Last night we had a family dinner. By family dinner I mean, Stan, the kids, my parents and I. We try hard to have dinner together once a week, generally on a Sunday. Yesterday was Sunday, so it was family dinner night.
I remember the first dinner Stan and I had with my parents. It was fall of 1991. Stan and I had just started dating. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army, a brand new officer. My dad was full Colonel, and had been for 16 years. There was a massive rank disparity between Stan and my dad, but my parents were the ultimate host and hostess. They were well practiced in the art of opening their door to everyone, always striving hard to make sure to all felt welcome in their house. At this particular dinner my dad worked especially hard to make sure Stan and his fellow Lieutenants felt at home and comfortable. I think he almost worked too hard. My dad has always loved a good joke, and to him none of his jokes ~ the racy, the clean, the unmentionable, the naughty or the otherwise ~ were off limits when it came to telling them. My dad was sitting at the head of the table in the formal dining room with the crystal chandelier sparkling overhead. My mom was at the other end of the beautifully set table complete with china and silver service. I was across from Stan. His friends were sprinkled in between Stan, my parents and me. At some point during our dinner, my dad decided it was time to break everyone in and tell his joke.
He begins, “What has two fingers, speaks French and likes blow jobs?” Silence descended on the table as we all tried to absorb the words my dad just spoke out loud. I looked at my mom, whose face told the story…she’s used to my dad’s ribald humor. I looked at Stan and his friends and I realized my new boyfriend and his friends were definitely not used to my dad’s humor. Stan sat frozen, wondering if his new girlfriend’s father, who just so happened to be a Colonel, just said the words blow job. Finally, one of Stan’s friends clears his throat and says, “Um, likes blow jobs, sir?” “Yes,” my dad answers, “Likes blow jobs.” Heads shake in unison. No one knows how to answer. Finally, my dad gleefully tells his punch line… He takes his two index fingers, points to himself and says, “MOI!” The boys burst out with nervous laughter. My mom says, “Frank!” And I just turn about 2000 shades of crimson. I love a good joke, and I love telling a raunchy joke. But to tell that one in front of me and my new boyfriend took my dad’s joke telling to a whole new level.
Fast forward 22 years. Last night at our family dinner, it was my turn to tell my own version of a naughty joke. We sat together as we all finished with our meal. Stan started talking about one of his brothers whose bread company just bought all of the Hostess bread products. Talk turned from Wonder Bread, to Hostess Cupcakes, to Ding Dongs and on to Twinkies. Cue the humorous music…
“Did I ever tell you the story about the little girl who went with her father to the barbershop?” I begin. Everyone’s attention turns to me and they all answer “No.” I continue, “Well, she was standing right next to her father as he got his haircut. She was happily enjoying her Twinkie when the barber said to her ‘Be careful, honey. You’re going to get hair on your Twinkie.’ The little girl responds, ‘Yes, and someday I’ll get boobies, too!'”
The table erupted in laughter. Stan laughed so hard he had tears pooling in his eyes. Zach laughed and laughed and laughed. Lucas sat dumbstruck for a minute, not really believing I just told a joke like that. My mom and dad both laughed more than appreciatively. And Claire giggled. Stan said, “In all these years I’ve known you, you’ve never told that joke before.” I know…gotta keep him on his toes!
So, every now and again it’s a little fun for this mama to tell a slightly naughty joke. Maybe someday I’ll tell them about the ice cream eating penguin, but then again ~ maybe not.
Oh, for the love of my children…