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  • Betty Girardeau

Knock! Knock!


"Who's there?" How many of you remember "Knock, Knock" jokes? I am usually terrible at remembering jokes, especially the punch lines, but I remember lots of these. When I was growing up my family would often play this game while we were driving south to visit our grandparents in the summer. Usually, out of the blue, one of us would say, "Knock, knock" and await the "Who's there" reply from one or more of the others in the car, after which we would hope to get groans, laughs, or both when we gave the answered. We had usually begun these exchanges as a result of having read one in a magazine, but then that would lead to our trying to make up ones of our own. It could take a lot of time to develop one of these jokes, which was good because we were often driving for eight hours a day. One of the ones that I remember especially was this one: "Knock, knock. Who's there? Little old lady. Little old lady who. I didn't know you could yodel." Another silly way we would spend time on these boring drives would be to come up with humorous, at least we thought they were, things you might say to your grandmother. Two that I was very proud of inventing were "Get off the stove, grandma. You're too old to ride the range," and "Put a ribbon on the parrot, Grandma. We're giving Dad the bird." Along with these ways of passing the time on the road we would also play "Counting Cows" to see who could count the most in a given day (you could not count cows in a field if there were horses in it), and identifying and counting license plates to see who could see the most number of US state licenses for the whole trip. These days my grandchildren are easily entertained on long car trips with their various video games or downloaded movies on their iPads. I will admit that as an adult in the car with them, I can appreciate their being virtually "zoned out" doing this, thus making the drive more peaceful. But there was something special about the family interaction that we had when we would try to entertain each other on car trips. And, by the way, "Knock, knock" jokes are still loved by all ages today, too. They have never gone out of style.

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