Father’s Day 2017

A few jokes for you for Father’s Day 2017.

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During the Middle Ages intelligence was just as important as it is now. Wars are won and lost by intelligence and while a strong army is necessary to win the day, it’s intelligence that tells that army where to be and what to expect. Without good intel, armies can wind up in the wrong place or get smashed by a vastly superior force that could have been defeated if only they moved the fight to Thermopylae.

Gregor Badnick wanted desperately to rule the country. He had the best army, the best weapons, and the best uniforms. The problem was, he was fighting an invisible force. The best way to fight a numerically superior force was with hit and run tactics and since Badnick’s army was the best, his enemy nipped at his heels and disappeared into the wilderness.

Badnick understood intelligence and his spies managed to capture an incredible asset: the Count of VanGoodstan. The good Count was responsible for commanding his small, but mobile army in the ongoing war and he knew where the small army was going to be next.

The Count of VanGoodstan was strapped to a wooden bench with a masked man holding a giant hatchet standing next to him. He knew that telling Gregor where the army was would mean death for everything they stood for, so he clenched his fists and refused to answer any questions.

“Where is the army?” Gregor roared.

Nothing.

“Tell me or I’ll slice your head off and decorate my carriage with it!”

Nothing.

Gregor snapped his fingers and the masked man brought the blade down in a sweeping arc, stopping inches from the Count’s throat. Count VanGoodstan gulped hard. His resolve was already wavering.

“Where is the army?” Gregor asked quietly.

“What army?” the Count asked.

Gregor snapped his fingers and the blade swept down through the air. This time, the blade caressed the Count’s throat. Blood welled up through the cut, thick and warm, and dripped down his throat.

“Last chance,” Gregor said.

The Count steeled his resolve. He didn’t want to die, but he didn’t want to see anyone else die. “Never,” he whispered through white lips.

Gregor snapped his fingers again. The blade arced through the air like a mighty sliver blur. Thoughts poured through the Count’s mind as time seemed to slow down. He saw his wife, all flowing hair and beautiful smile. His son’s bright eyes flashed.

“Wait!” the Count said, “I’ll talk!”

But it was too late. The hatchet took his head. Gregor roared his anger to the heavens. His last chance at success was bleeding out all over the floor. In the end, Gregor Badnick lost the war and his head because he forgot the cardinal rule of warfare: Never hatchet your Count before he chickens.

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People say “mad scientist” like it means something. Every idea that changes the status quo is called “madness” by small-minded people who cannot understand the great plan.

Dr. Wilford Ostenhoffer was not man who cared what the little people thought. He wanted immortality and when it was right he would offer it to the world. Then they would appreciate his greatness.

So, Dr. Ostenhoffer did what he did best: he stuck his middle-finger in Mother Nature’s face and found a way to clone himself.

The clone was perfect! A magical creation that looked and thought just like him. While the clone Ostenhoffer traveled the world speaking about the wondrous new science being created, regular Ostenhoffer continued on his quest for immortality.

Unfortunately, the clone began to break down. It started with his mind. First, he just started using smaller and smaller words, but soon he started releasing the occasional obscenity during his speeches. Eventually, the speeches were nothing more than shrieking tirades.

Real Ostenhoffer knew he had a problem on his hands. He still had work to do and the clone was causing problems. Ostenhoffer wasn’t a violent man, though, and couldn’t bring himself to shoot the clone. He lured the babbling clone to the top of the biggest building in the city and they both watched the city below. As the clone continued ranting, Ostenhoffer pushed it off the building.

Unfortunately for him, a CCTV camera caught the event and, before Dr. Ostenhoffer could finish saving the world, he was arrested for making an obscene clone fall.

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Have a happy Father’s Day, everyone. Try to at least crack a smile when us dads casually toss around some bad jokes.

Father’s Day

My dad in early June of 2001.

He was riding his bike home and went straight through a turn-only light and got clobbered.  By bike, I mean Harley and by clobbered, I mean flung 60 feet or so into a concrete embankment.  The young woman driving the car that hit him was terrified and crushed.  If she ever stumbles across this (which I doubt) I hope she knows I bear her no ill will.  The accident was not her fault, it was just one of those random events that shakes up the worlds of the people who experience it.

Still, I prefer to not dwell on his death save to say I believe each of us has a heaven.  My dad’s heaven probably consists of loud motorcycles, guns, and young women who are smart (but not quite as smart as him) and are into skimpy clothes.

I prefer to remember my dad’s life.  He was every inch the caricature of masculinity: divorced multiple times,loved guns, rode Harleys, used to race motorcross.  He was a giant in many ways and I loved him very much.  So, with that in mind, I’d like to share a few tidbits and stories.

Once, when I was visiting him in Arizona we were eating a some fast-food restaurant when a young woman from college came in.  My dad took one look at her and told me I should ask her out.  I tried to explain to him that I lived and went to school in New Mexico and this was Arizona.

His response?

“You’re thinking buy.  You need to think rent.”

His first piece of advice when I got my first car?  Bear in mind now, this was a beat-up ’65 Volkswagen Beetle with no headliner, no carpeting, and torn up seats.  The back seat was about a foot wide and made out of some kind of vinyl that had seen better days.  So, anyway, my dad’s first piece of advice?

“Don’t get anyone pregnant in the back seat.”

He also patiently told me that I should never kill anyone, but if worse came to worse and I had to, to use a bow and arrow because guns already had too bad a rap.

From the outside, he seemed a larger than life character, brash and boisterous, and full of ill-conceived advice about women, politics, and guns.  Tear away that facade, though, and he was different.  I remember going to Arizona for a speech and debate tournament once and he came down to see me.  Somehow or another, the guys I was sharing a room with managed to take off with both keys so my dad and I sat in the Motel 6 parking lot talking.  It was at that time that I actually got to know him.  I found out a little more about why he and my mom got a divorce and what he was really like when you stripped away the veneer.

He wasn’t actually a bad guy, he just really liked for people to think that he was.

His final piece of advice to me on women.  “Treat them right because, you know, they really deserve it.”

So, those are the moments I choose to remember.  He was a good guy and I really miss him sometimes.

This weekend, my son and I were at the AKKA Black Belt weekend.  My son was officially acting as support for one of the other kids in the school that was testing for his junior black belt.  I was kind of along for the ride and wound up remembering why I took the art up in the first place.  It was the kind of father/son bonding that I hope feeds into his memories, so some day he can tell his son or daughter the story of the time he punched me in the jaw and kicked me in the nuts.  I was assisting with a blocking lesson and my son was one of my students.  My blocking was slow and he got a little exuberant.  I hope he remembers times like that and how I looked him square in the eye and said, “I’m totally gonna tell mom.”

So, happy Father’s Day to y’all.  I hope you have some good memories or, better yet, a dad you can talk to without using a Ouija board.