After my last post about sayings donated to our family by unsuspecting friends and relatives, I started thinking about our family expressions that we ourselves have generated.
That in turn reminded me of this story:
A guy gets sentenced to prison, and is led to his new cell. At lights out, he and his cellmate are chatting. In the background, he can hear the other prisoners talking in the darkness.
"27" he hears shouted in the darkness. Peals of laughter ring out. A different voice calls out "318". More laughter follows.
Intrigued, he asks his cellmate: "What’s the deal with calling out numbers?" "Well you gotta understand, man, that most of the guys in this wing have been in here for 20 years or more. So eventually you run out of new jokes to tell. Everyone's heard them all, in fact we all have them memorized."
"So we worked out a system where we numbered each joke. If you want to tell one, you can just call out the number."
The new prisoner chuckles. "Wow, that's neat. You think I can give it a try?" "Sure, newbie, give it a shot."
So he waits for a lull, and calls out loudly: "278!"
He tries another: "415!"
He says to his cellmate, "What’s the deal?"
"What can I say, man, some people just can't tell a joke."
We have the very same setup. Over the years, our funny antics have been etched into our collective brain, and all we need to hear is a few words to bring it all back. I’ll bet everyone has times like this - when the memorable episode is intact in your mind and all it takes is a few words to make you laugh. Here’s my partial list:
“This chicken tastes kind of dry.”
“Calm down, calm down, calm down!”
“What is this - rush hour in downtown Algood?”
“Hey - that’s a good name for a cookie!”
“Here’s the deal...”
“This ain’t no fake tie, it’s a tie tie.”
“...And that’s how I got gum on my glasses.”
“We saw no moose, we saw no bears...”
"It's lettuce trauma."
“That whale breached!”
“She looked just like Freddy Kruger in a bonnet.”
"Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you."
“He’s holding it with his beak!”
"That reminds me of a commercial..."
"I'm 15 billion years old!"
"I can't get the paper off the steak to cook it."
And, just for my sister...”Show me that smile...”
Now, unless you’re a member of my family, you have no idea what those quotes mean - maybe even if you are a family member, you'd miss a few. I might as well have called out random numbers like the prisoner in the story above. But take it from me - there are some very wacky stories behind those snippets.
And that's all from our cell block today, folks!