I Never Claimed To Be Appropriate.

Here’s a rule at my house:

There will be no one food item that all five kids will like at the same time. Which kid likes or dislikes a specific food item is subject to change without notice.

Therefore, there is only one proper response to the following statements:

#2: I don’t like pie.

#3: I don’t like chocolate.

#5: I don’t like vanilla.

#2: I don’t like berries.

#4: I don’t like peanut butter.

#3: I don’t like cake.

#4: I don’t like bacon.

Me: (in my best Joe McCarthy voice) What are ya, a freakin’ Commie?

This is hilarious to me. I think it’s one of the funniest things I say. Like all of my good material, it isn’t mine. I don’t remember who I stole it from but I’ve been using it forever.

The kids don’t understand the intricacies of what make this joke funny to us. They only know that it makes us laugh. So they throw it out to each other and to us whenever possible, because in our house, making each other laugh is the very most important thing.

One day last December, #1 had a friend over after school. Everyone was sitting at the kitchen table, having snacks, pretending to do homework, chatting.

#1’s friend: Your Christmas tree is really pretty. Is it real or fake?

#5: It’s real. What kind of Christmas tree do you have?

#1’s friend: We don’t have a tree because we don’t celebrate Christmas. We’re Jewish.

#5: (breaks into a huge smile, points at her and shouts) You’re a Commie!

Yes, folks, I did that. That’s my work there.

#1 and I just stared at each other with our mouths open for a minute, and then we fought not to laugh. Well, I fought; I don’t remember her fighting too hard or even coming to my aid, now that I think about it. I launched into some lame explanation to #1’s friend, trying to explain away a joke that in the current context clearly wasn’t funny, except that it was hilarious in the context of inappropriateness and bad parenting.

Later, when I had a talk with #5 about how “different people believe different things”,  he was way ahead of me. He has zero problems with anyone’s religion.

Then I tried to explain why it’s okay to make fun of someone who doesn’t like pie, but it’s way not okay to make fun of someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas. (I left out my justification for why it’s okay to make fun of an entire political system.) He just stared at me with complete and total incomprehension. I realized that the nuances of a good double standard are lost on a seven-year-old boy, particularly when he’s making people laugh.

So I settled for us adding Commies to the growing list of jokes that can only happen with just the family.


23 thoughts on “I Never Claimed To Be Appropriate.

  1. Being funny is important in our house too. I will say almost anything to get a laugh. I am sort of famous for introducing “phrases” that I know will get my kids to laugh but then have to follow immediately with “I don’t want to hear you saying that around your friends.” Isn’t that HORRIBLE! Total double standard. My favorite, that I KNOW my 8 yr old is DYING to use (and maybe does for all I know)…”hell on wheels.”

    1. Love that! Sometimes I say, “If I hear you repeat this I will deny that I said it until my dying day.” The worst is when i hear them say something completely inappropriate that they’ve picked up and I laugh because I can’t help myself.

  2. Mmmf…hahahaha! It’s like when my dad starts a campfire – he squirts half a can of lighter fluid on the firewood, moves away, and tosses a lighted match at it. Then he says “Now, that’s not a good way to start a fire. Don’t do that.”

    Making fun of a political system isn’t the same as making fun of someone’s religion. It seems to be quite acceptable in society to make fun of a political system.

    1. I guess now that I think about it, that’s what people do. Everyone is convinced their side is right, but it’s a hell of a gift we have here in America that we are able to be assholes to each other’s belief systems without fear of getting killed for it. Enough of that; I think I love your Dad. My Dad did that too, every time. “Now that’s a fire!”

  3. Some things you just do keep within the family these days for political correctness. Personally, aside from #5’s rather lamentable timing over Christmas, I do think we tend to take the fun out of life a lot of the time by being oh so very correct about everything. I understand why, but if we could all just get along, we could have a lot more fun!

  4. Inside family jokes are the tell-tale sign of a well functioning unit. And by well-functioning, I mean dysfunctional, and why would you want it any other way? (As you might have gleaned from my blog, our family joke involves liberal use of the word “merkin.”)

  5. I love this! My husband and I are the KING AND QUEEN of inappropriate parenting – you can’t just swoop in here with your hilarious story about “Communist ridicule” and “adoselcent religion judging” and take that away from me:)

    ha ha ha –

    this is awesome and I couldn’t agree more that only the families who put the “fun” in dysfunctional are worth being a part of!!!

    I mean, really, what are you? A Commie?

  6. I got in trouble (go figure) in the 6th grade for making up a playground game called Commies were I was Fidel, and it included capturing other students and barricading them into cement tunnels on the playground. Sadly, corporal punishment was still in place then.
    Anyway, family jokes are funny but inappropriate jokes are funnier, they just come with the cost of shame and explanation. Thus far, it’s been a price worth paying.

  7. Baaaahhaaaaaa This is Great I might just have to steel your material. Any time my kids ask a question that the answer is Yes to I say “Are the Kennedy’s gun shy?” So although I am sure everyone is tired of me repeating the same phrase. It makes me laugh 🙂 Happy Monday!

  8. It happens. I like the image of you, untensil part-way to mouth, going, “Uhhhh…”

    As a whole, society sort of needs to get over itself in terms of being offended by everything.

Comment. It gives me a reason not to clean my house.

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