That’s a joke, son. I made a funny and you’re not laughing!

Growing up my dad told the dumbest jokes. My sister and I heard them a million times but he’d bring them out again anytime someone new showed up. Usually when we were trapped in the car on a long trip, leaving us to roll our eyes while the new victim listened with rapt attention. Most of them involved a couple of idiots called “the working stiffs”. No idea if he picked up the stories from elsewhere or made them up himself. I think this might be my favorite.

Two working stiffs were digging a ditch. It was hot and miserable. Their supervisor sat nearby under a shady tree, sipping lemonade. The working stiffs got to talking and thought this unfair. One of them climbed out of the ditch, walked over to the supervisor and asked:

“How come we’re stuck in that ditch digging away, and you’re sitting in the shade sipping lemonade?”

The supervisor considered this carefully. Then he stood up and placed a hand on the tree. “Hit my hand as hard as you can.”


“You heard me.”

So the working stiff leaned back, fist out, and swung as hard as he could.

…Of course, the supervisor moved his hand at the last minute.


“That,” the supervisor told him. “is why I’m up here and you’re down there.”

Appropriately chastened and with a very sore hand, the working stiff slunk back down into the ditch.

“Well?” His friend asked. “What did he say?”

The working stiff looked around the empty pit.

He placed a hand on his face and said “Hit my hand as hard as you can.”


My dad died last night.


Know any dumb jokes?


8 thoughts on “That’s a joke, son. I made a funny and you’re not laughing!

  1. Kimberly Diehm says:

    Very sorry for your loss. I’m glad you can recall some happy memories about your dad. I hope they keep coming.

  2. Jessi Peterson says:

    My dad had several standard responses that were pretty bad, if not actual jokes. If you were talking about someone in a conversation, say for instance Jay Leno, he’d say “Ohhhh, Jay Leno…he and I went to different schools together!” And if we asked “Why” to often or too whinily, he’d slowly say “I’ll give you five good reasons” while holding up his hand and slowly closing his fingers into a fist. Also sometimes combined with “Because I said so” in his best faux threatening manner. He’d also often tell us that when he was our age he was twice our age in a doddering old fool kind of voice. But my favorite response when we wanted something that wasn’t going to happen was “People in hell want ice water.”
    My condolences on your dad. Mine has been gone for almost four years now. Which pretty much sucks just as much as it did the first day, just in a less visceral way. I wish I could tell you something different, but you’re going to get enough sunshiny crap thrown at you in the next little bit. You obviously got his quirky sense of humor if your flannel stories are anything to judge by, so keep putting that vibe out into the universe. And keep telling his jokes – sometimes a bad joke is the best thing, like a dog so ugly it’s cute.

  3. [My uncle had me post his comment haha] Uncle Rob says I loved him and will miss your dad tremendously, he put brother in brother in law. By the way, that is a great joke. I’m pretty sure I told him that joke…

  4. […] So last week I posted this. […]

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