No one tells a joke better than my Dad, Norman. He has perfect timing, he keeps your attention by incorporating accents, and hand gestures, and sometimes cracks himself up in the middle, which cracks all of us up, too.
Some of my favorite jokes are his, and some I learned from other people, but I can never tell a joke like he can. But, in the spirit of telling jokes, here are a few memorable ones.
This is one of my favorite jokes from when I was young, but old enough to be able to tell it, which I did. A lot. It’s sort of a visual at the end, but I’ll try my best to illustrate it through words.
This little boy was waiting for his Dad to come home from work because he always brought him something. Sometimes it was a pen, sometimes it was gum, but this time it was a turtle.
“Oh, boy!” the little boy cried. And he took off to play with his new turtle while the Dad set up the turtle’s tank. After an hour or two the Mom and Dad told the little boy to put the turtle in its tank, wash his hands for dinner, and go to bed. He did, but he couldn’t wait to play with the turtle the next day.
So, the next day the kid played with his turtle for hours and then washed his hands, ate dinner, and went to bed.
On the third day the little boy came crying into the living room and showed his parents the turtle’s feet. There were blisters all over the turtle’s feet and he was sad because he thought the turtle was sick.
So the Dad took the turtle back to the turtle store. He showed the man who sold him this turtle the blisters on its feet and said it must be defective. “Wow,” the man said. “I’ve never seen anything like this. Well, all I can do is give you a new turtle.” He checked the new turtle’s feet and found that they didn’t have any blisters on them.
So the man came home and gave his son the new turtle. “Oh, boy! A new turtle!” the kid said. Then he took the turtle by the shell and scraped its feet on the floor like a racecar over and over again saying “Zhoom, zhoom, zhoom.” Mystery solved.
There’s this guy who gets a job at the Sesame Street School driving the Sesame Street Bus. He starts out his route and picks up a rather rotund looking young lady who gets on the bus and takes a seat. Wanting to be nice and get to know the kids, the bus driver asks this little girl her name. “Patty,” she responds. “Well, hi, Patty, “ he says.
He continues on his way and comes to the next stop. Standing there is another little girl who is even larger than the first little girl he picked up. She waddled onto the bus and as the bus driver pointed for her to sit on the seat opposite Patty, to keep the bus balanced, he asked her for her name. “My name’s Patty.” “So is mine,” the other Patty said. They all had a good laugh. But the bus driver was beginning to think these kids were a bit odd.
At the next stop there’s a little boy with his mother waiting for the bus. Before he gets on the bus, the mother whispers to the bus driver, “This is Ross. He is very special. Please make sure he buckles his seat belt and stays safe on the bus.” The bus driver agreed to take care of this special little boy, Ross, and continued along, all the while thinking that this bus route was really beginning to get pretty strange.
He comes to the next stop where a little boy gets on the bus and immediately takes of his shoes and socks and begins to pick the bunions off his feet. The bus driver is grossed out, but doesn’t want to cause a problem on his first day, so he doesn’t say anything about the bunions, but asks the boy what his name is. “I’m Lester Reese.”
But, as he’s driving these kids to school, he realizes he won’t be able to deal with them every day for the rest of the year. He makes sure they all get safely inside the school and then goes into the principal’s office. He throws his keys on the principal’s desk and says, “I just can’t drive these kids.” The principal looks perplexed and asks why.
The bus driver says, “Two obese Patties, Special Ross, Lester Reese picking bunions on a Sesame Street bus?”
Ok. Ready for another one?
This guy dies. (Great beginning to a joke, right?) Anyway, he goes up to heaven and God says, “Look, I understand you play the harp.”
The guy says, “Yes,” as he shows God the harp he just happened to bring with him.
“Great,” says God. “Look, I have a friend down in hell that needs some help, and even though people think we don’t get along well, the Devil and I actually get along quite well. He’s asked me to send you down there for a few days and you will be treated great.”
The guy says, “OK.” I mean, what choice did he really have? God brought him to heaven and then asked him to do him a favor. You pretty much gotta do it, right?
So, God says, “There’s a little place down there where they play music, and things haven’t been going so well. I thought your harp playing might liven up the place. It’s a discotheque, but the owner Sam said he’d like to give you a try.”
So the guy gets sent down to hell with his harp and meets this Sam. Sam says, “Hi! I’m so glad you agreed to come down here to help me out. I’m Sam Frank and this is my little café. Business has been hell. Maybe you could get people to come in and heat the place up.”
The guy says he’d try his best. So, he sets up his harp and starts playing. Over the next few weeks business is booming as people come in every night and dance their hearts out. They also eat and drink a lot, which, especially in this economy, makes Sam very happy.
Sam is thrilled but realizes the guy has to go back to heaven, so he tells him God is expecting him and he needs to leave. Sam thanks him and sends him back to heaven.
The guy arrives back in heaven where God is waiting for him. “I heard things went well in hell. I’m looking forward to hearing you play up here in heaven.” Then he notices the guy doesn’t have his harp. God says, “Hey, where’s your harp?”
And the guy says, “Oops! I left my harp in Sam Frank’s Disco!”
Here’s one of my Dad’s best jokes.
There is a bird that is indigenous (this is why his jokes are so funny. He uses a word like “indigenous” and repeats it as though it were a central part of the joke). He also insists that what he is telling you, especially in this case, is a true story. I’m sorry. I’ll start again. I got carried away there for a moment.
There is a bird that is indigenous to Chicago (feel free to substitute a city near you) called the Foo bird. This bird is large and makes huge poops. And, legend has it, if you get shat upon by the Foo bird you can’t wash off the poop or you’ll die.
So, one day, this guy was walking to work when a Foo bird flew overhead and shat upon him. He was covered in poop. He knew about the curse, but went home and took a shower anyway. He died, of course.
And the moral of the story is, “If the Foo shits, wear it.”
OK, here we go. Just one more and then you can stop groaning.
A man had a gastrointestinal problem that caused him to have a lot of gas. And every time he had gas it made a noise that sounded like “Honda! Honda!” He went to every doctor he could find and no one could figure out why he had this gas and why it sounded like “Honda! Honda!”
Meanwhile, everywhere the poor guy went you could hear him coming before he got there. The sound “Honda! Honda!” would accompany him wherever he went.
Finally, figuring it couldn’t hurt to get another opinion, he went to his dentist. No one else had been able to figure it out, so he thought maybe his dentist would know. The dentist looked in his mouth and said, “Ah! I see the problem! You have an abscessed tooth.”
“But why would that give me gas that makes that awful sound?” the man asked.
“Because,” his dentist said, “Everyone knows that abscess makes the fart go Honda!”