These Days We Could Use Some Jokes

I posted this years ago, but it still makes me laugh. If you can use a laugh or two, feel free to read on.


1. What did the Buddhist ask the hot dog vendor?

“Make me one with everything.”

2. You know why you never see elephants hiding up in trees?

Because they’re really good at it.

3. What is red and smells like blue paint?

Red paint.

4. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

5. Where does the General keep his armies?

In his sleevies!

6. Why aren’t koalas actual bears?

The don’t meet the koalafications.

7. Why don’t blind people skydive?

Because it scares the crap out of their dogs.

8. I went in to a pet shop. I said, “Can I buy a goldfish?” The guy said, “Do you want an aquarium?”

I said, “I don’t care what star sign it is.”

9. What do you get when you cross a dyslexic, an insomniac, and an agnostic?

Someone who lays awake at night wondering if there is a dog.

10. A pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel on his pants, a peg leg and a parrot on his shoulder. The bartender says, “Hey, you’ve got a steering wheel on your pants.”

The pirate says, “Arrrr, I know. It’s driving me nuts.”

11. I saw a wino eating grapes.

I told him, you gotta wait. (Mitch Hedberg)

12. As a scarecrow, people say I’m outstanding in my field.

But hay, it’s in my jeans.

13. A man is walking in the desert with his horse and his dog when the dog says, “I can’t do this. I need water.” The man says, “I didn’t know dogs could talk.”

The horse says, “Me neither!”

14. A guy goes into a lawyer’s office and asks the lawyer: “Excuse me, how much do you charge?”

The lawyer responds: “I charge £1,000 to answer three questions.”

“Bloody hell – That’s a bit expensive isn’t it?”

“Yes. What’s your third question?”

15. What is the resemblance between a green apple and a red apple?

They’re both red except for the green one.

16. I have an EpiPen.

My friend gave it to me when he was dying, it seemed very important to him that I have it.

17. How did the hipster burn his mouth?

He ate the pizza before it was cool.

18. What’s the difference between an oral thermometer and a rectal thermometer?

The taste.

19. An atheist, a Crossfitter, and a vegan walk into a bar.

I know because they told me.

20. I waited and stayed up all night and tried to figure out where the sun was.

Then it dawned on me.

21. I told my friend 10 jokes to get him to laugh.

Sadly, no pun in 10 did.

22. I bought the world’s worst thesaurus yesterday.

Not only is it terrible, it’s terrible.

23. Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl go to the bathroom?

Because the “P” is silent!

24. How Long is a Chinese man’s name.

No, it actually is.

25. How does NASA organize a party?

They planet.

26. Knock Knock.

Who’s There?


To Who?

It’s To Whom.

27. What’s a pirates favorite letter?

You think it’s R but it be the C.

28. Have you heard about corduroy pillows?

They’re making headlines.

39. What did the green grape say to the purple grape?


40. Never criticize someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.

That way, when you criticize them, you’ll be a mile away, and you’ll have their shoes.

41. What do Alexander the Great and Winnie the Pooh have in common?

Same middle name.

42. I couldn’t believe that the highway department called my dad a thief.

But when I got home, all the signs were there.

43. My grandfather died peacefully, in his sleep…

…not screaming like the passengers in his car.

44. What did the left eye say to the right eye?

Between you and me, something smells.

45. Why did the cowboy get a wiener dog?

He wanted to get a long little doggie.

48. Sometimes I tuck my knees into my chest and lean forward.

That’s just how I roll.

These jokes are from “Thought Catalog” by Brandon Gorell

Changes Don’t Define Us

Last night the Crankee Yankee and I went out for an early dinner at our local seafood restaurant. It has sort of become a senior citizen place; there are usually more of us than younger people. Nearly every booth and table has a few canes or walkers near by. The waitstaff is always unfailing kind and patient, and go out of their way to make each diner feel welcome and appreciated.

After we ordered (baked sea scallops for me, and the “three fry” for the Crankee Yankee; shrimp, scallops and fish), we watched the folks around us. There was an older couple nearby, probably in their eighties. The man had tremors, and his legs and hands trembled constantly. His wife helped him when he needed it, but overall he managed quite well.

