Natalie knows why the chicken crossed the road: to get to the other side.
To her, this is not a joke, but a logical conclusion. It still amuses her, for she smiles every time she hears it, but I also can’t help wondering if she’s smiling at how much of a dope I am because I keep asking such a stupid question.
So, at breakfast, I tried another joke.
“Hey, Nat,” I said eagerly. “What’s pink, with purple polka dots, and eats people?”
She looked up from her pancakes. “Uh,” she said. “A cow?” Then she nodded solemnly. “A cow.”
For my part, I was offended that I got punchline-bombed. “A pink and purple polka-dotted people eater, silly!”
“A cow,” she reaffirmed and returned to her pancakes.
I turned to my wife, Joanna. “My joke was funny,” I said and she patted my arm sympathetically.
“Maybe try another joke,” she said.
“Maybe about cows?”
“Sure,” she said, and patted my arm again. “Sure.”
“Hey, Nat,” I said eagerly. “Why did the cow stand in the pasture?”
“It was waiting for a taxi.”
“That makes no sense,” I complained.
“It needed a ride to the airport.”
“Cows are NOT allowed to ride on airplanes!” I said.
“You know what?” Jo said. “Her punchlines are better than your punchlines.”
“You haven’t even heard my punchline.”
She nodded. “Okay,” she said. “Let’s hear it. Why did the stand in the pasture?”
“Because it didn’t want to moooooooove,” I said.
“No,” said Nat, irritated. “It was waiting for a taxi.”
“Hey, Natalie,” said my wife. “How many dads does it take to change a lightbulb?”
“600,” Natalie replied.
“Why so many?”
“Cause they can help each other carry the lightbulb,” she shrugged.
“Just eat your pancakes, kid,” I grumbled. “Just eat your pancakes.”