You Must be Joking

`photoI know. It’s April Fool’s Day so you’re probably sick of jokes, pranks, and being on the receiving end of a donkey while holding a shovel.

Before I share A Few Good Jokes (how different would that movie have been if that were the title?) I thought I’d share one of my most embarrassing moments, and there are many.

Richard was an Assistant Director at Camp Kawaga for Boys, where he had previously been a camper, CIT, counselor, and later a founding member of the Alumni Association. All four of us went to camp for most of the summer once or twice until it became obvious that Richard’s plan to be an assistant director did not involve being there with an assistant family.

But, I did get to hang out with his camp buddies, who I love, when they’d come up to camp for a weekend here or there. And, yes, I still love you, Woogie, even after I totally believed you when you told me, “They took the word ‘gullible’ out of the dictionary because it was too hard for people to spell.”

That’s enough humiliation at my expense for one day. Let the blogging commence:

I unloaded paper towels, toilet paper, granola, and two three-pound bags of Gummy Bears from my cart onto the conveyor belt at Target one night. Then I handed the checkout woman, Loretta, a Mountain Dew, and a chocolate chip Clif Bar and told her, “I’ll just take these with me to go. Ya know, it’s the Dinner of Champions.”

Loretta laughed and said, “You’re funny!”

I hadn’t had a particularly fun day, nor was I in a particularly funny mood, but Loretta made my day not because she said I was funny, but because she could tell I needed to hear a few jokes.

She told me she had just heard these jokes from her daughter. After she told me the first joke I asked how old her daughter was, thinking she was probably six. She said that she was 21, which caused us each to expel a few chortles.

As if on cue, her daughter who also worked at Target, walked up to the cash register and said, “Mom, you’re not telling those jokes, are you?” Loretta and I burst out laughing.

After her daughter left and Loretta was bagging up my purchases she told me the other two jokes, but could barely get them out because she was laughing so hard she was having trouble talking.

Loretta and I laughed out loud after each joke, and I had to wipe tears from my eyes by the time she was finished. I thanked her for brightening my day and told her if I couldn’t remember the jokes I’d be back so she could repeat them so I could write them down.

I left the store in a much better mood than when I got there but as I loaded up my car I realized I could only remember one of the jokes. I really wanted to know all three jokes so I decided to go right back in the store instead of coming back another day hoping to find Loretta.

I locked the car and pushed the “notes” icon on my trusty iPhone as I walked back into the store. Whenever someone says something I want to remember, which happens at least three times a day, I write it down and keep it saved for just the right moment.

When my friend Liz used the phrase “she had a bitchy resting face” to describe a saleswoman at a shoe store, I said, “Wait! Wait! Don’t say another word until I write that down!”

See? Aren’t you glad to know that phrase?

Anyway, I walked back into the store and saw a long line of people waiting to checkout in Loretta’s aisle. I just kind of slid in and waited at the end of the checkout lane next-door to hers so as not to interrupt her while she was working. But she saw me behind her and immediately laughed so hard she bent over and grabbed some Kleenex to wipe the tears streaming down her cheeks. “I can’t believe you came back,” she said between giggles.

I told her I didn’t want to disturb her while she was working. The last thing I wanted was for Loretta to get in trouble either with customers or her supervisor. I was very aware that it was nine o’clock on a Wednesday night and the people in line probably just wanted to buy their paper towels, toilet paper, granola, Gummy Bears, and go home.

Like two spies speaking in code, she bagged up the items people had purchased and I kept an eye out for anyone who seemed to be getting impatient. When the coast seemed clear she quickly and quietly repeated the jokes and I tapped them into my iPhone. No one seemed to notice or was bothered by our covert operation. I got the goods, thanked her, and left. I heard her laughing as I exited the store.

So, without further ado, or not telling you at all and playing a really crummy April Fool’s joke on you, here are the jokes:

1. How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh?

10 tickles.

2. What does a nosy pepper do?

It gets jalapeño business.

3. What do you call a fake noodle?

An impasta.

Maybe those aren’t the funniest jokes ever, but they sure got me laughing and kept me laughing for days as I repeated them. Of course I had to check my iPhone notes because I couldn’t remember them, but that’s nothing new. I forget things all the time.

But, I’ll never forget that the word “gullible” is still in the dictionary because I looked it up back then at camp…and again tonight, just to be sure.

Have a great day, and don’t believe everything you hear!