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Published on January 26, 2021

Chasing the Creator

Husband loves telling ‘Papa Jokes’; this was funny

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

It is often said that most things improve with age, like friends and fruitcake. Although, I may not get many takers on the fruitcake part. Some things on the other hand, don’t improve with age, like my husband’s jokes.

Don’t get me wrong - he’s a wonderfully brilliant and knowledgeable man in more things than I have the ink to print. He worked as a civil engineer for a major chemical company and designed roads and bridges. He can wire, plumb and build a house from the foundation up. He also flipped houses before HGTV made a fortune doing it.

There may be other husbands who can do all these things, but they probably don’t know the feeding and migratory habits of animal species, most of which I’ve never even heard of. Or, that there is a creature called an elephant shark and that it’s the world’s oldest-living jawed vertebrate. He does.

As talented as he is, his jokes are so bad that they have been given an official family title: Papa Jokes. Believe me, they are in a league of their own. You can’t call them corny or redneck, although listening to them, you know they are more than distant cousins.

Our oldest granddaughter is a fan of his jokes, which places her high on his favored list. She has a degree from Sam Houston State University - so it’s not like she has 10 teeth - and most of them are in her pocket. She sometimes calls just to hear the latest one. As I said, she continually moves higher on his favored list.

My husband had some health issues a few years back and had to retire. I retired several years later and was promoted to the non-paying position of official chauffeur.

There are perks in the position of official chauffeur. I get to control the radio station selection and the route to our destination, although, it is most often over his, and the GPS’ objections. I don’t know about your GPS lady, but mine always seems to be having a really bad day.

My husband does act as the unofficial lookout for safe access into oncoming traffic. There is concern for me in his new position, since one of the side-effects of his health issues was the impairment of his peripheral vision. Nonetheless, it has not deterred his energetic right and left scans for oncoming traffic and his calls that, “It’s all clear here.”

His freedom to be an active observer while I’m driving presents several other challenges. One of which is that he has more time to watch life go by, accompanied with vigorous ambidextrous pointing out both side windows.

Unfortunately, it also gives him more time to think of new Papa Jokes. Usually when he lays one of his new jokes on me, I just give him the look - you know - the one where you drop your chin, slightly turn your head to one side and raise your eyebrows. No words are needed when this is executed correctly. “Really?” is implied.

However, last week he actually “got” me. I laughed. I tried hard to squelch it before it escaped. But, before I could think of something painful, like wanting Chick-Fil-A, and realizing its Sunday: I laughed…out loud. Not only had I laughed, but he heard me! Neal Armstrong’s landing on the moon paled in comparison to his victory celebration over “One small laugh from her is one giant laugh for mankind,” or something like that.

You may be wondering what was so different about this Papa Joke that suppressing a laugh was impossible? Who knows? I can’t figure it out myself why this particular pun “tickled my funny bone,” as my mama would say. Everything was the same, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It was a sunny day. We were two old people in a Mazda, driving down a country road, and then we came to a field of llamas.

Some of the llamas were just looking over the fence as if they had been waiting for us, while others were apparently not interested, and grazing peacefully. Then out of the blue he said, “That’s a mama llama, and I bet that’s her son, Fernando Llama, and her other son is Tony Llama. They also have a famous relative too: Dolly Llama.” Before I even had the chance to drop my chin, turn my head, and raise my eyebrows, I lost it. It was a classic Papa Joke, but it was…funny!

He has proudly displayed this trophy to the kids and grandkids with full details, and as with most things, his story continues to grow with the retelling.

Because I want to continue living with my husband, I thought it best to have him read this article prior to sending it to the Editor.
He said, “I made you laugh - way to go. I’m wearing you down!”

I executed the chin drop maneuver correctly, and said, “Like erosion.”

So, the next time you see a field of llamas, look closely to see if it’s Fernando.

Czech Marmalade Rolls
2 Cups Whole Milk
½ Cup Canola Oil
½ Cup Sugar
Combine in a saucepan and heat until 120-130°. Add:
2 ¼ Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
4 Cups Flour
Mix well and allow to sit for one hour. Add:
½ Cup Flour
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
Mix well and place in a covered container in the refrigerator overnight.

Flour the surface and roll the dough into a 30” rectangle and flip over. Rub 1 stick melted butter over the rectangle. Spread 8 Tablespoons orange marmalade and sprinkle with ½ cup brown sugar and lightly sprinkle with Kosher salt. Roll the dough jelly-roll fashion. Pinch the seam together. Cut into 15 pieces and place on a buttered baking sheet and allow to rise until doubled. Bake at 375° for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.

Glaze
Zest of One Orange
Juice from One Orange
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
¼ Cup Whole Milk
2 Tablespoons Butter

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)