I collect Dad Jokes. These are not jokes about dads, but are jokes that dads everywhere tell little kids. Dad Jokes have three things in common:
1. They’re G-rated.
2. They’re lame.
3. You laugh anyway, even years later.
My own dad had a good supple of Dad Jokes starting with “What’s black and white and red all over?” His answer varied according to the age of audience, preschool or kindergarten aged kids got “newspaper” and older kids got “sunburned zebra.” Either way gales of laughter would follow, which fascinated me even as a little kid. Let’s face it, that joke is so old most children are probably born knowing it.
But that joke wasn’t the one that cracked me up. My favorite Dad Joke is (and this is really dating me):
“What”s black and blue, lays in the grass and goes ding-dong?”
“A wounded Avon lady.”
My bothers and sisters and I all went to Catholic school so a close second is:
“What’s black and white, black and white, black and white and black and blue?”
“A nun falling down stairs.”
I should note that we were under strict orders from our mom NOT to tell that joke at school. I am fairly certain that was an order my brother Michael just couldn’t follow, that joke spread though St. Anne’s like wild fire. This was well before the days of “zero tolerance” in our schools where every thing a child says is examined for possible homicidal intent, so no one got expelled as a result. However, it has not escaped my notice that there is a more polite version floating around these days, but I can’t think “a penguin falling down stairs” would have the same humor impact on Catholic school children.
My husband has a pretty good supple of Dad Jokes as well. Our sons still laugh at both:
“Why does an elephant paint his toenails red?”
“To hide in a cherry tree.”
“How can you tell if there’s an elephant in the refrigerator?”
“There are footprints in the butter.”
Our daughter’s favorite Dad Joke was told to her by her Uncle Paul. I know if I just mention this joke she, at age 26, will start laughing. So:
“Want to hear a dirty joke?”
“A white horse fell in the mud.”
Happy Father’s Day!
Marianne H. Donley writes quirky murder mysteries fueled by her life as a mom and a teacher. She makes her home in California with her supportive husband Dennis and two loveable but bad dogs. Her grown children have respectfully asked her to use a pen name which she declined on the grounds that even if some of their more colorful misdeeds make it into her plots, who would know the books are fiction. Besides they weren’t exactly worried about publicly humiliating her while growing up.
I didn’t go to Catholic school and I still laughed at the nun falling down the stairs–I am wicked 🙂 I never thought about the dad jokes, Marianne, but you are right! My husband has told a joke about two kids names Stupid and Trouble a million times. It cracked the kids up when they were small and now it just makes them groan.
on June 15, 2008
Glad I made you smile. Hope you had a happy day.
on June 15, 2008
Thanks for the smile. I’ll try some of these on my boys.