Kansas Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - November 30, 2018

The joke's on me!

Friend Jo, who lives in Wisconsin, introduced husband Art and me to her friend John, who writes a column for her local newspaper. Before retirement, he was a teacher, so we have that and column-writing in common. One of his recent efforts was about humor and telling jokes.

Art likes to tell jokes, and both he and John agree that they were useful in keeping students’ attention. But I have never done that as I am one of those people John mentioned who has an awful time remembering jokes. One of the few I recall is:

A man comes home early, greets his wife and then goes to the bathroom. Hearing a noise, he pulls back the shower curtain and sees a naked man standing there.

“What are you doing here?” he asks.

“Everybody has to be some place,” the man replies.

Over the years, people shared jokes with Art and he would pick the one he liked best and share it via email, with BJOTD (Bad Joke of the Day) on the subject line. He even used to put together an annual compilation of his Bad Jokes of the Day. One of his favorites is:

A line of people is waiting on St. Peter to see if they qualify for Heaven. The first explains, “It was a beautiful day and as I entered this building, I looked up at the sky, but all I saw was this refrigerator coming toward me and now I’m here.”

“Life can be random. You may go in,” said St. Peter.

The next man says, “I feel terrible. I have always suspected my wife of cheating. So when I got home early the other day, I was sure something was going on. Not finding anyone, I looked out the window and saw this man in front of the building. Sure it was her lover, I wrestled the refrigerator out the window and now that poor man you just spoke with is dead. It was only right that I slipped and went out the window with the refrigerator.”

“Repentance is important. You may go in,” says St. Peter.

The third man says, “I was in this refrigerator and ...”

While cheating jokes are common, rivalries between schools can find their way into Art’s repertoire as well. The Kansas State University Wildcats in Manhattan and University of Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence are such a pair.

A K-Stater pulls into a rest stop near Lawrence, and sees two fellows with shovels working away. Both have KU jackets and after one digs a hole, the other fills it up before they both move to a new location.

Curious about what they are doing, the K-Stater walks over and asks.

“Well, not too much. Our fellow Jayhawk is sick today and he’s the one who puts the tree in.”

These rivalries often extend to competitions between states.

The night before the battle of the Little Bighorn, General Custer sent out a scout. When he returned, he announced he had good news and bad news. Custer asks to hear the bad news first.

“Well, we are surrounded by hundreds of Indians and we are all going to die,” the scout answered.

“Wow, that IS bad news. What’s the good news?” said Custer.

“Well, we aren’t going to have to take that boring trip back across Nebraska,” replied the scout.

Jokes about religion are also popular in Art’s joke cache.

In a small village, the priest and rabbi do not have wealthy enough congregations for either to buy a car. So they decide to buy one together and share it.

A few days later, the rabbi comes to use the car and finds the priest blessing it with holy water.

The following day, the priest comes to use the car and finds the rabbi sawing off the tailpipe.

“What are you doing?” he asks.

The rabbi replied, “I am circumcising it.”

Another in the religion category:

Three friends, a priest, rabbi and minister go fishing. After a time, the priest declares the coffee they drank had done its work and he has to relieve himself. He stands up, walks over the water to the woods, does the deed, and walks over the water to return. The minister can’t believe what he saw.

A few minutes later, the rabbi does the same. Again, the minister is dumbfounded.

Feeling the need to go, the minister figures he is as religious as his friends and steps out of the boat, only to sink like a rock. The priest looks at the rabbi and says, “Guess he doesn’t know where the stones are!”

Some jokes make fun of certain people. During the Nixon administration, Henry Kissinger was the Secretary of State and was famous for his intellect.

Kissinger, the Pope, and a hippie hitch a ride on a cargo plane. At some point, the pilot comes back and declares there is an emergency and the plane is going to crash. Furthermore, there are only three parachutes and he has one of them. With that, the pilot jumps from the plane.

Kissinger declares, “I am the smartest man in the world and it is important that I survive.”

With that, he grabs a pack and leaps from the plane.

The Pope turns to the hippie and says, "I am old and you are young. you should take the last chute."

“Don’t sweat it, Father,” the hippie replies. “The world’s smartest man just jumped out with my backpack on.”

I wish I could remember jokes. I’m sure they would liven up my classes. But one advantage to not recalling them is that Art can tell me a joke over and over again. Each time, I chuckle as if hearing it for the first time. I’ve heard all of the ones I included here many times, but he still had to remind me of the details and I laughed at each. I guess you could say the joke is on me!

This was Art's fortune the day after I wrote this column.
His effortless humor has helped me many times over the years.

Comments? [email protected].
Other columns from 2018 may be found at: 2018 Index.
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