I had a sudden flash in my mind about him and his wife. I could almost see them as a young couple; him, strong and handsome, able to do anything from building a garage to diapering a baby. Her, lovely and capable; making delicious meals for her twin boys and baby girl; keeping their home tidy and neat, and letting her husband know each day how much she loved him. Who knows how long they have been together and what they have weathered together? Despite his trembling fingers, you could tell that he was still the love of her life.

These unexpected things are challenges for us all. We have no idea what will happen when we get older; we start off young and strong, and then the years fly by and we are older with infirmaties we could not have expected. Who could predict these things?

But still, still we are who we always have been, and nothing can take that away. In our hearts and minds, we are still young and vibrant; healthy and strong, our minds are sharp and our feet take us easily where we want to go. No infirmity or disease or circumstance can undermine who we are. Sure, it’s a royal pain to have health issues over which we have no control.

But that does not dictate who we are. I learned from the declines and eventual deaths of my parents that, as old and infirm as we become, the essential being inside is still vibrant and strong. When I saw my mother mere minutes after she died, her face was as beautiful and serene as always. When I watched my dad take his last breath, it was as though his lovely spirit halted its upward climb to smile back at me.

Health and age issues do not define us. The essential “us” always remains. I am sure that the couple I saw last night still see themselves as the young and vibrant beings they were on the day they married. Changes in age and life do not define who we are.

When the World is Too Much With Us

Does anyone remember William Wordsworth’s famous poem, “The World is Too Much With Us?” Here it is:

“The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.”
So what exactly does this mean? Given today’s events and the general disharmony nearly everywhere on the planet, the world really does feel too much for us all. No one seems to be happy, there is doom and gloom in too many places, people are fighting over ridiculous things, people who should know better are lying, cheating and stealing, and the list goes on.
What is happening to us all? When you think of the sheer vastness of the universe (and who’s to say that there is only one? Personally, I think that there are billions of universes we know nothing of; all teaming with life), isn’t it possible that there are planets with sentient life just like ours?
Of course, all this is not the meaning of this famous and thought-provoking poem. To me anyway, this poem speaks of precious time lost by worrying, trying to out-do each other, complaining about useless things, and ignoring all the gifts we have been given. So how can we move softly and safely out of all the sturm and drang that is in our lives each day?
My guess would be to make an effort to see what is still good, what is still positive and what is still happiness in our lives. The bad things that are happening now are scary and terrible, which makes it more important to be a source of light, of joy, of faith and of the power of kindness. It isn’t that hard to do, either. We can choose to look at the good things in our lives, the people we love; even the ones that have gone on but have left a gracious legacy of kindness and hope for us.
We must not let the angst, fear, hatred and doubt cloud our minds. As bad as things may be, there is always something to be thankful for; it can be the smallest thing. But if that small thing is positive and kind, it will help dissipate the anger, fear, doubt and worry. One of my uncles (now gone) used to always say, “it could be worse.”
I used to roll my eyes at that one, but now that I am nearly as old as he was then, I get it.

Welcome to Weirdsville

Yesterday was one of the strangest days I’ve experienced in a long time. The Crankee Yankee and I had decided to go out for lunch at our favorite Chinese buffet—and then the weirdness began (insert spooky music here).

First of all, we nearly got rammed from behind by a very impatient New Yorker. I realize that New Hampshire traffic probably feels unbearably slow and pokey to someone from that very fast-paced city. Evidently, we were keeping him from something very important (I’m thinking any of these possibilities: wife in labor, sudden onset diarrhea, a call from a neighbor that his house was on fire, etc.). He managed to slide by on our left side (about two inches away) and zoom in front of us so that he got those precious inches ahead of us. Well played, New Yorker; well played.

Second, once we parked and started walking in to the buffet, we saw a middle-aged guy walking backwards—for no apparent reason we could think of. We walked a good distance away from him and went inside.

