One of the best reasons for having kids is because they are an endless source of entertainment.
And because, like most Americans, I have the attention span of a gnat, I have a constant need to be entertained on a regular basis. Needless to say, times are tough for guys like me these days. Network television has entered the dreaded off-season. My beloved Knicks are utterly unwatchable. And the local multiplex is filled with ridiculously stupid movies about disobedient dogs, teen vampires, and detestable brides. Somebody fucking shoot me.
I therefore find myself spending a lot more quality time with my four-year-old daughter. And you know what? She is funny as shit.
Now I've spent a lot of time with some seriously funny people and there is nothing better than when they're in "the zone." Years ago, a buddy of mine and I had dinner with Jon Stewart and he had us laughing so hard that we were practically peeing in our pants. Another time, I was at a cocktail party and watched Jackie Mason hurl insults at people that were so funny that guests were practically lining up for the abuse. And, for the record, Jimmy Fallon is even funnier in person than he is on television.
Last night, the Peanut was in "the zone."
Earlier, we were eating ice cream together. Suddenly, my dreaded lactose intolerance kicks in and I tell her that I'm going to the bathroom. With both her cheeks filled with so much Ben & Jerry's ice cream that she looked like some sort of weird Asian chipmunk, the Peanut raises her head, gives me a thumbs-up sign, and yells out, "Go for it, dude. Good luck!"
When I come back from the bathroom, I find her strapped into her car seat with her underwear on her head and wearing her blue sunglasses. When I ask her what the hell she's doing and where she thinks she's going, she yells out "I'm going to AUSTRALIA!" She then starts singing The Fixx's "Saved By Zero" (Thanks, Toyota!)
I then lie down on the couch, close my eyes, and let her play in her little den by herself. However, every five minutes, I hear her talking to herself and I can't help but start laughing my ass off. Sample comments include "How come I can't open this freaking Play-Do?" "Holy cow, I'm a genius!" and "Hmm, I wonder if pink milk comes from pink cows."
While tears of laughter are streaming down my face, I suddenly realize that the Peanut doesn't find any of this half as hysterical as I do. The stuff that has me in stitches doesn't do a thing for her. Likewise, the things that make her cry with laughter usually make me roll my eyes and shake my head.
Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I now give you The Pre-Schooler's Guide to Stand-Up Comedy. The following are all guaranteed to make your average pre-schooler pee their pants and fill their pull-ups.
1. Noun + "Head" = Funny
The phrase "poopy-head" is like a kid's version of the classic stand-up comedy routine, "The Aristocrats." Say "poopy-head" to anyone under 3' tall and you'll hear howls of laughter.
Like "The Aristocrats," the joke can be modified in many ways but will still be uproariously hilarious ("Banana head" and "Cookie Head" are popular variations these days.)
2. Visual Incongruities
Elephants in tutus. Flying pigs. Cows on rollerskates. Men in dresses. Show kids pictures of any of these and they'll laugh their asses off. I get how it's funny the first time. How the hell is it still funny the 812th time?
3. Mistaken Identity
My younger brother looks strikingly similar to me. Sure I'm taller, better-looking, and dress better but there's no denying the resemblance. Sometimes when my brother goes to visit the Peanut at daycare, a few of the kids will run up to her and say, "Your daddy's here!" The Peanut thinks this is one of the funniest things in the whole world.
Of course, this is coming from the same kid who, two years ago, would run up to every Asian man she saw and give them a big hug while yelling "Daddy"---even when I was standing right next to her and holding her hand!
Oy, the irony...
4. Insanely Stupid Knock-Knock Jokes
Ever hear a bunch of little kids tell knock-knock jokes? After 5 minutes, you'll want to bang your head against a wall.
Knock-knock. Who's there? Orange. Orange who? Banana!
Knock-knock. Who's there? Knock-knock. Who's there? Knock-knock!
Knock-knock. Who's there? Nobody's home!
5. Parental Pain and Torture (aka Guantanamo Gallows Humor)
Sometimes I'll wake up because my daughter is squeezing my nose and is preventing air from entering my nostrils. Not really funny to me but hilarious to her.
A few months ago, I stubbed my toe and was hopping up and down on one foot while trying not to scream out a barrage of profanities. My daughter was laughing so hard, tears were streaming down her cheeks.
Yesterday, I totally spazzed out, slipped on some ice, went flying through the air, and hit my ass on the sidewalk so hard that I thought I may have permanently broken it. My daughter's response? "Do it again, Daddy!"
Real funny, kiddo!
You know what else is funny? TIME OUTS. Hah!
What do YOUR kids find funny?
By the way, I just found out that apparently Monday is something called Official Delurking Day, a day when readers of any blogs are encouraged to leave a comment on all the sites that they read. According to my buddy Chris, "The Official Delurking Day is back. Read the site? Comment. Comment all the time? Cool, do it again. A little shy? Come on, comment - you know you wanna. Take it to the streets - go comment all willy-nilly all over the blogosphere."
Normally I don't subscribe to the group-think mentality of the blogging community. I generally dislike ever telling people that they HAVE to do something. However, I do find it interesting to see how many people from all over the world read this site. So, while you're welcome to leave any comment you want, I thought it would be cool if you also told me where you lived.
Who knows? Maybe next time I'm in your town, I'll buy you a drink.