Ole and Lena

Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of your heart.  Mort Walker

I am half Norwegian – from my mom’s side. So Ole and Lena have been a part of my life as long as I can remember – along with various Norwegian phrases like munge tak (many thanks). Mom always wanted me to go to Norwegian language camp in the summer time – boy do I wish I had done that, but I had no interest.  But, I have learned a lot of Ole and Lena jokes and the one I heard last week might just be the funniest one yet (at least in my world!).

Sven stopped by Ole and Lena’s house and went in the kitchen, where he found Lena ironing and looking sad. “Lena! Vhat’s da problem?  Vhye so sad?”  “Vell,” said Lena, ” ya see, Ole and me bin haffing some trubbles in our marriaje and so vee vent to da doktor yesterday for his advice.” “Vell, vat did the doktor tell youse?” Lena replied, “He said dat Ole should go home and tinker with his John Deere and dat should make tings better, so he’s out in da barn”.  “Vhat da heck!” “I’m gonna go talk to Ole and find out vhat’s going on!”.  Sven stomped out the door and went to the barn, where, sure enough, he found Ole tinkering with his John Deere (now seriously, I mean he was working on the engine).  Sven said to Ole, “So Ole, Lena tole me youse have bin haffing some troubles in your marriaje?” “Ya”, said Ole, “but ve vent to da doktor and he gave us some goot advise and everytinks gonna be fine now”.  “Vell, vhat did the doktor tell youse?” Ole replied, “He said, Ole, you need to go home and do somethin to a tractor” (attract her).

I know…I know.  I just can’t help myself. Laughter to me truly is wonderful medicine! 
If you’ve got a good joke, leave a comment and share it with all of us!

Why I Don’t Like Raisins

If we weren’t all crazy, we would go insane. Jimmy Buffet

Writing about Bill the Cat earlier tonight got me started thinking about Kliban.  Bernard Kliban.  I started reading his comics in the 1970’s and they are hysterically funny.  Now keep in mind, I’m also a huge fan of the original Monty Python series so my sense of humor may be seriously flawed, but Kliban’s drawings just tickled me to death.  

It certainly didn’t help matters that my bestest buddy had the same sense of humor and we’d get on a roll.  Still do as a matter of fact, even after knowing each other for 37 years (can you believe it!).  In fact, I’m sure it was Caralyn who introduced me to Kliban.  She also introduced me to Matt Groening’s drawings (long before he was on the Tracy Ullman show – where he created The Simpsons).   If you Google Matt Groening in Images, you can see his wonderful cartoons.

Although Kliban was a well-known cartoonist, I was most familiar with his cat cartoons and some of his later work.  I think one of his funniest cartoons is the one with the cat sitting on a stool, strumming a uekele.  He’s singing this song:

“Love to eat them mousies. Mousies what I love to eat. Bite they little heads off…nibble on they tiny feet”. 

I know, I know, it’s awful but it’s also awful funny. I don’t want to see any tiny feet get nibbled, that’s for sure.

But the cartoon that affected me the most, the one that changed my path in life (okay, I am prone to slight exaggeration very rarely occasionally sometimes pretty often) has got to the one about merchandising. Heck, I was even in the marketing business at one point and remembered this cartoon. And it has certainly affected my cooking style!

Let me set it up for you.  It’s a big white bunny, sitting on a counter in a store. The cartoon is entitled, “Merchandising”.  The bunny has a sign on one side that reads, “Raisins – 5¢”, and of course there are many “raisins” scattered around behind the bunny.

Now you know why I don’t like raisins!

You’d Better Duck!

Did you hear the one about the duck that walked into the local tavern? He jumped up on the bar and said to the bartender, “Got any grapes?” The bartender looked at him and replied, “Listen, duck, this is a bar. We serve drinks, not grapes”. The duck quacked at him and left. The next day the duck was back. He hopped up on the bar again and asked the bartender if he had any grapes. The bartender, by now a little irritated, told him, “Like I said yesterday, WE DON’T HAVE ANY GRAPES”. The duck quacked and left.  The next he was back, and again asked the bartender, “Got any grapes?”.  This time the bartender was really mad and he told the duck, “Listen, pal, I keep telling you we don’t have any grapes.  If you ask me again, I’m going to nail your feet to the bar here!”  The next day the duck came back, jumped up on the bar, and asked the bartender, “Got any nails?”  The bartender said, “NO, I don’t have any NAILS!”, to which the duck replied, “Great! Got any grapes?”.

Okay, I’m finished.

