A three-year-old, Christmas crackers, and bad jokes

Alexander loves pulling crackers. He likes the pull and the bang, and he sometimes puts on the paper hat. But what he loves most are the bad jokes. He seems to have an understanding of jokes, even though many of the words and the jokes are incomprehensible to him.

“Wozz it say?” he asks as he hands me the joke.

I read: “Why did the strawberry get a lawyer? Because it was in a jam.” Alexander laughs loudly, exaggerating his laugh. Everybody laughs at him laughing, which he likes.

Immediately he pulls another cracker.

“Wozz it say?”

I read: “Why was Cinderella such a useless footballer? Because her coach was a pumpkin.” Again he laughs loudly, without any understanding of the joke.

This goes on until all 12 crackers are gone. Then he wants all the jokes read again–and again.

We teach him the jokes. “Alexander, what’s black and white and noisy?”

“A Zebra, drum kit,” he shouts and laughs.

“What lies in a pram and wobbles?”

“A jelly baby.”

“What room has no windows or doors?”

“A mushroom,” he shouts loudly with satisfaction and laughs.

“What do you call a line of men waiting for a haircut?”

“A barbecue”

“What do you call a line of sheep waiting for a haircut?” We invented this one.

“A baa baa baa cue.”

“What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?”

“A stick.”

“What do you call a penguin in the desert”


Then he begins to say them himself, getting mixed up and not quite understanding the concept of a question and an answer. “Penguin lost. Desert ha ha. Cinderella cross the road. Waiting for a barbecue. Chicken lost.”

Anyway, getting him to say his jokes works as a great party piece when Jordan comes round. He runs through his entire repertoire, and Jordan is mightily impressed. So cute.

Is this, I wonder, typical of all three-year-olds? Or does his fascination mean that the “entertainer gene” that floats around in our family is in him?



One thought on “A three-year-old, Christmas crackers, and bad jokes

  1. Pingback: Hide-and-seek with a three-year-old: an experiment in cognitive science | Richard Smith's non-medical blogs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s