What would we do without the wonderful world of dad jokes?
You know the ones: Those jokes that make our dads belly laugh while we stand there—not. getting. it. at. all.—and replying dryly, “That’s funny.”
My family on my father’s side was full of them.
On this Father’s Day, I’d like to memorialize some of the notorious words from my Grandpa Fleming that are still used to this day.
Ready? Here we go…
While swimming, my grandpa would often lean over and ask, “Is the water wet?”
That’s it. That’s the joke. He would be belly laughing by now.
All these years later, still not getting it, l looked it up via a trusty Google search. It’s a quantum physics joke—water can’t be wet. Oh, boy.
On the same note, heard this doozy?
“Werner Heisenberg is speeding down a highway in his car when he’s stopped by a police officer. ‘Do you know how fast you were going?’ asks the officer. ‘No idea,’ answers Heisenberg, ‘But I know exactly where I am.'”
Again, a quantum physics joke…again, not belly laughing yet.
Yet, those times hanging out with my grandpa—watching my dad and him giggle together over those jokes—are priceless.
Even if I never understood the humor, I loved watching their joy. It was contagious.
Now, riddles were big for my Grandpa too. Maybe, it was a part of his Irish heritage.
He would giggle even before he’d told this one:
Had a little pony, and his name was Jack.
I put ‘im in the stable
And he jumped through the crack.
I had a little dog, and his name was Rover.
When he died,
He died all over.
It took me ages to understand that one. It’s an oral poem or folk song that has evolved over the years. It dates back to at least 1909. Pretty interesting, but not a gut buster for me.
This joke was in the shape of a card game. It taught me quickly about being too eager to say, “Yes.”
“Want to play 52 pick up?”
(He would hold the 52 cards of a deck in his one hand, and then squeeze the deck and let them flick wildly onto the floor.)
“There are 52, now pick ‘em up!”
I only fell for that one a few times before I took the trick elsewhere to play it on others. Then it was pretty funny.
Some of the jokes are getting lost over the generations, but this one is still a regular greeting for the youngest in the bunch. They know it’s coming and love it.
I’m glad to see you back, (gently smacked my back)
From the front, (gently tickled my tummy)
Ol’ top… (gently tapped on the top of my head)
(Followed by a hug.)
Each one of these may not be an average joke, but they were to my family. I’ve grown to love them as much as the men who told them.
Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads, step-dads, double dads, and I-wish-you-really-were-my-dad dads!
Author: Kate Fleming
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Supervising Editor 1: Taia Butler
Supervising Editor 2: Caitlin Oriel