Beware the Joker

jokerI’m not real good with jokes, that is, people who tell them. I’ve always been a second or two (or three) slow to understand the punchline, which is deadly because by that time, everyone is laughing and I’m still scratching my head. Even worse, the longer the joke’s storyline, the more info I have to process.

I had a friend years ago, Carl, who greeted everyone at the beginning of the day with a joke. Day after day. How tiring.

“Good morning, Carl …”

“Hey, Michael, know why I’m called Jesus Christ?”

I hate being set up like this. If only I knew the punchline, I could shout it out. That’d shut him up.

“No, Carl, I don’t know. Why are you called Jesus Christ?”

“Well, that’s what my dad said to me every morning in the bathroom. ‘Jesus Christ, are you ever coming out of there?'”

I laugh, not because it’s funny, but because I actually got the joke this time and smile in celebration of my victory. Nothing like yesterday’s debacle when the set up was so long I had to fake yet another laugh. Whatever happened to, “Good morning, Mike, how are you?” and greetings like that, not “See, there’s these two Belgian guys out in the battlefield on their way to the foxhole ….” Please, someone bring back knock knock jokes. Those were easy to figure out.

Actually, Carl and I were good friends. What he didn’t realize was that I much preferred to know him better than the fleeting characters he lunged at me every morning. Maybe joker’s are insecure people and receiving a smile from a joke is one sure way to be liked. Or maybe they just like telling jokes and that’s all. But after a while, the jokes come off as a crutch, as if the joker is hiding under a shell, afraid to show who he really is.

“Good morning, Carl …”

“Hey, there’s these two Belgian guys who walk out of the foxhole and ….” I hear the beginning of yet another set up and want to scream, “Carl! Jesus Christ, are you ever coming out from under there?”



Filed under Blog, The Daily Thought

2 responses to “Beware the Joker

  1. Agreed. I would take the occassionally witty companion over the always jokey one any day. .

  2. … especially when the jokey ones aren’t even funny.

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