Third, it happened to be senior day at the buffet. There were two buses full of happy (and hungry) seniors, and they just about cleaned out each and every pan of food. Seriously, by the time we went up to get our usual crab rangoons and egg rolls, there were just crumbs left. But the wait staff came flying out bearing more food, so we loaded our plates up before the seniors could scarf up their second or third meals.

Look, I have nothing against older people, and think it’s marvelous that they can have driver take them out for a nice Chinese lunch now and then. It’s just a bit scary when you consider that most of them have walking issues, and then you see them practically galloping to load up on more fried rice and General Gau’s chicken!

Fortunately, by the time we got home, it seemed that the weirdness had pretty much pooped out. Besides, we decided a long time ago that we are weirdo magnets anyway. Perhaps we give the impression of being more tolerant of weirdos than most people. Who knows? It’s a little unsettling, but it certainly keeps us on our toes!

Living in Kitchen Renovation

The Crankee Yankee is renovating our kitchen. While I was in Hawaii, he and his brother tore down all the ancient formica, the eternally dusty cabinets, and old insulation (and he told me that there were generations of mice doo-dads in it as well). So the walls are stripped right down to their boards. It looks sort of like the walls are now standing around in their underwear.

Fresh new insulation is being put in, with new plywood over it. Next will be the sheetrock (which we will paint a lovely lemon color), then the new formica (a beautiful speckled gray). Once that’s all up, the new cupboards can be installed. They are a lovely driftwood gray, and best of all, they have doors with handles! Suffice it to say that our old cabinets did not have doors, so there was always loads of dust.

The new ceiling is nearly all up, and I play handyman’s helper to the Crankee Yankee. At the end of each day, we clean up and talk about what comes next. As our dishwasher, kitchen sink and stove are on the back porch, we are managing on coffee from our Kerig, paper plates and plastic utensils, and take-out. Actually, it’s kind of fun. We tell people that we are living in “Kamp Kerig.”

I’ve read about couples who get so irritated with the whole kitchen renovating process that they actually divorce! Luckily for us, it seems we can always find the funny side of it all. We are managing quite well; fresh hot coffee in the morning, toast and peanut butter for breakfast (or a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich), the Crankee Yankee doing all the heavy lifting, and me handing him nails and screws as needed.

Amazing, the cats have been pretty unflappable about it all. As long as they get their meals on time, fresh water, treats and lots of attention, they’re all good to go. The sound of hammers and other tools (and some swearing) doesn’t seem to bother them. They just stay out of the kitchen until the Crankee Yankee does his final clean-up for the day.

I won’t deny that I am looking forward to the finished product, but for now, things are going on pretty well. As I have never in my life had a new kitchen, this is pretty exciting. One thing you can count on if you live in a house; there is always something that needs fixing. If I were on my own, living in a nice condo, I would just call the maintenence guy to come over and fix what needs fixing. No worries and no mess.

However, there is a lot to be said for living with a man as handy as the Crankee Yankee is. Having been a carpenter and foreman during his working years, he knows how to do dang near everything. And what he doesn’t know how to do, his brother does. So for now, living in Kamp Kerig isn’t bad at all.

Common Sense; Not So Common Now

Well, it finally happened; I am now thinking and talking the way my parents used to think and talk. I even make that annoying and disparaging “tsk, tsk” sound, too. Way back when many of us crawled out of the primodial ooze (say, the 1950’s), our parents taught us the following “common sense rules”:

  • Do not speak to strangers
  • Do not take candy from someone you don’t know
  • Say “please” and “thank you”
  • Look both ways before you cross the street
  • Be respectful to your elders; they have lived a lot longer than you have, and they know a ton of stuff you don’t know
  • When given a gift, write a thank you note
  • Don’t walk down the middle of the road (are you stupid or suicidal?)
  • Never ever get into a stranger’s car
  • The whole world does not revolve around you
  • If you don’t learn how to drive a car safely, then you better get used to taking the bus
  • Do not lie to your parents; they always know when you are lying
  • If you don’t follow the rules of the house, get ready for punishment
  • Do not swear; it is rude and makes you sound ignorant
  • Pay attention in school; your teachers know more than you think
  • If you want a new bike, work for it
  • Using the telephone is a privilege, not a right
  • Do not use up all the hot water for your bath; other family members would like to take a bath, too
  • If you want a pet, learn to care for it properly and be responsible
  • If something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t
  • You are a working member of a family, so do your chores and stop whining about it
  • Remember that history can repeat itself
  • By the time you are in middle school, you should know how to do the following:
    • Wash and dry dishes
    • Take care of your clothes; washing, drying, ironing
    • Make your bed properly
    • Make simple meals
    • Try different foods; don’t go by looks alone
    • Don’t judge people unless you have walked in their shoes
    • Don’t be rude
    • Think first before you speak

