My dad celebrated his 92nd birthday recently and his best friend (who’s turning 90 next month) gave him a great card. The inside is witty but the outside is so cool that the staff where dad lives helped him to put it on his walker for all to see. He had to stop and show EVERYBODY on the way to breakfast on the morning of his birthday.
My dad has always been the teller of jokes. So much so that at times we wondered how he could laugh every time he told the same joke. Mom and I got to hear them ad nauseum, because he would call people he knew and tell them the joke of the day. We would roll our eyes and whisper the punch line with him as he guffawed for the 10th time. The only ones we didn’t hear were the raunchy ones, those were deemed to be not suitable for wife and child to hear.
The post office, the coffee shop, the sidewalk, the market…all of these were his favorite places to hold court and tell a joke. And he always laughed the hardest, no matter how many times he had told it before. He would trade a joke with anyone, the first selectman, the trash man, the minister…nobody was deemed too serious for one of his jokes. He loved to bring laughter to people this way and the town loved him for it.
He no longer tells jokes, simply because he can’t remember them. The past few years it has been obvious that his joke telling abilities are affected by his lack of memory, it’s harder and harder for him to remember the punch line. Now the short sight gags are the ones that bring him the most joy, and because this was a card, he didn’t have to remember the joke, he could just tell people to read the card.
When you hear the old adage…it’s the simple things in life…that’s no lie.