Saturday, March 14, 2009

I See... Knock Knock Jokes and the Gospel

Knock Knock

Who's There?

The home teachers

Is it the last day of the month already?

Only at the Mormon Third Eye can one learn about the connection between knock-knock jokes and the gospel!

We communicate with others in terms and on levels they can understand- communication currency.. For example, any particular Sunday in the fall, a number of the members of the Elders Quorum of our ward, will, in the name of priesthood unity, approach me, the old crazy high priest, and initiate a deep doctrinal discussion about BYU football. We will engage in clever repartee about how Utah didn't win the game, BYU lost it, etc. At another point during the three-hour block, a gaggle of teenage girls from YW will approach me to see if I'm wearing a tie that sparkles (of course I am; I wear it for them). What will follow is a purely philosophical discussion on the positives of sparkly neckties. Then, to top off the morning, I will make a feeble attempt to quibble intelligently with the mass of young ward dental student dads on fillings and impacted molars.

Because we all care about each other, as members of a true ward family, we make courageous attempts to bond by seeking to communicate with each other on common levels. But what do I have in common with the two immensely cute bright blond toddlers that always sit two rows in front of me before Sacrament meeting starts? Don't I have a responsibility to bond with them too? You bet I do. But how?

I noticed one morning before the meeting started that their mother, a friend of my wife, was being mercilessly dragged through knock knock hell. This valiant young mom, in the name of patiently trying to tame her offspring and contain them to the confines of at least one pew before the opening hymn starts, placated them with feigned interest in a steady non-stop barrage of elemental knock knock jokes that thrill them every time they are told. For this young mom, however, this requires ascending to the pinnacle of patience, because she has heard these same three knock knock jokes every morning and afternoon for the past three weeks.

This is where I rode in on my white humor horse to save the day. I leaned quietly forward over one empty row and whispered loud enough for the whole family to hear.”hi cuties! Would you like to tell me one of your knock knock jokes?” Both of their eyes light up uncontrollably, and mom breaks out in a wry smile matched with confused eyes. She is relieved for getting a break from the parade of repetitious knock knock jokes, but wary of what surprise may come out of the mouths of her unpredictable babies. With more cuteness than a father of grown children with no grandchildren (yet) should be expected to bear, they stumble through the following joke. It takes them several minutes of false starts and impromptu word breaks to complete:

knock knock

whos there


boo who

why are you crying?

What then throws both mom and kids for a loop, however, is when Old Bro. Tait tries to transform this joke into a bonding moment by engaging at their level and returning with an equally infantile knock knock joke of his own:

Knock knock

whos there


Dwayne who?

Dwayne the bathtub I'm drowning!

The bond has now been set in spiritual super glue. Now, every Sunday before sacrament meeting we expect to trade knock knock jokes. Mom gets a short break, a new knock knock joke to hear, and hopefully toddlers with a little more controlled bounce in their step to endure the rest of the meeting. I've just had my soul lit and lifted by an infusion of childlike wonder. Life is just a little better for the next 75 minutes for the kids, their parents, and me. We get more of the gospel to apply to our lives during the week. Meet my two new young friends, Emma and Madeleine.

So, until they reach teendom and turn on all adults that rule over them, I'm going to need a steady supply of silly knock knock jokes. Do you have any you're not using right now?

1 comment:

  1. Knock, knock jokes are big at our house a matter of fact, we have a WHOLE book of are welcome to borrow it if you need to beef up your repertoire :-)

    A few of our favs are:
    Knock, Knock
    Who's There?

    Ivan Who?
    "Ivan Working on the railroad..." (you have to sing the last line, of course.)
    Sven who?
    Sven are you going to open the door? (said with a foreign accent)
    Olive who?
    I love you too!

    Seriously, we have a WHOLE book of them :-) Those cute little girls are lucky to have you sitting behind them!