Search this blog

November 16, 2009

My New Favorite All-Purpose Joke

It is this: "Somebody must have pressed their easy button..."

This joke is endlessly adaptable for any situation. Observe:

Boyf and I had to fly home unexpectedly last Saturday to attend a funeral. Our tickets were for 5:30 in the morning and included a very short layover in Seattle. There were any number of things that could have gone wrong, including our angel friend sleeping through her 3:30 alarm and not fetching us, a massive line to check bags, a massive line at security, a delayed plane that would cause us to miss our connection, etc. But no. Everything went swimmingly. Somebody must have pressed their easy button...

Then our plane to Minneapolis got in a good half hour in advance! Somebody must have pressed their early button...

Uh oh... I'm feeling a bit airsick. Somebody must have pressed their queasy button...

AH-CHOOOO! Somebody must have pressed their sneezy button....

You get the idea. It sure beats my previous all-purpose joke: "Oh, monkeys... they're like nature's humans." I read this somewhere (sorry if it was your prose and I'm not attributing) and thought it was thoroughly hilarious. It doesn't adapt very well, however, and I find that people don't look at me as adoringly as I want them to when I bust it out apropos of nothing.

When I was in France I discovered that my humor does not translate very well. During my homestay, my French sisters would often say, "Ce n'est pas grave (It's no big deal)," when I inevitably snorted champagne through my nose onto the appetizers or tipped over a priceless Limoges vase or was so incapacitated by a bloody nose that I managed to leave my DNA on my bed linens and in a trail leading from the bedroom to the kitchen to the bathroom (true story). My response was always, "Si. C'est grave (But yes. It's very serious)" even if it was a minor infraction. They didn't get it.

My one successful overseas joke was in Israel. My travel companions and I were all eating at a lovely restaurant when we noticed our leader, Muriel, was looking a bit morose. We hatched a plan to cheer her up, and since I was the only one with a firm grasp on Hebrew it was up to me to put it into action. I flagged down the waiter and said, "Yom hellenich sameach (happy birthday)" while pointing emphatically to Muriel. "Afo sufganiot (where's the jelly donut)?" Minutes later, our dear Muriel celebrated her 29th birthday five months early.

Cake, my friends. One punchline that's universal.