The Gift of Joke-Telling

The ability to tell a great joke is a wonderful gift. I wish I had it. My problem is that I can never remember the damn joke. I remember who told it, how hard I laughed, where I was when I heard it, and tantalizing snippets of the set-up or the punchline. But never enough to tell the joke well. Just the other day, a friend told me a swell joke. It’s already slipping away so let me get it down quick.

A man inherited a parrot when his aunt died. The bird had been his aunt’s great joy and he felt responsible for keeping it, and keeping it healthy. However, it was an unruly and obnoxious bird that spewed expletives at guests and woke him every night with loud chatter. The man made many efforts to control the bird – he covered the cage, he relocated the cage, he offered treats and praise for good behavior, scolds for bad behavior. None of it worked. Finally, in desperation, he stuck the bird in the freezer for a brief time.

Much to the man’s surprise, the parrot emerged a changed bird: humble, chastened, polite.

“I’m sorry I had to do that to you,” the man told the bird. “I hope I never have to again.”

“Understood!” the parrot replied. “And might I ask …


7 thoughts on “The Gift of Joke-Telling

  1. […] yesterday’s post, I noted that I can never remember a joke’s punch line. That got me thinking about  lines […]


  2. That 2-page layout was truly like The Joke That Just Kept Giving. I chuckled, when I thought you’d cleverly set up an elaborate “See? I already forgot the punchline!” ruse. Then I read the comments, saw the 2nd page and actual punchline and laughed even harder.
    Genius…whether you intended it all or not.


  3. Update on my earlier comment: Just noticed that there was a second page, which I might have missed if I wasn’t paying attention. Did you mean to have two pages, because it definitely cuts off the punchline! But you know, I thought it was AWESOME that you left us hanging, as if to re-emphasize the “can’t remember jokes” theme.
    Either way, it was fun. :O)


    • I didn’t mean to leave you hanging! I did mean to have two pages to prevent advance reading of the punchline. (My eyes always skip ahead when I am reading and I hate that…) Although you are right, no punchline would have been a perfect conclusion to the “can’t remember” theme. …. (ponders) How mean would it be to scrap the punch line…


  4. Awwww! I see what you did there. Very effective “always leave ’em wanting more” post. smile.


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