Sunday, September 5, 2010

Does your Dad think he's funny?

Fam Fibro had big plans for this weekend. We were going to the Big Smoke. To the footy. To visit family. To see friends. But the weather conspired against us. A rugby league match loses its appeal when you know you'll be sitting on the grass, in the open, in the rain. It went against the grain, but we cancelled.

Which left us at a loose end. For a whole weekend. When was the last time you had an entire weekend with no plans? In the rain? What did you do?

Yesterday, we cleaned house. With me gritting my teeth against the tedium of it all while we were doing it - and smiling with joy once it was done. Half of my To Do list was To Done in one fell swoop. Good feeling.

Today it was literally blowing a gale. The front yard was awash with twigs and branches and leaves and general debris. Which was a better outcome than our neighbour on the corner, whose front yard was buried under an entire tree.

It was also Fathers' Day. Mr3 had picked out Katrina Germein's picture book 'My Dad Thinks He's Funny' to give to The Builder. He was drawn to the illustration (by Tom Jellett) on the front of the Dad holding the kid upside down. This form of acrobatics is often practised in the Fibro. I admit I smirked as I paid the shop assistant for it. I'd read the front page, you see.

"My Dad thinks he's funny. Whenever I put lots of sauce on my plate, Dad says, 'Would you like some dinner with that sauce?'"

It wasn't even so much that I could hear The Builder saying that, as the fact that I could hear my Dad saying that. The book is full of those universal Dad sayings. The ones that make you wonder if there's some kind of Dad study group out there that they're not telling you about. I'm pretty sure my Dad graduated top of that particular class.

Of course, each Dad also has his own particular brand of stand-up. Confronted by a group of children - actually, anyone under 40 - he will not be able to help himself saying, 'heads on 'em like mice'. It's just what he does. But he's funnier when he's not trying.

One afternoon, when I was about 15, I was standing out the front of our house, talking to a boy from around the corner. Dad wandered down the drive, carrying a pink double-bed mattress. He opened the gate, and walked past as we watched in silence.

"Where are you going with that?" I asked, teenage disdain dripping from every syllable.

"To the club," he responded.

"Like, why would anyone take a mattress to the club?" I asked (you can see the eye-roll, can't you?).

"To swap it for a suit, of course," he replied, sailing off down the street with his mattress, leaving us in fits of laughter at the gate.

He came home with a suit. It still makes me laugh. Did they do the deal in the carpark, or did he swing into the bar with his eye-catching load?

That one's not in the book. But you'll remember this one: "When I tell Dad I think there's something in my eye, he says 'Yeah, an eyeball.'"

The Builder says he doesn't use all these jokes.

I say, 'Not yet.'


  1. I'm awaiting these Dad jokes from my Mr but he's been good to date except for the over the top tickles and physical rough play that starts out as fun and always ends in tears that I end up wiping off! :)

    I love that story about your Dad swapping a mattress for a suit.

    My Dad was a used car salesman and restaurant owner and was full of embarrassing statements when I was a teen as he's "that" type of fairly charming man (at least to the public universe). Even though he's Italian he used to speak in Cockney rhyming slang all the time. I think he thought it made him cool....errr....

    Great post!

  2. There's must be a book written by my Huzz and his brother with all the jokes they reel out time and time again - still we laugh and tears roll down our cheeks.
    The old ones (jokes that is, not fathers!) are the best.

  3. Ah, Allison, I was only commenting on this last night around the dinne table, when I asked if all Dad's went from the same script? Did they get given a "Dad cassette implant" at birth?!

    The story of your Dad swapping a mattress for a suit...hilarious.

  4. Loved that post! So true! They think they are so funny too, don't they? My Dad always baits me with his 'funny' comments waiting for a reaction, which , without fail, I give him as I still haven't learnt, after 38 years, the skill of refrain. He can be the most embarrassing person in the world!

  5. So funny! My Dad was full of these jokes too... and my Grandad...

    My husband has been telling dad jokes all his life - one day I'm sure our daughter will have the same well-practiced eye roll that we did :)

  6. Hi Alison, So glad the book caught Mr3's attention and brought back memories for you. It was such a fun book to write.

  7. Dad Jokes. The best and worst jokes in the world. It won't surprise you to know that LOML works diligently at his stash of DJs, to the point where he is inventing his own. Provided they are eye-roll inducing, they fit the DJ criteria. He's got a long way to go to catch up on our dad though - the self-crowned King of Dad Jokes!

    PS - I find it more than interesting that every time you mention an author they pop up on your site to comment.

  8. @Maxabella - no cash for comment scandal here - am Twitter friends with a lot of writers. Clearly it's a great way for them to publicise their books because I will often read the book after I've 'met' them on Twitter. If I love it, I might mention it on my blog, and I let them know that I have so they can tell their friends about it. Is an incestuous little world, the writing world. :-)

  9. Oh! Dad Jokes! Geege feels the pressure being a dad of four (with three potential Dad proteges). He is still building his artillery but he throws out a ripper every now and then. Our Dad on the other hand really is the king huh? I have never heard the mattress story before. Made me giggle. Bloody Dad!

  10. I think it's some kind of DNA thing -- when they hand a man his firstborn, the DadJoke Gene is automatically activated.
    For years I've been thinking there should be a Dad Joke book because I'm sure most people would have a contribution to make!
    Going to track this one down now.

  11. I'm still traumatised by the dad joke my husband played with my son the other day. They both thought it was HIGHlarious. I'm going to have to buy the book I think ;)

  12. We call them Dadisms....and apparently Australian Dadism's are different to English Dadism's (Crazy Car Man is an English) and as a result he finds them thoroughly amusing and spouts them when appropriate (and sometimes when not) often making me wonder if my husband is morphing into an English/Australian hybrid of my Dad. I really really don't want to travel any further down that thought avenue!

  13. My Dad loves a good cemetery joke. You know, the whole, 'It's the dead centre of town' and 'Everyone's dying to get in there'. Saw this book at my daughter's school today, in her classroom, so will definitely be reading soon!

  14. Q: What's green and sings?

    A: Elvis Parsley

  15. My dad was spectacularly unfunny, but my first hubby was from a very jokey family and the kids learned early how to answer back.


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