When I was in high school in the sixties, silly jokes were all the rage.
[Historical note: This was back when we actually hung out and amused each other in person, there was no such thing as texting]
My favorites were the Elephant Jokes.
The exchange usually went like this.
Why did the elephant paint her nails red?
Response – “I don’t know.”
So she could hide in a cherry tree.
(Pause, as the rolled eyes resumed their normal position)
You don’t like that? OK, how about this one? Why did the elephant paint her nails red & orange & green & yellow & brown?
I don’t know.
So she could hide in a bag of M& M’s
You sound like you think these are silly? You’ve never seen an elephant in a cherry tree?
Of course not!
See, it works! (accompanied by knee-slapping laughter .)
Somewhere around senior year, jokes took on sarcasm and darkness. Perhaps it had to do with the loss of our hopes and innocence. After all, if Kennedy and Camelot could be taken away from us, nothing was safe. Silly jokes were abandoned for sick jokes.
I remember one warm June night just before graduation, when a group of six or eight of us strolled across the Macombs Dam Bridge from Manhattan to the Bronx.
Yes, strolled, as in walked and Outdoors.
[Historical note: These were pre-video games days. In fact – they were pre-personal computer!]
Yankee Stadium, the original Yankee Stadium, was our destination. We did this every Friday night, not to see a game, just to reach that point and return back to Manhattan.
Tony S. had the stage for one particular sick joke, so we’ll blame its questionable taste on him. I can still see him summoning up all the solemnity possible, considering he was telling a joke.
A man was pacing up and down in the hospital waiting room while his wife was having a baby.
[Yet another historical note. This was pre-Lamaze. The wife labored alone. The husband waited elsewhere.]
He looks up as Dr. Smith enters.
“What is it, Doctor? A boy?”
[last historical note, I promise. These were pre gender- testing days]
“No, Mr. Jones, it’s not a boy.”
“Oh, that’s fine. I have a daughter!”
“No, I’m afraid not.”
“What do you mean? Is my wife OK.”
“Mr. Jones, perhaps you should come see.”
Mr. Jones follows Dr Smith into the nursery and over to a bassinet holding 6 lb, 5oz ear.
“I don’t understand. This is an ear?
“Yes, Mr. Jones, but the worst of it is……………….. It’s deaf.”
I apologize if I’ve offended anyone but the reason I recount it is a recent experience brought it to mind.
I woke up one Saturday morning with a slightly stiff back, nothing new. What was new was the pain that shot through my lower back as I turned to get out of bed. The yelping came not from the dog, but from me. I got through the day, but only by walking very deliberately and by thinking through the process of standing up and sitting down before attempting either. I didn’t think it possible, but the pain was worse when I woke on Sunday morning.
Mysteriously, it had faded to mild discomfort by the time I saw my doctor on Monday, and when I went to the hospital for X-rays on Tuesday it was all just a memory. The cause of my pain remains a mystery. X-rays showed the beginnings of osteo-arthritis, but as the nurse emphasized – very mild.
So what does this have to do with sick jokes?
Just a week prior, I had received the results of a bone density scan, and had gone about bragging to anyone who’d listen that my lower back was one standard deviation above that of a young adult.
So, If Tony S were to tell my joke it would go like this:
Congratulation Virginia your lower back has the bone density of a twenty one year old. Too bad it’s arthritic.
No, I’m only kidding. It’s hard to believe seven years have vanished since The Twin Princes of Silence took up residency in The House of Mars. Come to think of it until they moved in, the house was known only as “my house.” They were the first two Mars.
Marcel and Marceau?
For newcomers to this blog – the cat brothers earned their names on the day we met. September 11, 2005 – when they rode all the way home from the pet adoption fair in my truck, without uttering a peep (or I guess I should say a meow,) and this was at least twenty miles. You cat owners will vouch for me, won’t you – a cat who doesn’t howl, mewl, or cry the minute their placed in a carrier, let alone, the car? How rare is that? And this was two cats!
With no sound to distract me I went through “quiet” names –
Well how about Chaplin? Nah.
I’ve got it – Marcel Marceau. Yes!
Since one look at the two of them nested like spoons in the adoption cage had been all I needed to interpret the “I’m in charge here” look Marcel shot at me, he got the first name, and Sweet I’m leaning on my brother Marceau got the second name.
A lot has changed since that day, starting with the mute act. These two are the most demandingly talkative cats I’ve ever lived with.
Pet Me! Brush me.
No, my turn.
Wake up, I’m hungry
And in case I don’t get the message, Marcel follows up with a head but while Marceau employs a soft but insistent tap with his front paw.
