It took almost 20 years, but I have a new favorite joke.
My old favorite still makes me laugh, but not nearly as hard as it used to (be — a common condition at my age).
It happened when the Boy was 10 or maybe 12.
The Bear came to me with a rare case of indecision.
“I went into his room looking for something. He got really upset,” she said. “I’m not sure if he is right or not… he said I was violating his private life.”
I may have given myself a hernia, I laughed and laughed… Once I wiped the water from my eyes and held my abdominal wall in check, I answered.
“When did he start paying rent? He can have a private life when he moves into his own fucking house. This is our house. We have a private life.
That’s not his room — that’s our room. That’s not his stuff — he didn’t earn the money to buy those things — that’s our stuff.”
I’m sure I had heard those lines before. I’m sure it was from one of my parents — probably both. I liked the words so much, I was like Chris Rock and just saying them again, and again.
“Hey Boy, come in here and tell me what you told your mother…”
I can’t remember exactly what other words he used, but as soon as he said, “…my private life,” I bust out laughing again — “not your room — our room” over and over again..
Eventually the Bear joined in. We pointed at his face and laughed so hard, we couldn’t hear any of the words coming out of his mouth.
He was not amused.
The more he protested, the more we laughed. Eventually he just gave up.
But I didn’t. Every few weeks throughout his teenage years, I’d point and say “my private life” and laugh right in his face.
If I’m lucky, his girlfriend will have to pay for the therapy.
Private Lives are Watching You
But those days are gone. The “Boy” is nearly 30. He has his own place, his own car(s), his own camper shell on his own pickup truck. He’s got multiple private lives.
Several weeks ago a new favorite joke came into my life like an Easter fucking miracle. Before the shelter in and shutdown, we were playing tennis at the Third World club.
“Maybe Jesus will resurrect his ass and make it to the team practice tonight,” I said.
“It will be a miracle if he comes back,” Grif said.
Kangaroo-faced Gibson couldn’t resist a chance to recruit — he professes some kind of faith — but I think he spends his Sunday service hitting double faults on court 9. I only caught the first 3 words…
“The real Jesus…”
I stuffed both hands in my waistband to keep my innards from spilling all over the court. I drowned out whatever testimonial Gibson may have been trying to “witness” with a series of giggles and guffaws. I had a hard time keeping the snot from streaming out of my nose.
“The real Jesus…” and I pointed and laughed, like Gibson was a 10-year-old boy demanding that his parents respect his “private life.”
He didn’t mean the tennis Jesus who whiffed at T-ball. Or all the fake Mexican Jesus’s who work at his landscaping company.
Gibson was referring to the myth. Old 3 nails and 4 holes, himself.
The “real Jesus”… You might as well call him the “real Zeus” or the “real Santa Claus.”
Tennis Jesus is more real. At least we get to see him once in a while. We don’t have to rely on the story of goat-herding illiterates to tell us a confusing tale full of conflicts and contradictions.
Here’s a fun game I found online. Take the stories of the resurrection in all four gospels and the book of Acts and make a timeline that makes sense. Spoiler alert. You can’t. At least one of them has to be wrong on key points like where, when and how it happened.
Tell you what, anybody who can write a simple story that doesn’t violate these “truths” with a mistake or a lie, and I will stop laughing at your tales of the “real Jesus” for a week. I can’t go longer than 7 days before laughing at this shit… but maybe in a week I can find a new favorite joke…