Jokes

Often at family dinners, the kids like to tell jokes. Some of them are funny and some aren’t, but that’s OK, we all have fun. Often they’re the same jokes that I told when I was a kid. A little while ago, my nephew told this joke:

I have ten apples in this hand and ten apples in this hand. One falls out. What do I have?

A: A lot of apples.

All of the adults chuckled. The two younger kids didn’t get it. My niece doesn’t even see how it’s a joke. I tried to explain to her that the joke is the way it subverts expectations. It sounds like a math problem, but then the answer doesn’t even have a number. That didn’t help. Weeks later, whenever jokes come up at dinner, my niece brings up this joke again and expresses her frustration because it’s not even a joke. It’s gotten to the point that this joke has now become a running joke for my family.

It’s interesting the way humor develops in kids. When they’re really young, jokes don’t work at all. Humor is all about silliness with maybe a little slapstick. After a little while, wordplay becomes funny, especially puns. Then, they start getting simple and obvious jokes. The jokes get more complicated and subtler with time. I’m still wondering when they will reach the age where they’ll be able to appreciate an actual comedy routine. It’s fun watching the progression.

That’s all I wanted to say. Nothing deep. But I also wanted to share a variation on the joke that my nephew told:

I have ten apples in this hand and ten apples in this hand. One falls out. What do I have?

A: Big hands

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