Recently I've been trying out some new stand-up material. No, I'm not going on a comedy tour, but I have attempted a joke or two this past week at the Take a Break Chair.
Some situations that precipitate the Take a Break Chair have recommended courses of action following the chair sitting. Taking a break because of a conflict with another student is often followed by a social conference with that student. If your stop at the Chair was because of uncontrolled silliness, the recommended course of action post-chair is simply, "Now be less silly."
Sometimes, though, a student chooses to take a break due to Unfathomable Despair, which doesn't have the same kind of follow-up action step. In third grade, Unfathomable Despair most often comes from Not Being First, Not Getting to Play the World's Most Amazing Game during Indoor Recess, Not Sitting in the Front, or Your Team Losing. In cases of such deep sorrow, the best remedy is sometimes distraction.
When Jonathan was filled with the aforementioned Unfathomable Despair last week, I though of telling a joke to switch gears and bring us out of the world of sorrow and into the world of corniness. However, I couldn't think of any! I zipped over to my computer and opened up a file with a list of a few jokes for kids. I picked out one that I thought would do the trick and went back over to Jonathan.
"So a nickel and a quarter are sitting at the top of a hill" I began. "The nickel decides to roll down the hill and gets hurt pretty badly. Why doesn't the quarter roll down the hill?"
Dramatic pause for comedic effect and to allow the forgetting of Unfathomable Despair.
And wouldn't you know it--the joke worked. I made a mental note to remember that one and use it again soon.
Later that week, a burbling, teary mess of game-related sorrow and sadness (otherwise known as Carlos) hurled himself into the Take a Break Chair. I knew what I had to do.
"So there's this nickel and this quarter sitting on top of a hill" I started.
Carlos laughed so hard that snot came out of his nose. And that was just after I had set up the joke's premise.
"I know--a nickel and a quarter. Pretty funny, right?"
I continued on to tell the whole joke, this time embellishing with grass stains and bruises that the nickel sustained during his ill-advised roll. After the punchline and some serious tissues, Carlos was as good as new.
Do YOU have any surefire jokes? I'm going to need more than just my nickel/quarter one. It IS pretty amazing, though.
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