As I look back at the past twelve months, I realize that 2019 was the year of the bad joke. In the middle of work, of play, of family changes, of national politics – the one constant for me was that I was always able to count on a bad joke to get me through the bad days.
And when I say bad jokes, at my age what I mean is not smut or sick political burns – no, for me what this means is just good old-fashioned “dad jokes.” You know the ones – the kind of one-line groaners that you are embarrassed to hear someone tell. I resort to these all the time.
At work, on a slow day I will ambush colleagues at the front desk – popping my head over the counter to ask: Did you hear the one about the broken pencil?” Then running away shouting out “It’s pointless.”
On the phone with my daughter who lives far away in the big city, I will scroll through terrible jokes and keep telling them without remorse – (What do you call a cow with two legs? Lean beef. What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef!) – until she finally gives in and laughs.
As a guitar teacher, I have found joke telling is a great way to break the ice at the start of a lesson. But here I don’t even tell the jokes – the kids do. Sammy, tell me a joke, I will say. Sammy screws up her face for a moment and then solemnly asks: “What did the giraffe say to the turtle?” I don’t know, I’ll reply. “Hello there, big guy!” she giggles. Wait, I say, the giraffe is much bigger than the turtle! That is a terrible joke! And then we both collapse in gales of laughter.
Something about corny jokes – whether they make sense or not – really helps the day go by.
So at the end of this year, as people compile their Top 10 lists for 2019, I offer you my Top 10 Worst Dad Jokes – courtesy of the internet, tested by nine-year-olds. Nothing in what follows is original – but I dare you to not smile even once as the insanity piles up.
Hit it guys…
Ten: What has four wheels and flies? A garbage truck.
Nine: Do you remember that joke I told you about my spine? It was about a weak back!
Eight: The store was giving dead batteries away. They were free of charge.
Seven: What's the best thing about Switzerland? I don't know, but its flag is a big plus!
Six: My new thesaurus is terrible. Not only that, but it's also terrible.
Five: I got fired from my job at the bank today. An old lady came in and asked me to check her balance, so I pushed her over.
Four: Three fish are in a tank. One asks the others, "How do you drive this thing?"
Three: What's green, fuzzy, and would hurt if it fell on you out of a tree? A pool table.
Two: I broke my arm in two places. You know what the doctor told me?" Stay out of those places!"
One: What did the janitor say when he jumped out of the closet? "Supplies!"
And finally, my favorite bad joke of the entire year. What did the giraffe say to the turtle? Hello there, big guy!
2020 could be quite a year, folks. Don’t forget to keep laughing.
Music: Cantina Theme from Star Wars