Authors: Richard Glover
For Joe Glover
(who knows all about having an annoying dad)
y father is so annoying. Wait, I’ll try that again. He is
annoying. Here’s the problem: Dad thinks he’s funny, but he just isn’t.
He’s always making really lame jokes. I call them Dad Jokes. These jokes are not funny the first time he tells them, but he repeats them anyway — again and again and again. It’s like he’s
to be annoying.
Maybe your dad’s like this. But I bet his jokes are not as lame as my dad’s.
Every night when we all arrive home, it’s my job to set the table for dinner. And every night my Dad sits down in his place and lets his tie dangle so it’s resting on the plate, then he looks up and says, ‘Well I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m having Thai for dinner.’
Then he does this enormous smile, as if he’s the funniest man in the world. And this is
every single night.
Mum just rolls her eyes, but I get really annoyed. ‘Don’t do that Dad,’ I say to him, ‘don’t
do that again.’
Part of my problem with dad’s ‘jokes’ is that I’ve just started high school. Suddenly I’m trying to make friends with a whole group of new kids, and I shudder at the thought of inviting anyone home.
For sure, Dad would take every chance to make lame jokes. He’d make a big deal of getting the fruit bowl and asking my friend whether he wanted a pear — ‘Or will a single one do?’
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Or he’d wait until the kid said ‘I’m thirsty’, so he could say back, ‘Hello Thirsty, I’m Friday’.
Or he’d do the thing where he invites you to pull his finger and then, just as you do it, he lets off an enormous fart. Which is when I would just about die of embarrassment.
Just as easy, really, not to invite anyone home.
When I finished primary school, all my mates went to different high schools. Not one of my old friends came with me to my new school. To be honest, some days I feel pretty lonely.
The only good news is that I still see my mate Ben, he’s been my best friend since kindy.
Even though we now go to different schools, we try to time it so we catch the same bus home.
On my way to the bus stop about two weeks ago, I decided I should tell Ben about my Dad Joke problem — just to get it off my chest.
I spotted Ben as soon as I jumped on the bus. He was up the back listening to his Mp3 player.
Ben takes his music pretty seriously. As I slung in next to him I could hear the thump, thump, thump of one of his favourite tracks. Usually you can hear a harmonica somewhere in the mix. That’s the instrument Ben plays. He’s pretty good, too.
Ben turned off his music so we could talk.
I told him about the Dad Jokes and how sick of them I was. And how I found myself cringing at the idea of inviting anyone home.
Ben didn’t really get it, so I told him about the church, not far from my house, that has an old cemetery next to it. ‘Every time we drive past, Dad says to me, “Look, Jesse, there’s the dead centre of town”. Or, “Look at that place, Jesse, people are just dying to get in there”.’
Ben shot me an amazed look. ‘My uncle does exactly the same joke. Exactly the same words. And it’s all right the first three or four times you hear it…’
‘Yeah,’ I agreed, ‘but not when it’s the TENTH TIME IN ONE WEEK that he’s said it.’
A couple of old ladies turned around and gave me the hairy eyeball — I suppose I was speaking kinda loudly.
‘He also,’ I said, lowering my voice, ‘asks questions just to suck you in. We’ll be driving past the cemetery and he’ll say, “That place is very exclusive, you know, Jesse. They won’t bury anyone who lives around here”. When I was a really little kid, I’d fall for it and ask why, and Dad’d say, “Because you have to be DEAD, that’s why”, and then he’ll slap his leg and laugh like a maniac.’
‘I don’t fall for that one anymore, but Dad still tries it on my cousin Alex — he falls for it every single time. If I ever invited a friend home from school, he would do it for sure.’
Ben winced in sympathy, but then he leaned in close. ‘That’s nothing,’ he whispered, ‘my father does something even worse than Dad Jokes. He does Dad Singing.’
Ben told me that his Dad always puts a CD on when they are driving in his car. Then he sings along. ‘Trouble is,’ Ben said, ‘he doesn’t know any of the tunes. Or any of the right words. He has a favourite song where the words go “Sweet dreams are made of this”, but he sings “Sweet dreams are made of cheese”. And there’s another song that goes, “She’s got a ticket to ride”, but he sings “She’s got a chicken to ride”.’
‘But that’s not all. You know the song, “I believe in miracles”? Well, he sings, “I believe in Milkos” — like it’s about the lolly.’