The Art of Cussing Artlessly

I used to be a major potty mouth. I mean major. While I still slip up, I don’t like to hear myself swear. And I only do it when I’m very angry or frustrated, which makes me feel even worse when I slip. Plus, it’s usually aimed at my husband, who luckily isn’t easily offended and also realizes that when I’m cussing he’s totally figured out the right buttons to push (sometimes he does it on purpose because he thinks it’s funny).

I work in an environment where there are a lot of younger people, and most of them are pretty adept at cussing.  And most of them just sound like they don’t have a very big vocabulary. But there are some people who do it so well, and with such perfect timing. that it is almost an art!  They know just the right word to use at just the right time and I have to admit, it makes me laugh (and I’m not talking about taking the Lord’s name in vain here, but just general profanity).

It reminds me of when I was a little girl. In 5th grade one of my best friends had an interesting last name. One of the boys in class had a little crush on her and he used to tease her by making fun of her last name. Unmercifully and unendingly (you know how persistent little boys can be when trying to impress the object of their undying love). Finally one day the teacher got up in front of the class and said, “Boys and girls, sometimes when a boy likes a girl he’ll tease her”.  Apparently, not a good tactic, because the boy doing the teasing turned bright red and dropped an f-bomb. An F-BOMB! My teacher, who had never ever even frowned at us, GRABBED HIM BY ONE EAR AND DRAGGED HIM FROM THE ROOM. She came back a few minutes later and didn’t say a word about it.  We were flummoxed to say the least.  I don’t think any of us learned a darn thing the rest of the day. And I don’t know if I was the only one – but I had no idea what that word meant.  I was, however, smart enough to figure out that I shouldn’t ask our teacher for clarification. Finally our banished classmate came back just as the day was ending, eyes red, still sniffling, and obviously contrite.

So that night I went home, still completely amazed by what had happened.  At dinner, my Dad asked my brother and I the same thing he always asked us, “You kids learn anything new in school today?” Being the bright smart aleck child that I was, I told my dad I had learned a new word.  Of course, he wanted to know the word, so I very proudly told him! He was apoplectic!  He jumped up from the table, turned bright red and started yelling.  My Mom said, “Phil, calm down, I don’t think she even knows what it means”, and I had to admit I didn’t have a clue. So my Dad told me it was an awful word for something beautiful and I was never to use it again. Instead, I was thrilled to have learned such a wonderful word – it amazed me that one little word could cause such chaos. Too bad it’s so commonplace now – it doesn’t even really shock anyone anymore.

But, it does bring to mind a funny old joke. There were two brothers, about 10 and 7 years old.  They decided it was time to start cussing, and they were going implement this new plan at breakfast the next morning.  That morning, they came downstairs, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take on the world.  Mom asked them what they wanted for breakfast.  The older boy said, “Oh hell, give me some Cheerios”.  His mom jumped up, grabbed him by the ear (what is it with the ears) and took him back to his room for a whuppin’.  She came back a few minutes later, fixed the eye on her younger son and said, “And what do YOU want for breakfast?”, to which he replied, “Well, I sure don’t want any of those damn Cheerios!”.

I Think I’m That Guy

I need to warn you, I’m going to tell a bad joke on occasion.  Can’t help it, it’s bred in the bone.  My Dad had a hand in it – he used to hide under my bed at night before I went to sleep.  This big hairy hand would come up and grab my ankle.  I’d let out a terrified scream, my Mom would come running in yelling “Phil!  Get out from under that bed!”, and I’d hear my Dad laughing (he laughed just like that cartoon dog, I think his name was Mutley?).  Anyway, I come by my odd sense of humor honestly.

So this guy goes to the doctor and complains that he thinks his wife is losing her hearing. The doctor tells the guy to go home and do a little experiment to really assess the situation. 

So the guy gets home that night, and from the front door he can see straight into the kitchen. His wife is standing in front of the stove with her back to him, stirring something.  So he says, in a normal tone of voice, “Hi sweetie!  I’m home! What’s for dinner?”.  He gets no response. 

So he walks about halfway to where she’s standing, and says, “Honey, something smells great – what’s for dinner?”.  Still absolutely no response.  He’s thinking, “Oh boy, this is worse than I thought!”. 

Finally, he gets right behind her, and says, “Hon, it’s great to be home, what are you making for dinner?”.  His wife turns around, gives him look, points her spoon at him, and says, “For the THIRD time, it’s CHICKEN!”. 

I think I’m that guy.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” C.S. Lewis