Telling a joke can go horribly wrong. You may forget an important part, mess up the punch line, or worse, offend someone (leave that to the professionals). But today, August 16, is National Tell a Joke Day, so if you've hesitated in the past, it's your chance to try it again. The trick is to know your joke and your audience, so when it's the right time, you can deliver it perfectly. If you have a few well-loved jokes up your sleeve, you'll always be ready to lighten the mood.
Into the Woods
The great outdoors provide lots of laughs, probably because the unfamiliar setting allows for many things to go wrong, and if you can't laugh at it all, you'll just be miserable and covered in dirt. If you're headed out for a camping or hunting trip, keep this joke by Guptal Gosal (based on an old Spike Milligan sketch) in mind.
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, and then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says, "OK, now what?"
Hole in One
A round of golf lends itself to conversation, and if you're not having the best game, a joke can help with the frustration. Try this joke from Reader's Digest next time you just can't seem to find the hole.
The 16th tee featured a fairway that ran along a road. The first golfer in a foursome teed off and hooked the ball. It soared over the fence and bounced onto the street, where it hit the tire of a moving bus, and ricocheted back onto the fairway. As they all stood in amazement, one of the golfer's friends asked, "How did you do that?" The golfer shrugged. "You have to know the bus schedule."
Start Them Young
Kids love jokes, and they are always open to learning new ones. I love Rob Elliott's Laugh-out-loud Jokes for Kids, a book that's packed full of funny G-rated jokes that have just enough subtle word play to please the elementary school crowd. Learn a few to delight them with while you're driving them to soccer practice or piano lessons. Here are two of my favorites.
Q. What is a racecar driver's favorite meal?
A. Fast food
Q. How do you keep a dog from barking in the backseat of the car?
A. Put him in the front seat of the car.
Joke-telling may be risky, but cracking up a room full of people (or a car full of kids) can be very rewarding. What's your favorite joke?
Posted by Stephanie Petersen