I was working on a farm in Rupert, Idaho the summer after my senior year in high school. I needed money to go to college in the fall. The farm house was at a crossroads and there was a farm house across the street. An old guy (not as old as I am now, perhaps) who came out to talk to me after I got off work. We’d talk about life and the weather and farming and such.
The old man didn’t want to let on that he was hared of hearing so when he’d miss some part of my conversation he’d fall back on the phrase, “That’s no joke,” which he thought, would cover most statements I might make.
I caught on to the ploy, and with teenager’s wit, I began telling him jokes.
To which he’d reply “That’s no joke.”
To which I’d reply, “Yes it was.”
Smart alak kid. That’s what I was. Now I’m a smart alak geezer, older (though less wizened) than he.
Larry Day is a retired KU J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available on Amazon.