Well, you asked.

(scene opens in mini-van)

Beta: I think Dad jokes aren’t funny. I bet mom jokes are funny. Mom, tell us a joke.

Me: (wearily) I’m well rested.

Husband: (uproariously laughter behind the wheel)

Me: (takes cue) My children are well behaved.

Husband: (increased laughing) Oh my god! That’s hilarious! I’m laughing so hard I’m crying!

Me: I never have to yell at them to do homework.

Husband: (booming fake stage laughter) It’s too much! Stop! I’m going to have to pull over if you keep going!

Me: My house is clean.

Husband: (pulls over to side of the road, puts head down on steering wheel, hysterical fake laughter)

(cut scene to four kids and a dog staring flatly at the front seat)

Beta: I’m sorry I said anything.

Husband: (to Carrot) Dear, that was wonderful. You should do stand-up.

Funny Because True

(scene opens in rainy dining room)

Beta: (shuffles up groggy) Did you get your other cards?

Me: (sips coffee) Yes.

Beta: (hands over pink envelope) I went to the store, looked at cards for ten seconds and decided this was the one.

Me: Oh boy.

Husband: (from kitchen) Thanks for getting me in trouble, Beta!

Me: He’s not wrong!

Here’s the wind up…

(scene opens in dim kitchen)

Gamma: Look at that chonky squirrel! I want a squirrel as a pet!

Husband: (looks out window) Eh, you can’t really have a squirrel for a pet. They’re not domesticated animals.

Gamma: Can I domesticate it?

Husband: You could tame one, but that’s different than domesticating.

Me: (looks up from making coffee) I don’t know how many generations it takes to domesticate something. Gamma, what you really want is to make some Crow Friends.

Gamma: How do you do that?

Me: Well, you need to feed them, but there are so many squirrels here, you’d need to call them to the yard first and then feed them.

Gamma: (skeptical) How do we do that?

Me: You can get a Crow Call on the internet.

Gamma: (skepticism deepens) A Crow Call?

Husband: Yeah! A Crow Call. Watch. (cups hands, leans towards window) HEY CROW! COME HERE CROW!

Gamma: (stares)

Me: (closes eyes) Seriously.

Husband: (laughs himself silly) I’m helpy!

We Brought it on Ourselves

(scene opens in cluttered dinning room)

Husband: (enters from kitchen) Hey, did you hear what Niece K wants to be when she grows up? (opens up laptop)

Me: (typing, doesn’t look up) I already made the reference and he didn’t get it.

(Husband plays Dentist Song from Little Shop of Horrors)

(Boys watch in WTF)

Alpha: What the hell was that?

Husband: A song from a movie.

Beta: What kind of movie has a song about a dentist hurting people?!

Husband: A movie about a plant. A talking plant. That eats people.

Beta: (pauses) It is not. You’re lying.

Me: He’s not. It was a play called Little Shop of Horror, they turned it into a movie. The the plant talks and is called Audrey Two.

Beta: (stares) You are both totally lying to me.

Me: (starts laughing) It does sound like something we’d lie about.

Husband: I wouldn’t believe me either.

Old joke is old

(Scene opens in dim cluttered dinning room)

Me: (typing furiously on laptop)

Beta: (bounces into the room) Mom! I have a joke for you!

Me: (internal sigh) Shoot.

Beta: You have to look at me!

Me: (sags a little, looks up) Shoot.

Beta: (smugly, holds up fingers in a V) I’m a Roman and I’m ordering five beers!

Me: (raises eyebrows, hold up fingers in shape of an L) Fifty bucks? Really?

Beta: (confused) No, see I was…wait…what?

Me: The letter “V” stands for five but the letter “L” stands for fifty.

Beta: (pouts and tries not to smile) No fair, mom.

Me: I might have heard that one before.

As long as we’re laughing

(scene opens in tossed parlor)

Me: (holding hair tie between gritted teeth) Gamma, stop moving or brushing your hair will be more painful.
Gamma: (ridiculous suffering)
Beta: (stomping down the stairs, snuffling loudly)
Me: Beta, go upstairs and brush your teeth.
Beta: (sighs in busted, turns around to go back up, snuffling loudly)
Me: (calls after him) And blow your nose!
Husband: (looking around for his gear) And do a little dance.
Me: And make a little love!
Husband: Hey Beta! Get down tonight!
Beta: (off screen) I’m not talking to you guys!
Gamma: You guys make no sense.

In Jokes Make Everything Better

(cut scene-flashback, opens in foyer of Universal Studios hotel, two people having a conversation)

Me: (quietly) Beta, you’ve been talking about food all day.
Beta: I’m hungry all day.
Me: (epiphany moment) Beta, do you eat your feelings?
Beta: (serious face) Yeah. (dork face) Its because they’re so delicious.
Me: (letting it go, talks for other times) Well, its because you put cheese on them.

(flash forward, six people in parked van, most red eyed from crying)

Everyone: (collectively mired in personal misery and sorrow)
Husband: (reaches out, touches wife’s arm gently to get attention, mimes eating)
Me: (nods, collects self, sits up straighter, calls over shoulder) Beta? Do you want to go put cheese on our feelings?
Beta: That’d be great.
Me: (waves to husband to work the car machine)
Gamma: Why are we putting cheese on our feelings?
Husband: I think we’re getting something to eat.

Not a Rickroll

(scene opens at dinner table)

Beta: My music teacher told me that I needed to watch 4:33.
Me: (processing) What?
Beta: 4:33. Both he and the orchestra teacher were laughing about it. It’s a music video.
Me: Oh! Yes. (starts laughing) Of course we can watch it. (calls up the orchestral version of John Cage’s 4’33)

(minute goes by)

Gamma: When are they going to start playing?
Beta: For real. They’re just sitting there.

(second minute goes by)

Beta: I don’t get it. Why is this funny?
Gamma: They’re not playing.

(third minute goes by)

Gamma: This is boring! Where’s the music?!
Beta: (extreme suffering) I don’t get it! Tell me why this is so funny!
Me: (calls up the sheet music for 4’33)
Beta: (incredulous) Rests. The whole thing is rests. Why the hell would anyone write a piece of just rests!? And why wouldn’t anyone think that’s funny?
Me: (starts giggling)

Explaining the joke

(scene opens in messy kitchen)
Alpha: Mom, I don’t understand why this joke is funny.
Me: What’s the joke.
Alpha: It says Captain Kirk has three ears: left, right, and frontier. What’s a frontier?
Me: (with immense sonorous gravitas) Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Her five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before.
Alpha: (silence)
Me: (goes back to washing dishes)
Alpha: Wow. I’m going to have to start watching Star Trek.
Me: Indeed.

Pure poetry

(scene opens with mom brushing daughter’s long wet hair)
Husband: Tell mommy how much you love daddy.
Gamma: (holds up pinched fingers)
Husband: Now show mommy how much you love her.
Gamma: (throws arms open wide)
Me: Sorry Husband.
Gamma: Mom, you win at love.
Me: Yes, some call me the gangster of love.
Gamma: (with heavy sarcasm) Really? You said that?

Culinary delights

(scene opens with Carrot behind the wheel, post-graduation slurpees in everyone’s hand)
Husband: Try this one. Airhead Extreme Cherry.
Me: (Sips. Salivary glands implode.) Harsh.
Husband: I think the Sour Patch slurpee was better.
Me: That had a stronger punch, smoother finish. I like that we can use wine terms to rate slurpee flavors.
Husband: This is not a slurpee for drinking…
Me: This is a slurpee for laying down and avoiding.