In sixth grade I realized that I was funny.
And that nobody cared.
Our entire sixth grade class was sitting on the floor in a circle, because OBVIOUSLY that is what you do in sixth grade. You sit on floors in a circle. Bless the hearts of sixth grade teachers.
We were sitting in a circle and my teacher made some comment and I replied with some snarky comeback, but fairly under my breath. I mean, I didn’t want to get in trouble or anything.
TWO seconds later, Nathan N said the EXACT SAME THING but louder and with that sixth-grade boy inflection. Everyone busted up laughing.
Well, I didn’t. I am pretty sure I looked right at him with a confused face, like “whoa, bro! Did you really just say what I just said?”
Here’s the thing: I don’t think people realize that they take jokes and claim them as their own. It’s happened to me and I have seen it happen so many times throughout my life, that I believe these “joke amplifiers” think that the little joke angel on their shoulder whispered it into their ears.
Some people imagine that they have an angel and a devil perched on their shoulders, telling them what to do (or not to do). Other people must think that there are joke angels, whispering funny comebacks and puns. Oftentimes, I bet you those "joke angels" are telling jokes someone else just said or some joke they saw before and now are claiming as their own. Not maliciously, mind you. Just unaware.
I wrote a joke recently with a little naked boy eating a loaf of bread. I wrote on it:
"Go to bed? I thought you said, 'Go the bread'!"
It just came to me so easily and I thought to myself, "Ha! Genius. You've done it again, Anna!"
Two separate comments mentioned that it was a line from the Simpsons. D'oh.
I'm not even sure if I saw that Simpsons episode, but I could have. We are all guilty of repurposing other people's jokes—intentionally or not. Because there isn't really such a thing as a new joke. We are all borrowing humor from everywhere and everyone. That's why we all laugh at similar things.
In fact, some of my favorite jokes are most definitely not my own. They are the quintessential "dad jokes" that I, of course, love to call "mom jokes" because duh, I'm a mom.
Here are my Top Ten Mom Jokes (for now)—feel free to use them and claim as your own, because that's what we do and that's who we are... and I'm over it, Nathan N!
And this last one is not funny, per se, but has become notorious around our house. It's impossible to say anything about "driving me nuts" without me talking about cowboy butts. Can't. Help. Myself.
Why do I tell these jokes? Who knows, but I am pretty sure Freud said it best when he explained:
What is YOUR favorite joke to tell? Best joke winner buys dinner!