
This calls into question my entire being … my very premise … the core of who I am … my motto!
Looks fade, but funny is forever.
Maybe it’s not too late to get a boob job.