During my time coaching this summer, we were asked to memorize child-appropriate jokes. This was merely meant to be something to keep conversation light and engaging while kids were eating lunch.
I found this request incredibly intimidating.
The problem? I am AWFUL at remembering jokes. I may be good at remembering people’s names, birthdays, and enough random facts to tackle the New York Times crossword but when it comes to jokes my memory requires a whole lot of jogging. I can remember the who and when—and maybe, if I’m lucky, the where—but I’m clueless about the other criteria.
The only joke I can ever remember? “What do you call cheese that’s not yours?” [Nacho Cheese]. There are a few issues with this joke, mostly that everyone has already heard this. Plus, it’s far from funny. It may get a polite chuckle from your grandma, but you’re usually going to hear crickets when reciting it to your target audience.
My inability to remember jokes may sound silly. I’m not applying for any stand-up gigs anytime soon, and will likely hear crickets no matter what joke I try out on junior high students (unless it contains an awkwardly named body part). But I’d like to add a few more riddles to my repertoire. Or, at the very least, I’d like to recall why that chicken really did cross the road.