Of course, there is much more. We called it “common sense” back then, and it was a part of life that kept us safe. Our parents made sure that we would be ready in every way to face the world on our own. When we did something wrong, we were called on it and were punished according to the crime. Back then, the worst thing a kid could do was something downright stupid. It not only endangered the kid, but it also reflected badly on the parents.

You see, back then parents parented. They did not want to be their childrens’ best friend, they wanted to be the right kind of parents who taught their children the ways of the world and how to survive in it.

In these days, it seems as though common sense has been kicked to the curb (along with many other things that were useful and part of a child’s growing-up years). Whenever I see a kid (old enough to know better) walking down the middle of the street, earphones on, eyes on their phones; I think ‘who raised you to be that stupid?’

These times remind me of the song from Bye, Bye Birdie about kids today:

I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today!
Who can understand anything they say?
They are disobedient, disrespectful oafs!
Noisy, crazy, sloppy, lazy, loafers!
While we’re on the subject:
You can talk and talk till your face is blue!
But they still just do what they want to do!
Why can’t they be like we were
Perfect in every way?
What’s the matter with kids today?”

The Attitude of Trees

Since I’ve been home, I have been studying our staunch New England trees. Having spent two weeks in Oahu admiring so many different and exotic trees and flowers, our oaks, pines and maples seem pretty tame. Our trees have an austere and slightly admonishing look to them; no flowers, no elegantly twisted trunks and vines for them! They are tall and severe and brook no fripperies or foolishness.

In Hawaii, there are trees and vines and flowers that make you feel as if you are in the Garden of Eden. The greenery is opulent and luxurious, and the trees and flowers are as lovely as runway models. They are gorgeous and they know it. I took more pictures of roots and trees and flowers and vines than anything else.

I often wonder that, if trees could meet and talk with each other, what would they say? Would our dour, sturdy New England trees pontificate about purpose vs. beauty and strength vs. indolence? Would the Hawaiian trees talk about how beauty lightens the soul, and how just being lovely is a gift to mankind?

Wouldn’t that be a conversation?

HAWAIIAN COCONUT GREEN @@ coco plant palm tree Cocos nucifera seeds, 1 live SEED

Coconut palm

Plumeria (Frangipani) Hawaiian Plant Cuttings - 4 Pack Red, White,Yellow, Pink Cutting

Plumeria (Frangipani)

Delightfully Fragrant White Butterfly Ginger ~ Live Rhizome ~ Bare Root

Butterfly ginger


Kukui tree


Koa tree


And Here’s What I’ve Learned That Matters Most…

While I have lost my grandparents, my parents, most of my aunts and uncles and some of my beloved cats, I have not lost my friends. I found that, as the time for me to leave Hawaii came close, I really wanted to go home. I was homesick for the Crankee Yankee, our home and the cats and all my friends.

Being on my own for the first time in years, I realized how much my friends mean to me. The fact that I could text or email or call my friends made me feel better. They are the people who have become *ohana to me over the years. I would call the Crankee Yankee every morning (and sometimes at night), and I would call on my friends. Yep, even in beautiful Hawaii, which is also called Paradise, I was missing the Crankee Yankee, the cats and my friends.

In those last four days, I really felt the impact of being so far away from home. It has been years since I traveled (2001, to be exact), and it was an adventure. It was good for me, too—I found that I had become used to leaning on the Crankee Yankee for nearly everything. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s sort of a warning to stand alone now and then.

