Saturday, August 16, 2008

Let’s tell jokes

Back in the mid-70’s, David and I were always wrassling around our Whitefield Street yard. We made up dozens of imaginary games and our actions sometimes contained tomfoolery. We built obstacle courses through the woods, climbed trees to hang punching bags and held competitive egg-juggling contests. Occasionally we would shoot arrows into the sky as high as possible, while singing the mighty Hercules song. Once we developed a curved arrow for shooting around corners. And the Kings Park West pellet gun wars left a handful of kids with enough metal inside to set off airport detectors.

David was born 4 years after me, so up until he joined the Marines, I usually had the upper hand in our wrassling matches. After seeing how I took down David one afternoon in our whiffleball side yard, our neighbor Al thought that he too, would take a turn to bully David down. Onliest problem was that I had been toughening David up for such an occasion. Although Al was three years older than David was, David soon turned the tide and had Al pinned bad in about twenty seconds. For disarming David, rather than admitting he was whipped, Al suddenly exclaimed, “I know what we should do, let’s tell jokes!”

David in my arm near the spot where he proved himself a solid Whitefield Rock

I thought that this was the perfect little kid thing to say and have often utilized that phrase and gone on to tell this story. In fact, since that day, some grand leaders have assumed Al’s jocular role and sometimes tell light jokes rather then admit they are being whipped by a young aspiring Marine.

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