Jokes

Why did the sheep stand cross-legged? 
Because it needed to go to the BAAAthroom…

Spend enough time around little kids and you will hear a lot of very silly jokes.  Sometimes they actually make me laugh, like the one above.  Sometimes I just smile and pretend it’s funny, to avoid hurting their feelings.   And sometimes I don’t get it.

Little kids don’t always understand the basics of humor.  They get the concept of a joke, what it is and that it makes you laugh, and they figure out that jokes usually have a  structure.  (This is why jokes for kids and by kids are usually of the knock, knock or question and response variety.)  They can memorize jokes, and love it when people laugh at their telling.  But the reason for the laughter is often lost on kids.  Word play is tough when you’re still figuring out that words can have two meanings.  They do know that some words are funny by themselves (usually potty words), and so when kids start to make up their own jokes, they default to those words.

That’s how you end up with “jokes” like this:

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Camel
Camel who?
A camel pooped on Bobby!

It’s not funny and it doesn’t make any sense.  But to the five-year-old who told it, that joke is hysterical.  And guess what?  He’s laughing, so he doesn’t really care that you aren’t.  🙂

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