“Hello, Hungry; I’m Dad.”
We’ve all heard this one before, likely from a father figure, and we’ve all probably groaned at it too. It’s that groaning I want to talk about — the cry of complaint let loose when someone becomes the victim of a “dad joke.” It seems like no one wants to hear a dad joke, and I know plenty of people who would love to see them wiped from our culture altogether. Whether it’s a real father teasing his child or a witty old Bible professor throwing out a Noah’s ark pun, dad jokes usually garner a less-than-appreciative response. I, for one, tell dad jokes daily. However, while I laugh, my friends scowl with disapproval.
In case you haven’t been exposed to the dad joke phenomenon, here’s a prime example of what we’re dealing with: I burnt my Hawaiian pizza last night … I should’ve put it on aloha setting.
OK, before you stop reading this, hear me out. Dad jokes are an integral part of our society. Think back to when you were a child and your father was having a bad day. So, as a loving child, you said, “Hey, Dad, are you alright?” and he quickly responded, “Nope, I’m half left,” and walked away grinning. Just like the rotation of the earth, I bet you made his day. What about when your dad would say, “Man, it smells like ‘scone on’ in here,” and before you realized what he’d said you had already asked, “What’s scone on?”
Dad jokes are important, and I wish everyone could love them like I do. While I’m no father, my friends would argue that I might as well be. I’m the oldest member of my friend “squad,” I apparently dress like a dad, and I crack dad jokes like an old person’s back. I write this because my friends are starting to become aware of the fact that these clever remarks are contagious. They find themselves saying them and for some strange reason are disappointed with what they have become. They shouldn’t worry though.
Fathers are an under-appreciated breed. Being a dad is a full-time job, and I’m sure it can be as stressful as it is rewarding. So don’t be afraid to laugh at a dad joke, even if the comedian in question isn’t a parent. Dad jokes are a fundamental form of humor that will persist as long as there are fathers in the world. They teach us a great lesson courtesy of goofy dads everywhere — that humor has the power to make people happy, even when it seems like nothing else can. Dad jokes are reminders of people who will be with us through it all; they’re not something to be shunned.
That being said, I encourage you to call your dad and tell him a bad joke that will put a smile on his face. And hey, while you’re at it, why not tell him you appreciate what he does? Not everyone has a father. I myself fall into that category, but I do have a father figure who goes without recognition too often. Go ahead and give those dads a call. Sure, it’s nowhere near Father’s Day, but any day is a good day to make someone happy.
Finally, I feel an appropriate farewell is in order, so, as any good buffalo would say to his son … Bison.