A little while ago, I wrote about words that bring fear to a parent’s heart, and introduced to the world the ‘Concert Face’. This is an addendum to that post, mostly because I realised that I forgot the one sentence designed to horrify any parent. Or just me. Particularly at the end of a long day. Particularly spoken by a child who probably hasn’t stopped talking since dawn. It is this sentence:
“Mum, I’ve got a joke…”
In other households, this may merely herald the latest in a long line of Knock Knock jokes. In the Fibro, it means that Mr3 has been busily dreaming up punchlines. Make that lack-of-punchlines. To whit, they are not funny. To even more whit, they do not make sense. To the most whit, there is no wit.
“Mum, I’ve got a joke!”
Pause. Sigh. Summon enthusiastic face. “Okay, hit me with it.”
“O-kay. Ready? What do bulldozers do on the weekend?”
Pause. “I’m not sure, what do bulldozers do on the weekend?”
“THEY GO TO THE SHOPS! AH-HA HA HA! Do you get it?”
Pause. Summon fake laugh. “Tee hee. Not really. Okay, let’s get ready to vacuum the floor now.”
I try, I really do (though the example above may not capture the essence of that effort), but jokes without punchlines are just not funny. And Mr3 has so many of them.
Mr6 went through this phase, so I know it’s just a phase and, soon enough, Mr3 will get the point that there needs to be a point to the joke. But in the meantime we are here, in this wasteland of wit, wondering when the main act is coming on.
If only he realised how incredibly funny he is when he doesn’t try. Today he asked me, peering deep into my eyes, what those little glasses in my eyes were for. It took me a few minutes to work out he was talking about the iris/pupil arrangement which, if you look closely, does resemble a pair of specs. See – funny.
It’s an excellent example of the importance of voice. Jerry Seinfeld was funny when he talked about nothing because he talked about nothing in his own special way. Mr3 manufacturing jokes about bulldozers = not funny. Mr3 sharing his own particular view of the world = funny.
All he needs now is a link between intention and humour and he’ll be a headline act.
That, and a punchline or two.