Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Have a New Joke

I love the development of sense of humor in children. When they're really little, any unusual noise is funny. When they get a little older, anything that sounds like someone might've passed gas is hilarious! At some point in early grade school, they start telling jokes that go something like,
Hey, why did the chicken cross the road? Because it had dirt on it! Hahahahahahahaha!

to which you have to laugh just because they're so tickled about nothing. As time goes on, they're jokes get a little funnier, and knock knock jokes get ever more popular. But i just love watching the progression of their understanding of what is funny.

In my recent opportunity to babysit my neighbor's three year old twins, i have developed a new joke in regard to childrens' humor development. Up until now, i haven't been able to share it with anyone. I am going to share it with you so that you can think it's funny too.

While babysitting, i watched a LOT of children's movies, and took note of how the parts the children think are funny are not the same parts that i think are funny. The people who write those cartoons are geniuses in that they can make the same material equally funny to adults and small children - but in completely different ways.

The funny part begins when you, as the adult amongst small children, allow yourself to laugh out loud at the parts that are funny to you but not to them. After all, it's probably helpful for them to start learning what actually is funny, right?Inevitably, the small, ever-learning mind of the 3-year old will turn and ask, "what happened?" Then you answer them. Then you get to laugh again, but this time more quietly so they don't get a complex.

I was able to practice my new joke most successfully the other day when i watched Monsters, Inc. with my young friends. If you haven't seen it, Monsters, Inc. is a Pixar animation from 2001. The story is about an imaginary city where many sorts of monsters live. The main characters work for a company whose job is to send monsters through human childrens' closet doors in order to produce screams. These screams produce energy on which the monsters' city runs. Accidentally one of the monsters accidentally brings a child (who thinks he's just a giant kitty) back with him. Thus the plot of the story progresses. I won't spoil it for you.

At the end of the movie, however, after all the credits, at the very end, in small print that i'm sure the producers thought no one would read, are the words, "No monsters were harmed in the making of the motion picture."

Well, that made me laugh, and i laughed out loud.

Of course, Jack, a curious 3-year old boy, turned to me and said, "what was it?" He wanted to know what made me laugh.

So i said, "it said, 'no monsters were harmed in the making of this motion picture.'"

Since he was a little too far away, Jack wasn't sure he heard me right, and he came closer and said, "what?"

Again, i said, "it said, 'no monsters were harmed in the making of this motion picture.'"

To which Jack stared at me blankly, smiled really really big like he got it, and laughed.

Then i got the best laugh of all. But i had to do it silently.

That still makes me laugh right now.


  1. Very funny!! I laughed also!! I love it!! Thanks for the smile ~ back to work for me!!

  2. bETH, somehow I'm not able to read all of the post. it's as if the whole right of the post is chopped off, maybe 2-4 or 5 words of each sentence. is it my computer?

    it does it in the next article as well...

    help! i love reading this. it helps me understand and i cheer you on for speaking about al of this...

    did you read the Light and the Glory and it's sequel, put out years ago about America's history?

    what books are you reading now?

    write to my email when you want to reply - and I hope to see you again tomorrow. i have missed you so much....

    love love love

  3. A while back, I had written a list of things that I needed to do that day.. along with a few grocery items. My 3 yr old grandbaby Jade and I were getting ready to leave the I was reading my list out loud just mumbling, double checking it.... "bread, cheese......Jade"

    Ever so sweety this little princess said...."Bedste...
    you already have a Jade"


What do you think about that?