Some Jokes Just Aren’t Funny-in the End


Science tells us that a certain region of a teenager’s brain that inhibits risky behavior is not fully formed until the age of 25.  I can prove that in my own case, when at the tender age of 16, I found myself spending a weekend in the California Mountains.  Some friend of the family had arranged “a fun time” for me with three other young girls.


They were “tall, tan, and terrific” complete strangers and presentable enough, but when one called Kate looked me over and said “I hear you’re an Easterner,” it was time to take pause and reconsider-I had never thought of a Nebraskan being tagged that way.


We stayed in a cabin in a desolate forest, scenery beautiful, and weather calm.  We cooked and laughed and hiked, and spent our nights sleeping on a screened in porch on four comfortable beds.  I was having a good time, and was hoping they would like me, so I decided to show these “Westerners” a Nebraska joke.


Just before we went to sleep, I pulled out a noisemaker I had hidden in my suitcase.  It was shaped like a little drum, and when held in the hand, and turned over, it squalled like a cow stuck in the mud.


In the quiet dark, that thing rang out through the air.  First their voices were hushed, puzzled, guessing what kind of bird or beast was so close to the screen door.


I would silence it, as they settled down, then tip the thing over and let it bawl again.  I did this until I heard six feet hit the floor as those scared ninnies rushed into the kitchen to sleep “safely” on the kitchen floor.  I told them I would stay put.  I had had my fun and would explain the next day.


The sun woke me early, so I got up, passed the closed kitchen door and decided to walk around and enjoy the blue skies and fresh air through the pines.  I wasn’t too far down the brown path when I saw IT!  IT was the biggest paw print I had ever seen.  No Nebraska kitty cat could match that.


I decided not to say anything about my Nebraska joke to my hosts or my early morning find.


Mary Elizabeth Mruzik

Pacific, Missouri