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.

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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.