Monday, June 21, 2010

My Dad Rules, Too

My father is the king of perfectly timed one liners. And, sometimes, that means only one word.

For example: Two years ago at my parent's Thanksgiving dinner, I was entertaining our guests with a story of an awful date with a guy who, unfortunately, also was known as "Jess" (this was not, in it of itself, the reason for the date being awful. Edited to Add: I remembered last night that one of my first blog entries was about that date).

I was recalling how, on our way out the door after dinner, this young man commented on our use of the same nickname, and asked "Well, if you go by 'Jess' and I go by 'Jess', what am I supposed to call myself?"

Dad chimed into my story to suggest: "Shmuck?"

The room dissolved in laughter to the point of tears. Which ended that particular story, but on a hilarious note that was far better than how it actually wound up closing. (I had said "You need to call yourself something?")

My father has an amazing sense of comedic timing and excellent storytelling skills. So much so that his long-winded stories and jokes were among the first I tried to retell to my friends as a little girl.  However, I never garnered on the playground the same roaring reception that his stories received at my parents dinner table, crowded with their friends and colleagues. I'd try out his shaggy-dog stories with the same mannerisms and pauses he used. But my poor, benighted elementary school classmates just did not appreciate the humor in his story about a Russian-speaking guest-conductor who explains to his American orchestra: "Bad. Not good."  (Yes, that is the punchline.)

I know my sister has inherited his comedic timing. I like to think I've inherited some of his storytelling skills -- although my delivery isn't quite right in telling the one about the Jew Who Won The Lottery. But if you get to know my Dad, he'll tell you the joke himself.
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