Dad's type of comedy
If you have a dad like mine, you likely feel blessed to be his son or daughter. My dad is a hard-working family man who has always went out of his way, without fail, to make sure my twin sister, my mom and I never went without.
A ton of people probably feel this way, but I'd put my dad up against any other dad out there. Not in a grade-school argument type of way where one kid claims his dad can beat up his friend's dad, although I'd like to witness a couple of those bouts. It is more of a narrative on how well my dad does at being a good father.
With this said, he can be funny too. As I write this, I am realizing I need to make sure he never reads this column, especially the mushy beginning. Otherwise, I will never hear the end of it.
When Sis and I were young kids, we were impressionable to say the least. Without going into too much detail, when we heard the sound of flatulence, Dad always told us it was nothing more than, "a mouse on a motorcycle."
Now, being young as we were, we always quickly darted our eyes back and forth across the room looking for a nearby rodent revving up a very small Harley-Davidson. I have come to realize now this was all part of a plan he set in motion each time.
He would play along as if he had just caught a glimpse of the mouse somewhere else and say something like, "Ah! You just missed it behind the couch. You better hurry."
We would quickly run over to wherever he would point to as the mouse's current location and to our dismay, not find it.
Miraculously, we were always delighted to then find out soon after he had supposedly seen it under the coffee table, inside a drawer, or on the porch. Lather, rinse, and repeat.
The joke was clearly on us, but to Dad the punchline was worth the effort.
In later years when we weren't quite as susceptive to falling for the trick, the sound of flatulence would and still does immediately make Dad state, "There's another country heard from." He does so without hesitation.
True, it is not the most highbrow form of humor, but it doesn't need to be. I used to roll my eyes and chalk it up to another "dad joke" in a long line of them. As time goes on though, I cannot help but laugh at those "jokes."
I don't do it to patronize him. A lot of my now finding humor in the same old quips comes down to the timing, or rather, the predictability. Even when you can see it coming from a mile away, the joke hits hard. Moreover, the key is I am now a party to the enjoyment of the joke.
Dad's opinions on what constitutes funniness have inextricably become intertwined with my own. In particular, they generally deal with the shows and movies we watch together. We have been in stiches over one-liners heard over and over.
Much of the stuff that really goes in line with our ever-increasing mutual sense of humor has some sort of relation to baseball, for whatever reason. I guess we're big fans of the game and even bigger fans of absurdity in conjunction with it.
I could fire up Abbot and Costello's "Who's on First" skit on the TV every day for the rest of this year and I know not a second of viewing it between the two of us would be wasted. We already know Who is on first, What is on second, and I Don't Know is on third, but we won't let established knowledge keep us from appreciating the hilarity.
Dad introduced me to the routine years ago, and I am sad to note not many others in my age group have seen it.
I have been doing something about that for a while now though, and I think I've made some headway with buddies who agree it blows a lot of present day "comedy" out of the water.
Dad and I can go over famous Yogi Berra quotes back and forth to no end. One thing we cannot do is determine our favorite of the bunch. I think our favorites change from year to year, due to the simple fact of having several dozen great ones to choose.
"You can observe a lot by just watching," "The future ain't what it used to be," "a nickel ain't worth a dime anymore," "It gets late early out here," "pair up in threes." All great quotes, all from the same baseball legend.
As of right now, my preferred choice is, "Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours."
Not too long ago, Dad was watching the MLB Network on TV. I saw it was airing some movie called "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad."
I had never seen it before, but I caught the end of the flick. In essence, the main character, Detective Frank Drebin, infiltrates a Major League game as the home plate umpire in order to stop the queen of England from being murdered by a mind-controlled Reggie Jackson.
You really have to watch the movie in its entirety for such a description of a final act to not sound laughably outrageous. It is a spoof starring Leslie Nielsen after all.
Still, when I told Dad I had never seen The Naked Gun fully, he was dumbfounded. I rented it the next day, and we watched all one hour and 25 minutes of it. I was not disappointed.
What I am trying to get across is I am appreciative Dad and I can share laughs with each other over even the most juvenile things. I have him to thank for exposing me to some of his preferred forms of comedy. Now, they're mine too.
The author is a CLARION NEWS staff writer.