Sunday, September 13, 2015

Under the Bus: Lessons on Horrible Humor

Once after buying something at CVS I made a donation with my purchase.

GoofBoy, observing this, said, "Dad, that was really great that you gave that money to kids with diabetes."

"Buddy, I gave it to help kids with diabetes. I wouldn't give it to the kids with diabetes, they'd just use it to buy candy."

GoofBoy laughed hard and then said, "Dad that's really horrible."

"But funny. Lots of things that are really funny are also really horrible. That's how humor works."


Driving we like to put the GPS in other languages. For a while we had it set on German, which is fun because even if you don't understand a word, it is very insistent.

As I drove GoofBoy and his friends around to their practices, I translated the GPS.
Make a right in two minutes.Make a right now!You haf failed to follow instructions. U-turn immediately!U-turn! Schnell! You vill be late.Clearly you vill not follow ze instructions.Alternate route plotted.You vill take ze train. This train vill haf no stops!
GoofBoy laughed, and then said, wisely, "Dad, that's horrible."


I came home from a meeting at the synagogue and observed, "Could we have one synagogue meeting in which someone didn't invoke the Holocaust?"

Note: if we ever really wanted to debunk Zionist conspiracy theories, we should just invite anti-Semites to a synagogue meeting. They will pretty quickly be convinced that Jews can't run anything or keep a secret.

"What was it this time?" MamaGoof asked.

In a bellowing old man voice I yelled, "No gefilte fish after Shabbos services? It's like the Holocaust!"

Everyone laughed, but GoofBoy, again the voice of reason, noted, "Dad, this is horrible."

"But funny," I said, "And you know why? Because there's no business like the Shoah business."

This quickly became a punchline around the house. "We're out of the good maple syrup? It's like the Holocaust!"

"Ten minutes waiting for the ATM? It's like the Holocaust!"

Another aside: So far I've made fun of diabetics, Germans, Jews, and the Holocaust. I hope any outraged comments (assuming I have any readers) are similarly balanced. Also, in fairness, I regularly threaten to sell my kids on the dark web and make fun of their friends mercilessly. I also do truly terrible things to the Spanish language.

It resonated. GoofGirl came home from school the other day and said, "A lot of kids in my class were complaining when the school ran out of their favorite juice box. And I was like, 'We're out of raspberry-lemonade? It's like the Holocaust!'"

Here I sat up, "Did you say this?"

"No," GoofGirl answered, "But I was thinking it."

"OK. Good. Because a lot of people will, as your brother says, think this is horrible. You will get into big trouble. And I will have to go to lots of boring meetings at school. No one wants this. So if you slip up and say something inappropriate - I'm throwing you under the bus."

"What does that mean?" the Little Goofs asked in unison.

"It means that I'll tell them you are out of control and should be sent to juvey."

Just so we're clear.

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