Sickness of silliness provokes grins and giggles

Burt's Eye View

My cousin Scott stared at my foot. “Is there a hole in your shoe?”

I wiggled my toes. “Nope.”

“Then how do you get your foot into it?”

I resisted the urge to bop him upside the head. Why was I born into a family fueled by stupid jokes?

“Go tell your mom that she wants you,” I said.

Scotty rubbed his chin. “You ate toast this morning, didn’t you?”


“Weird,” he said. “Because your face looks crummy.”

“Go take a long walk off a short pier, you little bread crumb.”

When I finally convinced Scott to pester someone else for a while, cousin Marcella showed up to continue the pun-ishment.

“What’s the tallest building in the world?” she asked.

This being the 1960s, I answered, “The Empire State Building.”

“Nope,” she said. “The library. It has the most stories.”

“Argh!” Silly jokes — clean but ludicrous — don’t just run in my family, they walk, jump, crawl and bounce all over every one of us.

I tried to bolt but Marce grabbed my arm. “Why was six afraid of seven?”

“You pulled that one on me last week,” I squealed. “Because seven ate nine.”

“OK, then what do you get from nervous cows? Milkshakes. What did the judge say when the skunk took the witness stand? ‘Odor in the court.'”

No one in my family ever was inoculated against the disease of daffy jokes. We probably were too busy snorting milk — or maybe milkshakes — out of our nostrils.

I realize now that as heritages go, crazy jokes are far more practical than the crazy stuff real-life nutcases do to keep making headlines more surreal all the time. So I think it’s time to come down with another case of sixth-grade lunacy.

You might want to stand back. These tend to be contagious…

* Why don’t teddy bears order dessert? They’re already stuffed.

* What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear.

* What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A stick.

* What time is it when a clock strikes 13? It’s time to get your clock fixed.

* Why are barns so noisy? The cows have horns.

* How do you stop a bull from charging? Take away its credit cards.

* Where do the younger cows eat lunch? In the calf-ateria.

* What do you call a sleeping bull? A bulldozer.

* What kind of shoes do spies wear? Sneakers.

* What did the duck quack when she bought lipstick? “Put it on my bill.”

* Why can’t you trust an atom? Because they make up everything.

* What happened when the frog’s car broke down? It got toad.

* What do firefighters put in their soup? Firecrackers.

* How do trees get online? They log on.

* If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? Pilgrims.

* Why should you never trust a pig with a secret? Pigs squeal.

* How did the barber win the race? He knew a shortcut.

* What happens when a black cat jumps into the Red Sea? She gets wet.

* Why do fish swim in saltwater? Pepper makes them sneeze.

— Trade silly jokes with Cole during the annual Holmes County’s Largest Book Signing 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Gospel Book Store, 4900 Oak St., Berlin. Or lay one on him at or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.