Kids are funny. A few weeks back my son’s girlfriend and I were seated in the kitchen, chatting as we visited. Brody is away at boot camp and we both mentioned how proud of him we were. We commented on how great he was doing and how well he was adjusting to such a drastic change in lifestyle.
My youngest was in the living room playing, plus the TV was on, so I was fairly certain she was paying no mind to us, especially considering the topic was her often annoying (to her at least) older brother.
When Kenzie left, Elia walked out to the kitchen. “So, Brody is doing well in the military, is he?” she asked. “Yes! He not only seems to be dong well, but he’s enjoying it too,” I answered. “Are you surprised?” she inquired. I really wasn’t, I answered, as your brother gets along with everyone. I brought out a few of Brody’s old report cards and she read through some of the glowing commentary written by past teachers. She nodded and said; “Interesting. I wonder what they all see in him that we don’t, eh mom.”
Did we commit murder?
When he was her age, Brody also said something that still makes me laugh to this day. His teacher had been off for a few days because her older brother had passed away. When she returned, I brought Brody over to where she stood, thinking we’d express our sympathies. “I heard you lost your brother,” I began. Brody yanked on my arm and mater-of-factly informed us; “He’s not lost, he’s dead.” I blushed but carried on, “I just wanted to say how sorry we were.” Brody, always sharp as a tack, followed that up with a panicked, “Why are we sorry, mom?!?! We didn’t kill him, did we??!?”
But like most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, our family can tell hour’s worth of comical, make ya chuckle tales. Mom told me a cute one just this week. Her brother – my uncle – was drinking with a buddy. His house was next door to my grandparents. Pop was a farmer, among other things, and at the time he had a drake he was particularly attached to. “Here diddle, diddle, diddle,” he’d call when looking to visit with his prized bird while out in the garden. Well, this night of outdoor merriment my uncle was on extended into the wee hours, and by and by the b’ys grew hungry. Who happened to waddle by just as they were thinking of a late night mug up? Diddle the drake. Into the oven he went. By the time the drake was cooked, it was morning (by farmer’s hours) and as they chowed down (somewhat sobered up and with a wee bit of remorse) on their guilty pleasure, pop walked by the kitchen window… “here diddle, diddle, diddle.”
So many funny yarns to be told. Like the Christmas time my dad and mom were drinking at a friend’s house. Dad and a female partner-in-crime snuck off, got dressed in the homeowner’s clothes (including the wife’s prized fur coat), jumped out the bedroom window, walked around front and rang the door bell, looking every bit the merry mummers. It was a long time before the homeowner realized her mysterious mummers were her escaped house guest, and their (quite expensive) attire came right from her own closet!
But my family isn’t unique. Spend an evening around a campfire and everyone gathered could spin yarn after yarn of real-life hilarity. You don’t need to memorize jokes to get people laughing when you have NL roots. Just reach back a few weeks – or a few decades – and share your own comical tales. Maybe, as the stories get shared, you’ll gain a new funny to add to your own family’s lore, like I did this week when I heard for the first time about the time my uncle had his own Aunt Martha’s Sheep moment.