Before I even set up my travel arrangements, I found that I had already been unconsciously getting ready to travel. I hadn’t visited my old camp friend for a long time, and I visited her down in Webster, Mass. She gave me good directions, and I surprised myself by not getting lost. Months later I went to visit another old friend who had moved to Windham; again, I followed her directions and behold and lo—I did not get lost.

So when I would start panicking about flying, I would say this mantra to myself: “I got to Mass and Windham just fine; I can do this.” And what do you know; I had a smooth trip from Boston to San Francisco, then a two hour layover. Then I had an equally smooth trip to Honolulu. And there I was, in the place of my dreams and nothing bad happened!

The trip was kind of a leap of faith. But toward the end, the voices and emails from my friends kept me going. To all of you I called and emailed, thank you. Thank you for being my friends and for caring for me.

What really matters most is the people who put up with us, who love us and care for us and believe in us. That invisible link to those who are dear to us are so important, and oh—how they matter!

*Remember the movie “Lilo and Stitch?” It takes place in Hawaii, and their set phrase is this: “ohana means family; it means no one gets left behind.”

The Last Luau

My last tour was one more luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center. During the day, we went from event to event at the sound of the *pū:

Conch Blower, morning of Hi`uwai and Ho`okupu, Spencer Beach Park, South Kohala—Sept. 1, 2007. photo courtesy of Michael O’Brien

There were spear-throwing contests, hula dance instruction, demonstrations of early fishing with nets, and, as the “special guest” of the luau, the roasted pig (or kalua pig) was carried around for all to see.

As the evening progressed, the moon rose above the sea, and we enjoyed traditional hula dancing and singing from both women and men. The luau was wonderful; it consisted of kalua pig, pasta salad, roasted chicken, broccoli salad, potato salad and poi rolls (these soft and delicious rolls took on the purple color of poi, which is made from taro).

For dessert there was a small plate containing a slice of chocolate coconut cake, a generous slice of fresh pineapple and a square of Hawaii’s answer to tapioca pudding, **haupia.

As the night ended with applause and laughter, we all got on our respective buses, happy and contented. Our fabulous tour guide, a gorgeous Samoan girl, kept us laughing. She also made sure that the music on the radio was from us older folks’ generation. We probably annoyed the hell out of the young people as we sang along with “Sweet Caroline” (including the “bomp-bomp-bomp” as well) and other favorites.

It was a sweet and lovely end to my tours in Oahu. The following day was my last “free” day.

*From Keola magazine; post by Catherine Tarleton:

“The tropically iconic conch shell trumpet, or pū, is often seen at the lips of malo-clad beach boys, sounding the start of sunset and tiki torch lighting time. The tradition of the pū is ancient, sending out a sound that resonates attention, respect, and significance across the ocean and time.

In Hawai‘i for countless generations the pū has announced the arrival of canoes, the entrance of ali‘i, and the beginning of protocols. Today, its one-note fanfare is used to start a meeting, bless a home, or call a gathering to order.”

From Wikipedia: In ancient pū society, the aliʻi were the hereditary nobles (social class or caste). The aliʻi consisted of the higher and lesser chiefs of the various levels within the islands. The noho aliʻi were the ruling chiefs. The aliʻi were believed to be descended from the gods. They governed with divine power called mana which was derived from the spiritual energy of their ancestors.

There were eleven classes of aliʻi, of both men and women. These included the kahuna (priest/priestess, experts, craftsmen and canoe maker) as part of four professions practiced by the nobility. Each island had its own aliʻi nui, who governed their individual systems. Aliʻi continued to rule the Hawaiian islands until 1893, when Queen Liliʻuokalani was overthrown by a coup d’état backed by the United States government.

Aliʻi nui were ruling chiefs (in Hawaiiannui means grand, great, or supreme. The nui title could be passed on by right of birth.

**Haupia is a traditional coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert often found at luaus and other local gatherings in Hawaiʻi. Since the 1940s, it has become popular as a topping for white cake, especially at weddings. Although technically considered a pudding, the consistency of haupia closely approximates gelatin dessert and is usually served in blocks like gelatin.