The Twin Princes of Silence?
Then there’s that sub-title, obviously given to them before the stampedes For no discernible reason, one or the other will take off on a wild tear through the house, and whichever one it isn’t will follow on his heels. Back and forth, room to room, changing directions until Marcos (the canine Mar) lumbers to his feet to investigate. (Thank you Marcos, that always does the trick.) They are still Marceau and Marcel, but the subtitle is now a toss-up – The Wild Horses, or The Twin Princes of Terror.
And in This Corner…….
Like two old bachelor roommates, The brothers know each other’s every move, and quite often a move that is ignored one minute can spark a rip-roaring, roll around the floor battle the next. Screeches fill the air; clumps of fur collect on the ground until curious Marcos once again comes to the rescue, separating them with a sniff and a poke of his nose. Whether on riot patrol or referee, duty, Marcos is worth his weight in dog food.
Speaking of weight, the champion in that category is Marceau. I’m ashamed to say he tipped the scales at eighteen pounds at his last check-up. But we’re trying – he’s on a non-voluntary diet. And Marcel helps. He’s the faster eater, and true to his I’m the bossin charge demeanor, it takes but one nudge to push Marceau away from his food.
Yes, these two are some pair. Inseparable, if not insane. When the fight’s over, the food’s all gone, and they’re plain tuckered out form the chase, there’s nothing like a brother to lean on.
Enough from me. Meet the brothers
Here we are in 2006
I don’t know why I’m on a diet.
- Hey, that’s enough, You’re on a diet.
Time for a nap.
Move over, you’re crowding me
No! You move over.
Oh, never mind.
And, just in case you ever forget………….
I’m in charge around here.
No, not the book, that’s Fifty Shades of G-r-e-y. I’m talking about cars. Have you noticed parking lots and streets have turned a paler shade of gray?
Last Sunday my friend, A. and I drove into Manhattan. After 15 minutes of cruising the streets I found a parking space, which is the same thing as instantly by Manhattan standards. It wasn’t the biggest of spots, but I did a reasonably good job of parallel parking – only two do-overs. Parallel parking is the only kind of parking in Manhattan unless you want go to a parking lot or garage – but readers of this blog know I gravitate toward f-r-e-e.
We attended a street festival, and when it was time to head home we walked back along the street where I’d parked the car. Our conversation went like this.
Me:“Look at that, of all the cars on the street, those guys have to lean on my car?”
A: “That’s not your car, that’s a VW.”
Me: “Oh no, I got a ticket. For what?”
A: “That’s not your car; that’s a Toyota.”
Me“ Man, almost every car on the street is gray – gray and boxy.”
A: “There’s your car.”
Me: “No, that’s not mine. That car has a red inspection sticker I have a blue one.
A: “There’s your car.”
Me. “Are you sure? I thought I parked closer to the curb. Yeah, it’s my car. What a lousy parking job”
I came home and set a challenge for myself, and a bet. I bet myself a lottery scratch-off ticket that I could do an online search of 2012 car colors and come up with fifty. Are you ready?
- Harbor gray metallic
- Radiant silver metallic
- Shimmering- air metallic
- Shimmering-silver metallic
- Titanium gray metallic
- Harbor gray metallic
- Camel pearl
- Iridescent silver blue pearl
- Desert bronze metallic
- Tungsten metallic
- Brilliant silver
- Metallic slate
- Gun metallic
- Platinum gray metallic
- Moon rock silver metallic
- Reflex silver metallic
- Sterling gray
- Ginger ale
- Ingot silver
- Light pewter
- Earth metallic
- Steel blue metallic
- Frosted glass
- Ashen gray metallic
- Gray stone metallic
- Mocha steel metallic
- Silver ice metallic
- White Diamond tri-coat
- Taupe gray metallic
- Blue granite
- Ashen gray
- Classic silver metallic
- Cosmic gray mica
- Cypress pearl
- Magnetic gray metallic
- Shoreline blue mist
- Flaxen mica
- Medium silver
- Mercury metallic
- Opaline pearl
- Verdigris mica
- Truffle mica
- Alabaster silver metallic
- Polished metal metallic
- White orchid pearl
- Cool mist metallic
- Urban titanium metallic
- Opal sage
And there you have it. I know someone is saying some of those colors don’t sound like they’re gray. But trust me, in each case, the paint chip picture looked gray. Besides when I bought my car, I chose Tungsten metallic. Do you know what I got?
That’s why I named him Mighty Mouse.
What about you? Have you succumbed to The Long Gray Line of cars? I’d love to know. Leave me a comment.